LA Chargers News

Top five Chargers playmakers heading into the 2022 season

In 2018, during his stellar rookie season, safety Derwin James bellows at the night sky in a game against Kansas City.
In 2018, during his stellar rookie season, safety Derwin James bellows at the night sky in a game against Kansas City. / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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Derwin James
Minnesota Vikings v Los Angeles Chargers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

2. Derwin James

Coming off a fantastic rebound season in 2021 after losing all of 2020 to repair a torn meniscus, James is the key piece to the Bolts' defense next season. In the same vein that Justin Herbert is the commander of the offense, James occupies the role of leading the defense by playing multiple positions in addition to his spot at safety.

Coming off his second-team All-Pro season in 2021, James had career highs in combined tackles (118), solo tackles and accounted for three forced fumbles along with two picks. An extremely versatile player, James has lined up not only at safety, but as a linebacker, cornerback and also as an edge rusher in certain formations.

When healthy, James has shown he can be one of the best in the league. In the two seasons he has played at least 15 games, he was selected as a first-team All-Pro choice. With his contract coming up and a new extension on the table, James should be a Bolt for a while after this season.

Thanks to new reinforcements like Mack, Jackson and additions along the defensive line and linebacking corps, James should have more freedom to freelance and make plays all over the field next season. 

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