The Los Angeles Chargers used their first-round selection this year on defensive back out of Florida State, Derwin James, and today the team’s defensive coordinator, Gus Bradley, announced that James will be starting on week 1 of the NFL regular season. James was by many if not all accounts the best defensive player in this year’s draft, so expectations were deservedly high after he was taken by the Chargers.
This past Saturday, James got his first start of the preseason. He immediately made his presence felt. On the third play from scrimmage, James intercepted future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees. The play featured James’ instincts, athleticism, and ball skills, all of which are well above average.
It looks like James will initially rotate the free and strong safety positions with veteran safety Jahleel Addae and to a lesser extent second-year player Rayshawn Jenkins. James is probably best utilized closer to the line of scrimmage, but he is also arguably the best deep safety on the roster, so Gus Bradley will maximize his impact by moving him around.
From the moment he was drafted, there was no doubt that James would end up starting for the Chargers defense, but now we know that the Derwin James era will begin week 1 against the Kansas City Chiefs.