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Training Camp Previews: The Cornerbacks

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Previewing one of the deepest position groups on the roster

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers Training Camp Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On the Lightning Round Podcast, the guys reviewed defense and special teams. Leading up to training camp we’ll be going over position battles before we make one final prediction of the 53-man roster. Today we start with arguably the most talented position group on the roster, the cornerback position. There are locks. There will be battles. There will likely be surprises. Let’s get to the locks.

Locks

Casey Hayward

Hayward has cemented himself as one of the best corners in the league. He’s objectively top 3 anyway you slice it. Hayward is always around the ball. He has broken up 20+ passes the last 2 years. He is such a key competent on what has a chance to be one of the better units in the NFL.

Jason Verrett

The biggest tease in the NFL. Verrett is undoubtedly a top talent at the position. Verrett’s issue is he can’t stay on the field to showcase his skills. Put it like this: last year Hayward got his hands on more passes tan Verrett has played in his entire career. That doesn’t seem good. As skilled as Verrett is, you have to wonder how his health impacts how many corners the team keeps.

Trevor Williams

For a number 2 corner, who had completely stunk it up the year prior as a rookie, Williams was fantastic in 2017. You could really see him turn the corner after he went head to head with Odell Beckham Jr. and held his own. Williams is a terrific run defender and would make for a great nickel corner. If Verrett is healthy, that should be Williams role. If not he can slide by outside like last year and hopefully continue to grow as a player.

Dez King

Verrett’s health directly affects King’s playing time the most in my opinion. We’ll still see King on the field. Just not as much at corner is my guess. Maybe at safety. Possibly at dime linebacker. I do think he’ll see the field in his sophomore stint but King’s role will likely be reduced.

Going to have to fight for it

Michael Davis

Davis has the side/speed combo, but he has the upper hand due to his special teams experience. There will be 5 corners or more on the active roster. Davis should be the favorite coming into camp, but will it stay like that for long?

Tony Brown

The undrafted free agent from Alabama certainly has the pedigree. National Champion multiple years. He competed for a spot on the U.S. National Track & Field team after placing 6th in the 110 Hurdles in 2016, & 11th in the 100 meter dash in 2017. He’s fast. He was known for his special teams prowess as well. Brown is the popular undrafted free agent in the secondary to make the team.

Craig Mager

Lol. Nice try.

Brandon Facyson

The former Hokie has seemingly never recovered from his injury in college. Once a freshman all-american with a bright future, Facyson is now an undrafted free agent. Still, the team has one, possibly two spots open at the position. Facyson is the lanky press-man corner that the typical Gus Bradley scheme favors. Will Facyson have a great preseason and make the Chargers make a tough decision? Time will tell.