Thursday, April 3, 2014
Scout's take: Chargers' cornerbacks
By Eric D. Williams
This week’s examination of the top positional needs on the San Diego Chargers' roster continues with ESPN NFL insider Matt Williamson taking a closer look at the cornerback group.
Fourth-year pro Shareece Wright emerged as a solid player in his first full season as a starter, but San Diego needs to find the long-term answer at the opposite corner position. Ineffective starter Derek Cox was released during the offseason, and signed a one-year, prove-it deal with Minnesota.
Richard Marshall was solid for most part as Cox’s replacement, and returns to San Diego for the upcoming season as the projected starter on a one-year deal. But Marshall turns 30 in December.
Chargers cornerback depth: Starters -- LCB Marshall, RCB Wright. Reserves -- Brandon Ghee, Crezdon Butler, Marcus Cromartie, Steve Williams, Brandon Jones
What’s your evaluation of San Diego’s talent level at cornerback?
Williamson: “They don’t seem to put a premium at the position because they don’t ask them to mirror guys across the field like Deion Sanders,” Williamson said.
Williamson likes Ghee’s potential, but has concerns with his injury history. Like a lot of San Diego’s positions on defense, Williamson says the Chargers need to improve the overall depth and talent level at cornerback.
“I do think an advanced pass rush certainly would help,” Williamson said. “Dwight Freeney still has something in the tank. And I’m high on Melvin Ingram.
“It is a need. I’m not sure I could come up with six or seven teams that are worse off at corner right now than San Diego.”
What do they need to accomplish this offseason to improve?
Williamson: Perhaps not in the first round, but in the first couple rounds Williamson believes the Chargers need to select a cornerback who can come in and play right away.
He mentions Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller, Ohio State’s Bradley Roby and TCU’s Jason Verrett as cornerback possibilities at the end of the first round.
“I kind of look at the Chargers and think in Round 1, take the best defensive player or receiver, or guard in Round 1,” Williamson said. “Take whoever is your best guy, and do not say ‘We have to take a corner’ there. And fill the other spots pretty quickly.”