In Brandon Staley’s most-recent presser, he voiced his excitement for several of the Chargers’ young players, including both Jerry Tillery and Nasir Adderley, the team’s top picks from the 2019 draft.
At the time, both were seen as potential steals at their respective draft slots. Through two seasons, it’s easy to see why the output thus far has been underwhelming. However, Staley isn’t letting that sway him from being optimistic regarding their futures.
Unsurprisingly, both Tillery and Adderley should be at the top, or at least included, in most people’s lists of “potential breakout candidates” for the Bolts this year.
For today’s discussion, let’s talk about all of YOUR potential breakout players for this upcoming season.
To me, I’m having a tough time not picking Nas. The 2020 season was essentially his rookie year and he was a part of a defense that seemed to do him no favors. As a single-high safety with massive pressure to be a sure-tackle from the third level, it’s easy to understand why a player like him, who essentially played zero football in all of 2019, would struggle with the litany of duties he was given. Aside from missing some crucial tackles, Adderley got spun around a little too much when opposing quarterbacks would throw deep. If there was ever more than one vertical route at a time, he almost always picked wrong. The sideline-to-sideline range we expected from him was non-existent.
But this is where I think someone like Staley can help him the most.
I don’t think Adderley is slow by any means, but he often looked like he was running through molasses due to his inability to make decisions fast enough. He was usually late breaking on balls and getting over the top of deep routes which, frankly, probably wasn’t something he expected to do all that much with former All-Pro Casey Hayward in coverage.
I have to believe that Staley will make the communication in the secondary as seamless as possible. The faster that group is able to talk and figure out what opposing offenses are trying to do, the faster they will be able to play. The switch to a more Cover-2 heavy scheme will also alleviate some pressure from Nas, as well, since he won’t be spotlighted by defenses over and over again.
Staley believes this league is full of players who are still developing into their best selves. I think Adderley is right there in that group, waiting for the right coach to come along and unlock the things we’ve been expecting now for the past two seasons.
Now for today’s links.
Will the Chargers draft more than one cornerback this year? (Bolt Beat)
Chargers mock draft tracker (Chargers.com)
The top-two “ideal” picks for the Chargers (Chargers Wire)
Broncos, Seahawks are skipping voluntary workouts (ESPN)
James Connor is signing with the Cardinals (ESPN)
A new 2021 mock draft (CBS Sports)
NFLPA sends a memo to players urging skipping voluntary workouts (Pro Football Talk)
NFL Tier 1 and Tier 2 personnel must be vaccinated (NFL.com)
MJD’s latest mock draft (NFL.com)