Chargers’ East-West Shrine Bowl Notebook: Day 3 Defensive Backs Standouts

Recapping Day 3 of the East-West Shrine Bowl.

LAS VEGAS – The third day of practice from the East-West Shrine Bowl featured constant rain all throughout the on-field portion. Nonetheless, players still completed individual drills, one-on-ones and team period for 90 minutes per team.

After evaluating the pass catchers and defensive line group the first two days, I shifted focus to the defensive backs.

Here are the defensive backs that separated themselves on Day 3:

Louisville CB Kei’Trel Clark

Kei’Trel Clark started strong with an interception during one-on-one drills that set the tone for the rest of his day. As things moved into team period, Clark showcased other ways he can be disruptive, particularly the way he diagnosed a screen pass, blowing up the play for a 2-yard loss. He also tipped a ball in coverage that resulted in a teammate coming down with an interception.

At 5’10” and 179 pounds, Clark projects more as a nickel defender than he does playing along the boundary, but has has lined up at both positions throughout the week.

Coastal Carolina CB Lance Boykin

Lance Boykin is a cornerback with great size, and he uses it to his advantage. Boykin has been one of the most physical defensive backs at the event this week, playing through contact at the catch point that has led to him racking up pass breakups.

Boykin could have issues in the NFL keeping up with speed receivers. He projects more as a safety or someone to cover tight ends. At 6’2″ and 202 pounds, with pure physicality and ball-tracking skills, Boykin looks poised to cover the big-body pass catchers at the next level.

Florida S Trey Dean

Trey Dean put together a very productive day, intercepting two passes during team period with one being a pick-six. His length and change or direction skills gave pass catchers fits on Day 3, keeping the coverage tight on a regular occurrence.

Dean projects as a chess piece type of player, who’s athleticism will allow him to be utilized in a multitude of ways. While most of his flash plays came from his efforts in defending the pass, he showed encouraging signs as a run defender when making plays closer to the line of scrimmage.

Why defensive back could be a position the Chargers target in the draft

Cornerback: Bryce Callahan, who patrolled the starting nickel cornerback position, is a pending free agent. With the Chargers up against the salary cap, they could be forced to pivot towards a new starting cornerback to command the middle part of the field. Sixth-round pick from a year ago, Ja’Sir Taylor, could step into the role. He played 188 defensive snaps as a rookie, including three starts, but still has room for improvement before taking on an enhanced workload. Perhaps Asante Samuel Jr. could kick in to the interior alignment with J.C. Jackson expected to return from his season-ending knee injury and Michael Davis serving a starting role after a productive 2022 season. However, it’s unclear if the Chargers want to change Samuel’s role yet again.Safety: Nasir Adderley, a starter in 15 of the 16 games he played, is set to become a free agent. Adderley’s time with the Chargers featured some highs and lows, struggling to put things together on a consistent basis. As the team could move on from his contributions, they would need a new starter alongside Derwin James on the back-end. Alohi Gilman enters the final year of his rookie contract, but he’s never consistently occupied a starting role in the NFL, and third-round pick JT Woods played just 31 defensive snaps as a rookie. The Chargers look poised to add a safety if they don’t bring back Adderley.

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Read more from Charger Report:

Chargers Hire Kellen Moore as Offensive Coordinator Following Departure From CowboysChargers’ East-West Shrine Bowl Notebook: Day 2 Defensive Lineman StandoutsChargers QB Justin Herbert Undergoes Left Shoulder Surgery, Expected to be Cleared For Offseason ProgramChargers’ East-West Shrine Bowl Notebook: Day 1 Wide Receiver StandoutsChargers: East-West Shrine Bowl Preview

Nick Cothrel is the publisher of Charger Report. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickCothrel for more Chargers coverage.

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