The starters: Jason Verrett, Casey Hayward
The backups: Craig Mager, Trevor Williams, and a half-dozen camp bodies
What they need: Plans for the inevitable major Verrett injury
Casey Hayward is a dynamo and, for all of the criticisms I’ve had for Tom Telesco over the years, is probably the biggest trophy that sits on the desk of the GM of the Los Angeles Chargers as a way to win any argument about free agency and if he knows what he’s doing. I’m not worried about him.
However, this is the NFL and injuries happen and the last thing I ever want to see is Craig Mager or Trevor Williams starting games or getting on the field for more than 50% of the snaps as a Nickel CB.
Oh, and I should probably mention Jason Verrett. Since being drafted in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Chargers’ stud corner has played in 50% of the team’s games (24 of 48). That wasn’t by choice. He’s missed half of the opportunities to play as a result of various injuries.
When Verrett does play, he’s arguably the best Cornerback in the league. However, the best ability is availability and concerns over Verrett’s ability to stay healthy in the NFL is the biggest reason why he was there for the Chargers to take with the 25th pick to begin with.
Yesterday, the team exercised a fifth-year option on Verrett’s contract, locking him and Hayward in as the two starters for at least the next two seasons. Now, it’s time to make plans behind them.
What the Chargers should be looking for in the 2017 NFL Draft is a CB that can help in Nickel Defense as well as fill in when injuries necessitate. Here’s where they can start their search.