I can’t pass the buck anymore because I’m the one who graded safeties for Bleacher Report this year. I do have PFF grades, though, too. Tre Boston is a free agent. The Chargers have a decision to make there. As is Adrian Phillips, who played a ton of snaps for the defense later in the season. Mostly as a hybrid linebacker. Both are 25. You have to imagine they’ll continue to improve in their respected roles. Here’s what I had to say about them.
PFF Grade: 81.4 overall. 43.4 against the run. 55.7 as a pass rusher. Boston was their 32nd ranked safety overall. As you guys well know, his tackling was suspect. When he came in contact with a runner, they broke is tackle 22.8 percent of the time, per footballoutsiders. That number cannot be that high when you are the last line of defense. I do think he got more comfortable in his role as the season went on and turned in to a reliable starter. The question for the team will be is he replaceable?
PFF Grade: 50.6 overall. 77.6 in coverage. 38.6 against the run. 53.1 as a pass rusher. There’s not much nuance to their grades. When you put a 200-pound player and slot him as a linebacker it’s not going to go well. That is exactly what happened. Phillips did have value in the passing game. He really hid some weaknesses that the other linebackers showed. He was able to get to spots in zones they couldn’t. It’s a trade-off Gus Bradley was willing to make.
I didn’t grade him as Jenkins didn’t qualify, playing 76 snaps total. Having zero expectations, I was pleasantly surprised with him. Especially in man coverage. He did a very good job and earn his snaps towards the end of the year. I wonder if Jenkins growth will play a role in how they evaluate the position or look to bring in other players this offseason. For what it’s worth, PFF had him 74.3 overall, with a 77 coverage grade.
PFF grade: 83.5 overall. 81.9 in coverage, 77.8 against the run. Their 23rd overall safety. Addae had a career year. I was limited in words above so I really couldn’t paint the picture I wanted to. 69 might seem low, but he truly was a competent starter. Him coming around in coverage really made the defense a lot better.
Free agency is getting closer, and there will be options. What do you think the Chargers should do at safety?