The Chargers defensive backfield will look a lot different than we saw in 2013. With Antoine Cason presumably leaving in free agency, cornerback becomes a need that should be addressed in the draft and, possibly, free agency.
With the Chargers most likely going with offensive line in the first round, the third, fourth, or fifth round pick may be used for a defensive back. Demetrius McCray is a player who may be available at the spots the Chargers would like to take him.
McCray is a corner from Appalachian State University. His size alone makes scouts drool. Standing 6’1” and weighing in at 185, McCray was highly regarded by many as the best FCS corner last season. He may be the first FCS player to be picked in the draft (the two other possibilities are J.J. Wilcox, a safety from Georgia Southern, and Aaron Mellette, a wide receiever from Elon).
McCray was known as a lock down corner at App State, matching up with the best wide receiver that the Mountaineers played each week. He also sealed the win against Montana with an interception (at 4:11 in the video):
McCray’s size makes him an ideal NFL cornerback, with great height and ball-hawking skills. McCray had four interceptions his senior season, and also forced a fumble. McCray also had a SoCon-leading five interceptions his junior year. He is a decent tackler, racking up 55 total last season and good for 6th on App State’s defense last season.
At the combine, McCray ran a 4.54 forty, and a 36 vertical jump. The one possible issue that was found in the combine was upper body strength. In the bench press, he only did 4 reps of 225. For what it’s worth, Tyrann Mathieu only completed four reps as well.
There is also the learning curve from FCS to NFL to worry about. It may take some time to get used to the speed of the game, but McCray has the tools and size to be a staple of any NFL team’s defensive backfield. It might just take the right coach to hone the skills of which he has already proven at the collegiate level.