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Chargers Position Group Preview: Safeties

With Nasir Adderley’s impromptu retirement, the Chargers have a hole to fill with their second safety. Although having All-Pro safety Derwin James on their roster, he can’t be everywhere at once meaning someone else will need to step up. Alohi Gilman is primed to fill this vacancy, but who else should be looked at as we get into summer camp? 


Game Highlights: Alohi Gilman Puts on Hit-Stick Clinic with Ball-Jarring PBU on Christian Kirk

Image: Los Angeles Chargers

The Starting Safeties: Derwin James and Alohi Gilman

Not enough can be said about Derwin James. The highest rated safety in the upcoming Madden 24 video game, this is only one testament to how good he is. On the field, James can play high, in the box, cover slot receivers in man, and can blitz from anywhere. In short, he’s a wrecking ball who can disrupt a game at any moment. 

Since being drafted by the Bolts late in the 2020 NFL Draft, Alohi Gilman has been a combination of being very good and unreliable. He’s a fine player, but sometimes gets so caught up on what’s in front of him that he forgets what’s going on behind him. Thankfully for Gilman, he should have a lengthy leash given the drop off from him to the backups. Still, it’d be wise for him not to take his starting role for granted. 


Mark Webb Jr.

Image: Los Angeles Chargers

The Backup Safeties: Mark Webb Jr. and JT Woods

When I say the drop off from the starters to the backups is large, I wasn’t kidding. Mark Webb was an underrated player on a stout Georgia defense a few years ago, but has struggled to stay healthy throughout his young NFL career. Even when he is healthy, he hasn’t nearly been able to replicate his successes as a Georgia Bulldog. One thing is for sure, he’ll need to step it up this year if he wants to remain a backup. 

As for JT Woods, his tackling woes continued to hurt him last year. Known his draft year for his tackling inconsistencies, he hasn’t shown any improvement in that area. Along with this, he was another player, who battled injury at times throughout last year. Nevertheless, his speed is something that could give him a longer leash than his fellow backup Mark Webb. 


AJ Finley - Football - Ole Miss Athletics

Image: Ole Miss Athletics

An Undrafted Free Agent: AJ Finley 

A UDFA out of Ole Miss, AJ Finley is one to keep an eye on this summer. He’s lengthy at 6’2” and has the potential to play high, in the box, or in the slot. In coverage, he comes out of his break fast and is disruptive at the catchpoint. He does need to improve his technique, thankfully he has Derwin James to learn from. 


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