In a wild first round of this year’s NFL draft that seemed to have as many trades as actual picks, the San Diego Chargers were one of the few teams to wait patiently for their number to be called before picking a player.
That player turned out to be, as many people suspected, the best cornerback left after three others were taken in the previous 24 picks.
The newest Charger is the 5-foot-9 Jason Verrett, a tough (but undersized) speedster who’s had a fantastic college football career. Should you be excited? Well, yes and no.
First, the bad news. Cornerbacks this short typically don’t have long careers as starters, and will usually end up playing nickel cornerback. However, teams don’t spend first-round draft picks on getting a good nickel cornerback, and that certainly isn’t the goal of Chargers’ general manager Tom Telesco with this pick.
Are there short cornerbacks who succeed as starters in the NFL? Absolutely. They’re just few and far between when compared to their taller peers, because the level of difficulty is ramped up when you’re giving up five or more inches to every guy you’re trying to defend. This is one of the big reasons Verrett was viewed as the fourth best cornerback in the draft instead of first.
Another reason Verrett was available when the Chargers were drafting? Injuries. Verrett isn’t afraid to throw his body around, even when going up against larger competition, which sometimes ends badly for him. He tore his labrum early in the 2013 season and played through it for the rest of the year, which showed great toughness but also suggested he might be dinged up often in the NFL where the players hit harder and the play is much faster.
Support Independent Journalism Today
The game the other night that they broadcast from field level was like a Padres infomercial, mixed in with Mark Grant being really annoying yelling at the players in the on-deck circle. You're better than that, Mark.
There you go again, firing Buddy Black because the players they give him can’t hit or stay healthy. Did I miss some announcement by the team that if he doesn’t finish above .500 he’s toast? Give it a rest.
The only solace I take is that (if you believe the sabermetricians), the Friars are hitting SO badly that they've got to regress to the mean at some point and start hitting.
No, he's not. His sole responsibility is to shill for the Padres so Engberg can seem objective in comparison,
@David Cohen --Actually, he is, but he does need to reign it in quite a bit. Also, the other night, Enberg was right up there with Grant pushing the infomercial, I mean, game broadcast.