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Anthony Lynn: Jabrill Peppers “can be a superstar”

The Chargers’ head coach also doubled down on the team’s re-signing of Jahleel Addae.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The safety position has been a controversial point of discussion for the Los Angeles Chargers over the offseason, and it appears as though safety talk will remain a hot topic in Southern California over the next month or so.

The Chargers enter 2017 with one of the NFL’s most imposing cornerback duos in Jason Verrett and Casey Hayward, but the outlook for the rest of the team’s secondary isn’t necessarily promising — that’s where the upcoming draft will come into play. With strong safety Jahleel Addae re-signed, the biggest question for the Bolts’ secondary is whether the starting free safety will be a player currently on the roster — presumably Dwight Lowery — or potentially a player who could be added later on, likely in April’s draft.

Ohio State safety Malik Hooker has been a popular prospect among Chargers mock drafts, which makes sense considering how the rangy prospect figures to potentially fit in Gus Bradley’s Cover 3 defense. But Hooker is just one man, among many talented defensive backs in this year’s draft class.

“There’s some good safeties coming out,” Lynn said about the upcoming crop of draft prospects, per ESPN’s Eric Williams. “I like Jamal Adams. I think Peppers can be a nice safety in the National Football League. Obi [Melifonwu], the young man from Connecticut, has a nice presence down in the box as a strong safety.”

But of the three, Lynn seemed most interested in the former Michigan safety. For what it’s worth, Lynn’s interest in Peppers might not necessarily be in him as a potential Charger but rather as an uncommon prospect who doesn’t traditionally fit in with the rest of the class — players like the former Wolverine don’t come around often.

“He plays so many positions,” Lynn said of Peppers. “I believe if you put him at one position, I think he can be a superstar -- it’s that simple. He’s been a superstar his whole life. I don’t think it’s going to stop because he’s in the National Football League. He’s got a lot of juice.”

It’s clear Lynn likes Peppers, but is the hybrid player (for lack of a better term) worth a top-10 pick in this year’s draft? Unless Lynn sees something most people don’t, it doesn’t appear so. If the safety is still on the board at 38, however, the coach seems like he could potentially pull the trigger.

Regardless, as mentioned, the Chargers will certainly be looking for more than one defensive back in the draft, as there are plenty of openings in the secondary. The strong safety position, however, is now filled. Coming off a somewhat promising season (though it left much to be desired), Addae figures to serve as the enforcer, playing the Kam Chancellor role for Bradley.

“He was a priority for us,” Lynn said about Addae. “He can play deep. He can play close to the line of scrimmage. He is physical. We are rocking and rolling with him.”

“He won’t just play in the back and I think he will benefit from that,” Lynn said of the safety. Perhaps it’s the change in scheme, which the coaching staff seems to think will accentuate Addae’s strengths while somewhat veiling his weaknesses, which sparked the staff to throw a surprising amount of money the safety’s way.

“He brings it every day. If you watch the tape, he brings it every snap. So I like him a lot. His leadership, how he plays the game — he’s an impact hitter. People will think twice going over the middle.”

The Bolts from the Blue staff has been somewhat cynical (that might be an understatement) in terms of what Lynn has had to say in his limited time as head coach — especially when it comes to Addae — but from where I’m sitting, it’s nice to see a coach so excited to get to work with his new team.