After having their defensive secondary frequently shredded throughout the 2013 season, the San Diego Chargers looked to address this issue through the 2014 NFL Draft. The Chargers ultimately drafted former TCU cornerback Jason Verrett with the No. 25 overall pick.
Verrett was the definition of a shutdown corner throughout his college career. He recorded a total of nine interceptions and 41 pass defenses over the course of three seasons as a starter. Verrett also displayed impressive tackling skills, recording 10 tackles for loss, which included one sack, during his time spent at TCU.
One of the fastest players in the entire 2014 draft class, Verrett is an absolute burner. At the NFL combine, Verrett recorded a 4.38 40-yard dash time, second only to Justin Gilbert among cornerback prospects. This speed combined with top-tier instincts, cover skills and ball skills made Verrett an enticing prospect.
With all of these positives, it is easy to overlook Verrett’s below average physical frame. Verret is just 5-foot-9, 189 pounds. Scouts and coaches have stated that he plays bigger than he is, but he will have to add muscle if he expects wrestle with bigger NFL wide receivers.
Regardless of whether Verrett is NFL-ready, it is a pretty safe bet that he will see plenty of playing time, if not a full-time starting position, for the Chargers this season. He will compete with Shareece Wright and Richard Marshall for the No. 1 cornerback position during training camp. Given his impressive coverage skills and blazing speed, which should allow him to make up for some initial mistakes, Verrett should start the season as a starting cornerback on the Chargers defense.
Verrett is not participating in OTAs yet as he is recovering from shoulder surgery that he underwent in March. However, this has not kept him away from the field. His coaches have said he is doing everything he can without actually playing, including talking to teammates, learning the playbook and simply watching how the Chargers defense practices during OTAs.
Assuming that Verrett can come back from surgery and perform at high level, he should have no problem taking on an impact role with the Chargers this season. While Verrett may even miss the start of training camp as a result of this surgery, it is a safe bet that he will come back fired up and ready to take over a starting cornerback position.