Recently, our managing editor of BFTB selected Bradley Roby as an ideal selection for the Chargers at pick #25, considering the players that were taken before. This was posted on SB Nation's NFL page where many Chargers fans were speaking out their disappointment of the pick in the comment section. I am writing here today not to say that I disagree with those people, but to say that I think they presented their points in the wrong fashion. I think there is a sensible reason as to why Roby would be a bad pick for the Chargers, but I don't think the people in the comment section attacked the right points. Just to be clear, I am not trying to point anyone out specific here. Just speaking in general terms. I want to go over my reasons as to why I think Roby is not a good pick for the Chargers at #25, and go over some players that could be a much better option at the same position.
It's not that I think Bradley Roby is a bad football player. Actually, I think the reason he will end up getting selected in the first round is because he fits into so many systems in today's NFL. It's that I think he's just not the type of cornerback the Chargers are looking for (I know zone is his strong suit, let me explain). After watching all the games that draftbreakdown.com has to offer of him, I have come to the conclusion that Roby depends too much on his athleticism and doesn't have anything exceptionally good to offer as far as his technique goes. Don't get me wrong. If I were to pick the most athletic cornerback in the draft this year, I would definitely take Roby into consideration. But in the NFL, that's just not enough. Everyone in the NFL is freakishly athletic, so Roby wouldn't stand out as much as many people tend to believe. In even simpler terms: when Roby is in the NFL next year, he will be one of the most athletic rookies, not players.
Now obviously, it's not fair to expect every college athlete to be perfect technique wise. Because if that was the case, coaches wouldn't exist. But I think the Chargers need to pick the most NFL ready prospect that the draft has to offer. If Roby was selected to the 49ers or the Seahawks, I wouldn't even hesitate to say how well he will do in the NFL. Why? Because teams like the 49ers and the Seahawks have a very good coaching staff that can develop players and use the things that they are good at to their advantage. For some odd reason, the Chargers coaching staff on the defensive side doesn't like to take that route. That is precisely the reason why I think Roby is a bad fit. As long as John Pagano is the defensive coordinator, I will refuse to trust his ability at developing players. I just do not believe that Pagano will be able to hide Roby's technique deficiencies in his zone scheme.
There are plenty of cornerbacks that are much more technically sound then Roby. My guy is E.J. Gaines. He's not nearly as athletic as Roby, but he would instantly be the best corner on the Chargers right when gets picked. Gaines is a guy that unlike Roby, has the fundamentals to be able to be placed anywhere in the secondary and succeed. He is very sound/aware, and has amazing straight line speed. I even think that when he is playing zone, Gaines is at his best, which is a nice attribute that Roby has as well.
All in all, I think Bradley Roby is a great cornerback. Roby was put on an island for the majority of snaps last year at Ohio State, and he did a great job over there. I think he is a natural athlete that can be a premier cornerback in the league some day if he gets drafted to the right team. I just don't think that the Chargers are the right team for him. If I was Tom Telesco, I would only pick Bradley Roby if he was available in the 3rd round. Remember that this is my opinion, and I am entitled to that as is everyone else. I really want to hear what the people that disagree with me have to say, so please, have at it. I'm all ears, and I am not afraid at all to switch my take on this topic at any time.