The San Diego Chargers have seen changes across their entire defense this offseason. One new starter, who hasn’t proven himself yet, but will be relied upon at a key position is third-year cornerback Shareece Wright.
Wright is nearly a complete unknown at this point in his career, and has as much of a chance to flop as he does to breakout. A third-round pick in 2011, Wright played just four snaps his rookie season and 120 snaps last season. He was supposed to see a lot of playing time in 2012, having won the nickel corner job over fellow corner Marcus Gilchrist after a solid preseason. However, an ankle injury on the opening kickoff of the season forced Wright out until November, and his absence allowed Gilchrist to regain the nickel job.
With Quentin Jammer and Antoine Cason now wearing different colors, many expected Wright and Gilchrist to battle it out again this offseason for a starting job. However, the Bolts have enough confidence in Wright that they’ve moved Gilchrist to strong safety and with little realistic competition, they will be essentially handing Wright the starting job.
Wright has all the tools you look for in an NFL cornerback. He’s aggressive and physical with receivers, has the speed and change of direction ability to mirror receivers, and has good instincts to anticipate routes. The main concerns with Wright are his lack of experience and his durability. Even at USC, he only had one full season of production. However, he’s spent the past two seasons picking Jammer’s brain, which should have definitely helped in his development. His durability is still a concern, but he should be solid if he can remain on the field.
The Chargers not only hope that Wright can break out in 2013, they need him to. In today’s pass-happy NFL, cornerbacks need to be sharp on every single play, and poor cornerback play the past two seasons for the Bolts has really weighed down the entire defense. Plus, if the Chargers hope to compete for the division crown, they’ll need to play well in the two games against Peyton Manning and his top-tier receivers.