Photo credit: Harry How / Getty Images Sport
Author: Jon Kuzma
It seemed like every scout and analyst was raving about Derwin James during the combine and draft. Sometimes those high expectations come crashing down but everyone was right about James. The Los Angeles Chargers hit a home run when they selected Derwin James with the 17th overall pick this past April. Usually it’s better to add a defender that’s closer to the line of scrimmage but James is truly special. It doesn’t matter if the 22 year old is playing deep or lining up as blitzer off the edge. James is one of the best all around athletes in the league right now and he excels in every phase of the game. Just having a defender on the field that is better than everyone else helps Los Angeles makes something happen when they need it the most. A good example would be the play he had against the 49ers. C.J Beathard was dropping back to pass for San Francisco when James hammered him and that allowed Chargers defensive end Isaac Rochell to intercept the throw. It’s Derwin James tremendous football IQ which enables him to anticipate what the offense is trying to do. That awareness is far beyond the years of most rookie players and that’s why this guy will have a shot at being the best safety in the league someday. We’re just four weeks into the season and James has already tallied up 26 tackles, 3 sacks, and 1 interception. There’s a lot of teams who are feeling very foolish for passing on the former Florida State standout and it’s only the beginning for James. LA’s opponents will fear number 33 for years to come. To be honest this story line almost feels like Sean Taylor’s when he entered the league back in 2004. Both defenders had the ability to completely takeover games and that has all the fans in Southern California upbeat.
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