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Chargers UDFA Spotlight: SAF Raheem Layne

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 29 Collegiate Bowl Photo by John McCoy/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Next up in our series highlighting each of the Chargers’ 14 undrafted free agents is former Indiana safety Raheem Layne.

The Chargers needed to add depth to the safety position after injuries this past season highlighted their surprisingly shallow group in terms of both talent and bodies. In the third round, the team added JT Woods which added a nice boost of speed while helping them solidify their top three players on the back end. The additions didn’t stop there, however, as the Chargers added two more players in both Layne and Liberty defensive back Skyler Thomas.

The 6’1, 200-pound Layne offers ideals size at the position but he lacks any notable athletic traits that would add to the intrigue for him as an undrafted free agent. His starting experience, which includes 25 games amongst 50 total games played in, is likely a big reason he landed in Los Angeles. He also offers experience at both cornerback and safety, but I don’t think corner is in his future prospects at this level.

In four seasons with the Hoosiers, Layne recorded 147 total tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, nine pass breakups, and a lone interception. In his final season, his first as a safety, he totaled 65 tackles, three pass breakups, a forced fumble, and the aforementioned interception. Those numbers were enough to earn Layne an invitation to play in this year’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.

When it comes down to it, if Layne wants any measurable chance of making the final roster, he’ll have to be a world-beater on special teams. His lack of fluidity in coverage and underwhelming coverage traits will keep him from ever seeing the field on defense, but his solid tackling technique and ability to square up defenders consistently could earn him an edge over other UDFAs looking to impress as a special team contributor.