The arrival of rookie Derwin James gave The Chargers another playmaker to add to their talented defense. But the standout performance of James also highlighted a glaring weakness in the bolts secondary. Jahleel Addae left much to be desired following his play at free safety this past season. The six-year pro was repeatedly exposed, taking bad angles and displaying poor tackling ability in his pursuit of receivers. Addae constantly looked out of place and was a liability to The Chargers defense.
Should Los Angeles look to the draft to add more competition to the safety position, Delaware’s Nasir Adderley could be an intriguing option.
A three-year starter for the Blue Hens, Adderley is the one of the best small school prospects to enter this year’s draft class. Adderley finished a stellar 2018 season ranking in the top-20 nationally among defensive backs with his career best 87 tackles. He also recorded a team-high four interceptions, seven pass break-ups and one forced fumble. In fact, over the past years, Adderley is the only player in the college football to register over 160 tackles and nine interceptions.
At 5-foot-11 and 200 pounds, Adderley is a versatile prospect with the capability of playing safety at the single-high position or in the box. He shows great instincts and awareness when reading the quarterback anticipating throws and breaking on receiver routes. Adderley has solid read-and react-ability, displaying good closing burst to the ball from off coverage. He possesses the hip fluidity and footwork of a cornerback which allows him to quickly redirect and transition with wide outs.
Adderley is high-IQ player that gives effort on every snap, playing with a physical attitude. Not just on defense but on special teams as well. With solid tackling ability, he makes contact on receivers over the middle with good timing. Adderley has a nose for the football and the capability of contending passes at the high point of attack.
The Draft Network’s Joe Marino holds the small school prospect in high regards “He should be a high-impact, playmaking starter that is among the pillars of an NFL defense.” Marino said. “Whatever assignment a safety could be tasked with, Adderley has shown the ability and requisite traits needed to fulfill it.”
I'd like to invite everyone to the @NasirAdderley show next week.— Steve Frederick (@_SteveFrederick) January 17, 2019
5 plays that'll make you fall in love with him.
1. Odell INT. WOW
2. Decleats defender. 92-yard TD
3. Range, recovery speed, diving INT
4. HIT STICK. No patty cake.
5. HUSTLE (Again, no quit on Special Teams!) pic.twitter.com/kS6tRPlQsx
NFL Media’s Daniel Jeremiah released his Top 50 players and ranked Adderley as the No. 27 overall prospect on his board. When he attends the combine later this month, he will become the eighth player in Delaware history to receive an invite.
Adderley is a player with few weaknesses to his game. Occasionally he can be over aggressive at times when in pursuit of receivers. But most questions stem from his level of competition that he faced in the FCS as well as his limited exposure in man coverage.
The Chargers met with Adderley during an impressive week of practice leading up the Senior Bowl.
With his rising draft stock leading up to the draft, he is expected to be one of the first safeties off the board in April. If Los Angeles decides to spend another consecutive first-round pick at the safety position, Adderley’s physicality, competitiveness and athleticism could give the Chargers another playmaker to boost their secondary.