News & Analysis

2018 NFL Draft Breakdown: Los Angeles Chargers

By William Moy
May 2, 2018

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Apr 26, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; NFL commissioner Roger Goodell with Derwin James as he is selected as the number seventeen overall pick to the Los Angeles Chargers in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Chargers made seven picks in this years draft – one in each round, taking four defensive players before adding some offensive depth in Rounds 5, 6 and 7. The Chargers did a nice job finding valuable players in the middle rounds but nowhere did they win more than in Round 1, when former Florida State safety Derwin James fell into their laps at Pick 17. James was ranked as the fifth-best player in this draft class on the PFF big board. Adding him into a secondary that includes Casey Hayward (96.4 overall grade in 2017), Trevor Williams (88.5), Desmond King (86.5), Jason Verrett (N/A), Jahleel Addae (83.4) and Tre Boston (81.4) is an embarrassment of riches for a Chargers defense that could be one of the very best in football in 2018.

For even more information on who the Chargers drafted and possibly some undrafted free agent players who could make the team, grab a copy of our 2018 NFL Draft Guide with expanded profiles, scouting reports, PFF signature stats and extensive details on over 300 players you cannot find anywhere else.

Round 1 (17) Derwin James, S, Florida State, 92.1 overall grade

James should be the definition of a defensive chess piece for the Chargers secondary; they have the depth – and he has the ability – to play him as a deep safety, line him up against slot receivers or tight ends or play him as a linebacker in dime sub-packages. James was our top-graded safety in the entire nation last season, a distinction he also earned as a true freshman back in 2015, as he excelled in both coverage (tied for second in the nation with eight pass breakups last year and also ranked second with 16 coverage stops) and run defense (85.0 run-defense grade).

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