Because most rookies don’t get enough credit, we’ll be highlighting some top performances by the NFL’s next generation.
Derwin James, Safety, Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers haven’t looked great defensively thus far this season. They’ve allowed the fifth- most points of any unit, possibly due to absence of pass rusher Joey Bosa, who has yet to play this year because of a bone bruise in his foot. While the Chargers sack monster has been on the shelf, rookie safety Derwin James has been doing his part to stifle opposing quarterbacks. Thus far, James has been outstanding, but he really shined in the Chargers week four win over San Francisco. In this week’s contest, he recorded seven tackles, a sack and two passes defensed to shut down Niners backup C.J. Beathard. James leads the Chargers defense in most meaningful categories thus far this season with twenty-six tackles, six passes defensed, three sacks and an interception. The knock on James coming out of FSU was that he was better in coverage than in run defense, but the Chargers have rounded out his game and used him frequently in safety blitzes, with obvious success. In coverage, he’s shined, displaying great ball instincts and a knack for being exactly where he needs to be to prevent big plays from piling up. Once Bosa returns and the Chargers can pressure opposing quarterbacks consistently, I think we’ll see a Los Angeles team that can contend for a wildcard slot.
Check out previous rookie reports here.
Image Source: USA Today