In a list released by CBS Sports on Tuesday, third-year safety Derwin James was ranked as the 8th-best safety in the entire NFL.
While some may argue that James should be higher on the list than 8th, you can’t argue with the talent that makes up the list. Anyone would be proud to have their name included in the same group as the other nine.
James falls behind the likes of Tyrann Mathieu at No. 1, followed by the Steelers’ Minkah Fitzpatrick, the Jets’ Jamal Adams, the Vikings’ Harrison Smith and Anthony Harris, Justin Simmons of the Broncos, and the Patriots’ Devin McCourty. He also sits above the likes of Kevin Byard and Earl Thomas, who are the second and fifth-highest paid safeties in the NFL.
In all fairness, if James did not injure his foot during this past year’s preseason, there’s no doubt in my mind that he would be several spot further up this list. It was such a shame to see a rookie become a First-Team All-Pro and then only see five starts the following season in what was already a wash of a year for the Chargers.
Passer Rating Allowed to TEs | 2018— PFF (@PFF) June 19, 2020
Derwin James - 21.3 (1st)
NFL AVG - 104.7 pic.twitter.com/BQtg2xN8c5
The national media has, in a roundabout way, continued to rub that frustration in the fan base’s face unknowingly by replaying James’ highlights from 2018 due to his lack of plays made in his shortened 2019 campaign. The new season cannot get here soon enough so we can finally marvel at some new feats enacted by James and the rest of the Chargers secondary.