One of the more popular debates to have amongst NFL fan is the topic of “which team has the best ______ unit?” i.e., quarterbacks, receivers, linebackers, etc. It’s a fun topic to discuss because one must take into account the whole position group, not just the guy at the top.
Bleacher Report’s Brent Sobleski did his best to settle the argument for every until in the NFL, sorting it all into nine groups: Quarterbacks, Running Backs, Wide Receivers, Tight Ends, Offensive Line, Defensive Line, Linebacker, Secondary and Specialists.
Out of those nine, which Chargers’ unit do you think got the nod? If you said anything other than Secondary, we are going to have to have a talk. Yes, Sobleski named the “Jack Boys” as the best group in the league. With all that talent and upside, it couldn’t have been any other team.
“The secondaries from last season’s top five pass defenses remain relatively intact, but one should get significantly better thanks to a particular offseason addition and a fully healed superstar,” says Sobleksi. “The Los Angeles Chargers ranked fifth overall. Two massive differences in this year’s roster could take the group from being one of the best secondaries to being the very best because of the skill sets those individuals bring to the lineup.”
Obviously this fact is amazing given that Derwin James missed all but five games while Adrian Phillips missed a similar amount of time, as well. The Bolts allowed just 200.2 passing yards per game and it did it while also rarely ever getting to the quarterback. The Bolts finished with 30 sacks in 2019, fourth-worst in the entire NFL and only in front of the Dolphins, Seahawks, and Lions. But when you look at the passing yards allowed by those other three teams, they’re ranked 26th, 27th and 32nd.
So somehow, against the odds, the Chargers were a pretty good pass defense without their best player. Now they get James back AND add a former All-Pro in Chris Harris Jr.
Mike Glennon's 1st play with the Bears ends with a pick 6.— LeadingNFL (@LeadingNFL) August 11, 2017
Chris Harris Jr. takes it to the house. pic.twitter.com/HWEkGq2iH6
Besides having a load of talent, the Chargers also have a whole host of bodies that all deserve significant playing time this season. Harris is the team’s new nickel corner, but that doesn’t mean Desmond King is going to be relegated to the bench. He’ll have a role in sub packages and will be moved around a bit more now. But then there’s the case of Nasir Adderley and what he’s going to be in 2020. There’s roughly four players behind Hayward, Harris, and James who will be fighting for the most time that they can get. Unless there is a heavy rotation at free safety and dime linebacker, someone is certainly going to be on the outside looking in.
Which, at the end of the day, isn’t the worst problem to have at such an important position.