Bolts Look to Replace Florence via the Draft

With the swell of talent at the NFL Combine, the Chargers pressed the view in search of a cornerback. With the loss of Drayton Florence, the Bolts' secondary has a tear that needs mending. One prospect's amazing speed and clever body positioning were on display in Indy, where the Bolts pulled him aside for a private meeting.

The Chargers drew Zack Bowman of Nebraska aside for some one-on-one time at the Combine. The Bolts departed with confidence in this 6-foot-1, 196-pound prospect's talent and potential.

Bowman ended his senior year with 29 tackles, one interception and six pass break-ups. He had a successful season despite only starting four games, but it was the rocky path leading up to the season that's in question.

In 2005, Bowman concluded a dynamite junior year by recording 14 pass break-ups, two interceptions and 27 tackles. His high hopes of continuing at that stellar pace diminished after he tore his ACL in fall practice before the 2006 season.

Choosing to red-shirt that year, Bowman aimed for a speedy recovery. Back on the field again in March, injury hit him again, this time rupturing his patella tendon in his right knee.

Bowman felt the pressure at the Combine to confirm his fully-recovered status. He opted to let his performance speak for itself. Clocking a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, one of the fastest times at the Combine, was enough to put him back on the map.

The Bolts lost Drayton Florence via free-agency last week to the Jacksonville Jaguars, and now the focus is to replenish the secondary. While starting cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Quentin Jammer have secure spots in the lineup, a new nickel back remains a priority.

Bowman is a high-risk player in terms of his injury history, and his comeback only flaunts his dedication, work ethic and promising potential. His status doesn't hinder a look from the Bolts, a team known to take chances on high-risk players.

Cromartie--the 2007 NFL blue-ribbon holder with 10 interceptions--spent his entire junior year at Florida State sidelined with a knee injury. Instead of heading back to the Seminoles the following year, he entered the NFL draft. The Chargers grabbed this volatile player and haven't looked back since.

If the Bolts take the same chance with this Husker, their multi-year rebuilding project in the secondary may finally be complete.

SD Super Chargers Top Stories