Tom Telesco and the Chargers can never have enough defenders that can play multiple positions. Derwin James can play anywhere on defense (literally). Melvin Ingram can play halfback if he so chose. Jerry Tillery, the team’s latest first-round pick, can play anywhere along the defensive front from head-up on the center to all the way outside of the tackle. So it’s no surprise that a handful of players that were signed as undrafted free agents are able to fill more than one role on the team.
Former Virginia Cavalier Chris Peace is one of those players and I’ve got to say, I’m already impressed by his resume without having seen a ton of film on the guy yet.
Peace redshirted his first year on campus before earning his first and only start the following year in 2015 as a defensive end. In his first full season as a starter along the line, Peace had 53 total tackles to go along with 6.5 tackles-for-loss and two sacks while starting all 12 games that year.
He went on to start each of his final 26 games from 2017-2018, amassing 131 total stops, 20.5 tackles-for-loss, 14 sacks, and four forced fumbles.
Unfortunately, Peace doesn’t have the greatest of athletic profiles. His 10 and 20-yard splits are the only two measurements in the “elite” range (which are two of the most important for his position) but none of the others come close.
Weirdly enough, Peace wins almost always with speed. He doesn’t show a plethora of pass-rushing moves and usually banks on being able to get a step on the tackle and then cornering with a nice shoulder-drop before using his length to corral the quarterback.
Peace reminds me of former Chargers undrafted free agent James Onwualu who was also pegged as an outside linebacker in the Chargers defense but I never thought his skills were the right fit for the LEO role. Peace is the perfect “tweener” player that fits the mold of a bigger OLB/smaller DE who has a knack for getting after signal-callers more so than covering pass-catchers.
Peace has immense experience having played in over 50 career games. When I think about it, I believe he actually has one of the better paths to the final 53 compared to UDFAs based on the lack of depth behind Melvin Ingram. Right now, the supposed back-up to Ingram is Anthony Lanier but I actually think he fits better at the big end spot behind Bosa. If you think about general skills-sets, there really isn’t anyone like Ingram on the team. Maybe sixth-round pick Emeke Egbule could be that guy but Peace had much more success bringing down quarterbacks on a consistent basis in college.
Consider me a fan of Peace and his potential within this defense should he stick.