In this series we take a look at 12 players for the San Diego Chargers who are 25 or younger and who could be considered foundational or impact players.
Player: S Jahleel Addae
The skinny: An undrafted rookie free agent out of Central Michigan in 2013, Addae worked his way up the depth chart, becoming a regular contributor on defense by the end of his rookie season. Addae started two regular-season games and one playoff contest. Used mostly in passing situations as a deep safety, Addae finished the regular season with 38 tackles, a sack and three pass breakups.
Reason for optimism: Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano loves Addae because of his physical style of play. Addae also is an instinctive player who has a nose for the football. And that playmaking ability will only improve with more reps on the field alongside a veteran like Eric Weddle. In his last game of the year, Addae finished with eight combined tackles and a forced fumble in San Diego’s AFC divisional playoff loss at Denver. In his last five games, including the postseason, Addae played an average of 51 snaps a contest – so he’s essentially a starter heading into the 2014 campaign.
Reason for concern: Durability. At 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, Addae has a smaller frame for the hard-hitting type of style in which he plays. So using preventive measures to take care of his body in the offseason and throughout the year will be important for Addae to consistently play at a high level. Addae appears to have the diligence and the motivation required to make that work.