Chargers Draft Prospectus XX

Speed. What makes it so special that teams talk about it leading up to the Draft? <br><br> San Diego Chargers Head Coach Marty Schottenheimer made it a point of emphasis when he said, "We have to get more speed on our defensive football team because speed is your margin of error in this football business."

An interesting take. Dissecting that response, Marty Schottenheimer infers that with speed you can overcome some mistakes, with speed errors in judgment can be quickly smoothed over; speed is the great equalizer in the NFL where pure athletes are everywhere.

Makes sense. Speed allows you to play a different type of game. Think Tampa Bay and the new model for defenses employing the cover-deuce scheme. NY Jets Terry Bradway said the same thing during his pre-draft press conference and coincidently they use the cover-2 as well.

A week later Schottenheimer said he saw more defensive backs at the NFL Combine than he expected, which is a plus when looking for speed.

So why not draft one of the fastest man on defense, a track star, and cousin of San Diego Chargers cornerback Quentin Jammer. Kevin Garrett of SMU ran a blistering 4.33 at the combines while showing seamless cover skills and explosiveness in every facet of the game.

Garnett was a four-year starter at cornerback who was regarded as the best pass defender in the Western Athletic Conference. A fine cover man who is very good in run support, he started all 42 games that he played in his collegiate career. The fastest player on the team, he made 265 tackles (181 solos) with eleven stops behind the line of scrimmage, seven interceptions, 36 pass deflections, four forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and six blocked kicks during his time with the Mustangs.

Kevin Garrett
Southern Methodist University
Ht: 5-9 Wt: 194
Arm: 33"
Hand: 9 1/4"
40 Times: 4.33/4.39
Vertical Jump: 35"
Broad Jump: 10' 8.5"
Bench press (high): 300 pounds
Short Shuttle: 3.96
Three cone Drill: 6.90

"Technically sound cover corner with a good feel for the position. Fluid back pedaling off the line, smooth in his hips and loses nothing in transition. Affords tight coverage, runs downfield with opponents and has quarterbacks looking in the opposite direction. Reads the play, knows where the opponent is on the field and displays a nice move on the ball. Good athlete with explosive closing and recovery speed." Tony Pauline-TFY Draft Preview

Garrett has good body structure and it is surprising he is not stronger than he is. Shows smoothness and balance as he stays low in his backpedal, solid in his plant and drive to the ball, taking no false steps.

He has the recovery burst and deep speed to stay tight on the receivers, takes proper angles to the ball and shows excellent acceleration through long pursuit. He plays with aggression, toughness and confidence in man coverage, keeping his feet while showing good body control to shadow the receiver. Garrett gets into his zone drop area quickly and shows suddenness breaking on the ball.

Garrett plays with awareness, keeping good track of the ball in flight and catches the ball cleanly and with arms properly extended. He is quick to react and read the plays in run force, showing a good use of hands to ward off the low blocks while maintaining balance. He is not afraid of contact and stays low in his pads to wrap and secure in his tackles.

SMU head coach Phil Bennett said, "He is a great kid and a hard worker."

Garrett must dedicate himself in the weight room, as he gets overpowered by the larger blockers and with his lack of size posing problems against the larger receivers, he will need the extra upper and lower body strength. He is a good character type, but needs to be motivated to perform.

The Chargers seeking speed on defense have looked his way. The Bolts sent scouts and coaches to watch Garrett perform at his Pro Day after coach Schottenheimer got a good feel for him at the combines. With a bigger corner in Quentin Jammer on one side they feel they can sacrifice some height for a playmaker and cousins have to have some sort of feel for each other on the field, don't they?

Denis Savage can be reached at or via the following link: Denis Savage

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