SAN DIEGO -- In a search for depth as their personnel department puts together the final touches on draft preparation, the Los Angeles Chargers hosted several draft hopefuls this week at their local pro day.
The Chargers did not release a list of players who attended the event. Draft-eligible players can attend a local pro day if they played college football in the team’s metropolitan area or attended high school in that city.
Players who were eligible for or planned to attend Thursday's event included San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey, middle linebacker Calvin Munson and offensive lineman Nico Siragusa, along with University of San Diego cornerback and punt-returner Jamal Agnew.
However, I can confirm that Aztecs cornerback Damontae Kazee was one of the players on hand.
The Chargers got a preview of Kazee’s skill set last month at San Diego State’s pro day, with defensive-backs coach Chris Harris putting him through a positional workout as defensive coordinator Gus Bradley looked on.
Kazee did well and reportedly was just as impressive in his workout at Chargers Park on Thursday.
“It went well,” Kazee said. “Basically it was about can you pay attention and how fluid your hips are.
“I actually learn a lot when I go to these pro days with other teams, with what type of drills they do and what they look for. So it will help me in the long run.”
At 5-foot-10 and 184 pounds, Kazee is not a burner, running a 4.54-second, 40-yard time at the NFL scouting combine. However, he has the ball skills Bradley looks for in a corner.
Kazee finished last season with 65 tackles and seven interceptions, which tied for third in the FBS. He tied for second with eight picks in 2015. Kazee finished his San Diego State career with a school-record 17 interceptions.
Kazee was twice named the Mountain West defensive player of the year. He’s instinctive, and would be effective playing in zone, press or off-man coverage defensively for the Chargers and is a willing tackler in the running game.
One area Kazee acknowledges he needs to work on is not spending too much time with his eyes in the backfield.
“I tell the truth, so I tell them my eye discipline because I played a lot of off coverage, so my eyes would get me in trouble a lot,” Kazee said, when asked what scouts say he needs to improve. “So they already knew.”
Kazee has been projected as a mid-round selection in a deep, talented cornerback class.
“There’s a lot of good ones this year,” Kazee said. “And I see it as I’m not going first round or whatever, but you can pick up a good cornerback in the later rounds.”
Kazee also has experience on special teams. He served as the starting punt returner for the Aztecs in 2015 and also was on the kickoff-coverage unit. Kazee was even the starting long-snapper at Cajon High in San Bernardino, California, at 150 pounds.
“It was fun because in high school nobody blocked the long-snapper," he explained, "so with my speed on the field I could snap the ball, go down and run full-speed and make the tackle."