The Los Angeles Chargers reportedly locked up a future cornerstone of their defense Friday.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Chargers and safety Derwin James agreed to terms on a four-year, $12.4 million rookie deal with a $7.1 million signing bonus after the team selected the former Florida State standout at No. 17 overall in April's draft.
James was widely considered a top-flight talent in this year's class—he checked in as the 11th-best player on Matt Miller's final big board—but he slid on draft day.
That proved to be a blessing for the Chargers, who jumped at the opportunity to select one of college football's most polished prospects. In three years with the Seminoles, James flashed his potential by racking up 186 tackles, including 15.0 for loss, 5.5 sacks, three interceptions and 15 pass breakups.
"This guy, he has the skill set where he can do multiple things. There's a lot of versatility. We can use him as a linebacker. We can use him as a strong safety, a free safety. We can rush him off the edge. He's a good tackler in space and an outstanding coverage guy," head coach Anthony Lynn said, according to Hayley Elwood of the team's official website. "This is a run-hit safety right here. And he's one of the better tacklers in space that I saw on tape."
Like all rookies, James will face an adjustment period upon arrival.
But thanks to his starting experience at FSU and an ability to contribute from a variety of angles, he looks like a natural Week 1 replacement for Tre Boston—who played a team-high 99.3 percent of the team's defensive snaps last season.