San Diego Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano will have options with newly drafted corner Jason Verrett.
Working in the slot best suits Verrett's 5'9" frame, but he built his resume at TCU in shutting down the opposing team's best receiver outside the numbers. The college game and the pros, however, are two completely different realms for defensive backs. Adjusting to a game dominated by speed and size may come as a shock to the new Charger.
Verrett will be starting across some of the game's best wideouts, but I believe he has the skill set to hold his own in the NFL—and not just in the slot. One thing that stands out in watching some of the highlights is his ability to beat receivers to the ball. His anticipation and closing speed help him succeed at the position, and those same traits will define his use in San Diego.
Pagano will have the freedom to constantly move Verrett all over the field in different coverages, and making tackles in run support shouldn't be a problem for a player that racked up 68 in 2012 and 39 in 2013 as co-Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Chargers GM Tom Telesco was ecstatic with the pick, as he should be.
GM Tom Telesco: "We’re really, really pleased to get Jason.” pic.twitter.com/FLGjBJiaJm— San Diego Chargers (@chargers) May 9, 2014
I see Verrett competing for a starting job in the secondary, probably as the No. 2 corner alongside Shareece Wright, but his versatility allows him to work in a lot of different spots. Addressing corner in the first round was a priority for San Diego, and this pick couldn't be more spot-on.