The Chargers elected not to draft any defensive backs to fill the roster vacancies left from Nasir Adderley and Bryce Callahan’s departures, instead trusting depth pieces from 2022 to step into larger roles and signing multiple UDFAs to compete for depth and practice squad positions.
Many unsigned free agents remain that could help bolster the Chargers defense, including multiple that excelled under a Staley/Fangio scheme such as John Johnson III or Adrian Amos. However, Telesco’s reluctance to tag Bryce Callahan for a near veteran minimum contract or reunite Staley with one of his former players is a silent vote of confidence in the men already in the building.
AJ Uzodinma is one of the five DB UDFAs the Chargers brought in to compete for depth and special team roles. He fits a fairly consistent mold we’ve seen from these UDFAs, boasting athleticism that translates more on the field than it does in workouts and drills. At his Pro Day, he clocked an unimpressive 4.59 seconds 40-yard dash, but his 10-yard split of 1.52 seconds actually borders on elite. However, his shuttle and 3-cone times of 4.4 and 7.19 respectively are considered “poor” per Relative Athletic Score’s scale, which is extremely concerning at the defensive back position.
AJ was a three sport athlete in at University High School in Orlando, Florida. He earned four letters in football as well as lettering in track and basketball. He excelled at wide receiver and cornerback, and was named offensive MVP of his team when he posted 14 touchdowns across a seven game stretch in his junior year.
Uzodinma’s college career was marked by both availability and playmaking abilities. He was a five year contributor for Ball State University, playing in each of the 56 games the Cardinals played in those five years and started in 45 of them. In his first full season as a starter, he came up with five interceptions, showcasing exceptional abilities to track and high-point passes and attack the ball as if the pass were intended for him.
Below you’ll see his best Odell Beckham impersonation, with the announcer declaring his ball skills the best on Ball State’s entire squad.
Uzodinma ended his college career as a two-time All-MAC selection with 45 starts, 10 interceptions, 166 total tackles, a pair of sacks, and a defensive touchdown.
It’s hard to imagine him cracking the active roster with his limited athletic profile, but it definitely seems possible for AJ to end up on the practice squad where he’ll fight for a chance to earn a role in the seasons to come.