Heading into the first round of the NFL Draft, it was no secret that the San Diego Chargers would be targeting a cornerback. The Bolts ranked 29th in the league is pass defense last season, and they must play Peyton Manning twice every season. With that in mind, the Chargers selected TCU cornerback Jason Verrett with the 25th pick.
The Chargers got great value here, because if Verrett was two inches taller he probably would have gone ten picks earlier. Verrett is undersized at 5’9″, 189 lbs, but he is a physical player who ran a blazing 4.38 40 at the combine. Verrett excels in man to man, and he is very comfortable on an island. Verrett is arguably the best pure cover corner in the draft in terms of instincts and feel. He also has very good ball skills, and is not afraid to come up and hit people. With his well rounded game, Verrett will immediately become the Chargers’ best corner.
The concerns about Verrett’s size are not unfair however. He dealt with numerous injuries in college, and his ability to stay on the field is a big concern for the Chargers. Also, the Chargers are not going to be able to put him out there against the likes of Demaryius Thomas and Dwayne Bowe, as they’ll just jump right over him. However, Verrett can play both inside and outside, and he should go a long way towards defending players like Wes Welker.
As long as he stays healthy, Verrett should be a huge upgrade in San Diego’s secondary. He is not a prototypical No. 1 corner, and at some point in the future the Chargers are going to have to target such a player. However, Verrett is simply a talented, tough, well rounded football player who will make an immediate impact no matter what position he plays. The Chargers and their fans should be very pleased with this pick.