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Chargers select VaTech corner in new 2021 mock

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 12 Rhode Island at Virginia Tech Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Since before the 2020 regular season began, it became another normal Chargers season once safety Derwin James went down for the year after a 2019 season that saw him miss 11 games.

Aside from James, starting slot cornerback Chris Harris Jr. — who was signed to a two-year deal in free agency — went down with an injury against the Panthers and has missed the last four contests with another game or two to be missed, as well. Add in the team’s recent decision to trade away Desmond King and all of a sudden the deep corner group has become very shallow as of late.

That’s why Bleacher Report’s senior NFL draft analyst Matt Miller decided to skip over the obvious need for an offensive tackle to give the Chargers one of the top cornerback prospects in the 2021 class: Virginia Tech’s Caleb Farley.

“There is not a left tackle prospect ranked higher than cornerback Caleb Farley,” says Miller. “And with the team trading away Desmond King at the deadline and needing to get younger at the position overall, it’s a mixture of value and need that fits perfectly at No. 8 overall.”

“Farley, who opted out this season due to COVID-19 concerns, is a menacing playmaker at cornerback with the size (6’2”, 207 lbs) and ball-hawking ability to be a Stephon Gilmore-type prospect. And with general manager Tom Telesco showing a penchant for waiting to draft offensive linemen and the team set at wide receiver, this is by far the biggest need on the roster for 2021 and beyond.”

Right away, I’m drawn to the height and weight. Those are the types of numbers that Gus Bradley salivates over — if he’s even still the team’s defensive coordinator following this season. Farley’s knack for finding the football and combined with the physical intangibles that can’t be taught make him a picture-perfect fit for the Chargers’ current defensive system.