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Is Nasir Adderley Primed for a Breakout Season in 2021?

Nasir Adderley is entering his third season with the Los Angeles Chargers

When the Los Angeles Chargers drafted Nasir Adderley 60th overall in the 2019 NFL Draft, they got a playmaking safety that can play all over the field. Once a corner in his early college days, Adderley moved to safety his junior season at the University of Delaware. The hybrid defensive back recorded 226 tackles and 11 interceptions throughout his college career. Adderley is a former FCS All-American who had one of the craziest college highlight tapes of the 2019 draft class. The Chargers knew that drafting him in the second round would create a dynamic duo with other safety Derwin James. With injuries to both guys (mostly James), they haven’t had the opportunity to play with each other yet.

Chargers to Showcase Versatility of Nasir Adderley

Adderley has the skillset and speed to become a really good safety in the NFL. Although, during his second season in 2020, he struggled when he was the lone free safety in the middle of the field. New Chargers head coach Brandon Staley believes that in his new system Adderley will get the chance to move around and really showcase his versatility. Rather than playing free safety and staying in the same spot all game because of Gus Bradley’s system, we should see Adderley in the slot and maybe even at linebacker, as we’ve seen with James.

This past April, Staley commented on Adderley’s role on the defense.

“He’s our type of safety,” Staley said. “We really think that he’s a smooth athlete. We think he’s going to be a good fit for how we want to play.”

nasir adderley chargers stats
Credit: Stan Szeto/USA TODAY Sports

Is Adderley Primed for a Breakout 2021 Season?

The third-year man should head into camp as the starting free safety, barring any last-minute trades. He’ll get the opportunity to prove himself with a brand new staff and become a vital part of new defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill’s system. The Chargers’ defense will look different than in years past, and that may come as a benefit for Adderley’s role. The Bolts don’t have much depth at the safety position. That should allow for some of the pressure to be taken off and allow Adderley to focus on his game rather than trying to earn reps. Playing alongside James will also spark his game. Those two could really turn into one of the best safety duos in the NFL.

Projected 2021 Nasir Adderley Stats

Adderley finished 2020 with 67 tackles (56 solo), three pass deflections, and one interception that came against the New Orleans Saints.

Adderley’s game is only beginning to mature and will continue to grow if utilized right. He could be in for a breakout season for the Chargers in 2021.

TacklesSoloPass DeflectionsInterceptions
Nasir Adderley’s projected stats for the 2021 season

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