Friday, May 9, 2014
Chargers pick Jason Verrett in 1st
By Eric D. Williams
SAN DIEGO -- The pick: Jason Verrett, CB, Texas Christian University.
My take: The San Diego Chargers filled an obvious need by selecting Verrett at No. 25 overall. According to ESPN Stats & Information research, San Diego’s defense allowed 9.1 yards per attempt to wide receivers in 2013, the highest in the league. Verrett adds speed, toughness and play-making ability to a defense that struggled to force turnovers last season. Verrett led FBS with 38 pass breakups since the start of the 2012 season. With the selection of Verrett, the Chargers have drafted five defensive backs in the first round since 2002.
Can Verrett play big? The Chargers bucked the trend established by Seattle of drafting big corners. The Oakland native said his size will not be an issue matching up against the bigger receivers in the NFL. And Chargers general manager Tom Telesco agreed, saying Verrett is not just a slot defender, but can play on the outside as well.
“He played in a big-time conference against a lot of really good receivers and quarterbacks,” Telesco said. “And it was never an issue. He does a lot of things well, but the way he plays -- his positioning, his leverage and his vertical jump -- it really hasn’t been an issue with big receivers.”
What’s next: The Chargers have six picks left in the draft, including No. 57 in the second round and No. 89 in the third round. Telesco and head coach Mike McCoy will reset the draft board on Thursday night in preparation for Friday. Defensive tackle, outside linebacker, receiver and interior offensive line are needs San Diego will attempt to fill over the next two days.