Some sad news from the San Diego Chargers this morning:
The Chargers have signed free agent safety Tony Burnett, a rookie from the University of Southern California.
Burnett, 6-1, 205 pounds, was an honorable mention all-conference safety for the Trojans as a senior in 2012 after recording 28 tackles and an interception. He is a native of Los Angeles, California and attended Mayfair High School.
The team also waived rookie quarterback Mike Hermann and waived-injured cornerback Kenny Okoro. Hermann was an undrafted rookie from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. And if Okoro clears waivers, the team will place him on the "Reserve-Injured" list.
Hermann was probably a long-shot to make the roster, but his story made it hard to not root for him. Here's to hoping that he catches on somewhere else in the league but never comes back to bite the Chargers in the ass.
Now, let's get to Tony Burnett.
His highlights are awesome. At 6'1", 205 lbs, he is prototypical size for a hard-hitting Strong Safety. His stats in his senior year aren't mind-boggling, but they were good enough to get him that honorable mention from the Pac-12. So, why wasn't he drafted?
Well, for one, he's still very raw. He was a track star at USC that was convinced to try out for the team. He worked his way up the depth chart to part-time starting SS, but he has only three years of football experience. He also didn't make any fans in NFL front offices when he made fun of El Paso on his Twitter account.
Finally, nobody is quite sure if Burnett is a Safety or Linebacker in the NFL. That's usually a good sign that a player is a "Special Teamer". Still, with the SS position the way it is for San Diego right now, it doesn't hurt to add a project and some depth to that group.