Chargers Draft Analysis: CB DeJuan Tribble

Jaime Cattano proceeds with her five-part series examining the Bolts' draft picks. San Diego picked up DeJaun Tribble in round six, marking its second cornerback selection after tabbing Antoine Cason five rounds earlier. Tribble will compete with Cletis Gordon and Steve Gregory for the right to be active on game days.

Who He Is

The Chargers grabbed DeJuan Tribble (5'9", 190 pounds) of Boston College with their fourth selection in the draft. Tribble was named to the All-ACC second team as a junior and senior.

Tribble finished his senior year registering 35 tackles (31 solos). He caused a fumble, knocked down eight passes and intercepted four others for 42 yards in returns. Tribble gained 43 yards on eight punt returns and he also posted five special-team tackles.

Tribble left his mark during his career with the Eagles. He totaled 15 pass interceptions in his career, ranking third in the school history. He registered 170 tackles (143 solos) and deflected 22 passes. He returned three interceptions for touchdowns, a number that tied the Eagles' all-time record. He added to his success by returning 55 punts for 521 yards (9.7-yard average).

What's To Like

Tribble is a solid mass of muscle with an unyielding upper body and thick, powerful legs. He displays natural field instincts and shows the hands of a receiver, able to easily pluck the ball out of the air and make tough catches outside his frame.

Tribble sustains steady concentration that aids his ability to track the ball in the air. He takes smart angles to make up for his lack of speed, has a knack for reading the quarterback and shows elite timing when breaking for the ball.

His solid balance and stellar field vision give him fluidity to mirror his opponent. He makes smooth transitions in his change of direction and slickly, yet rapidly, adjusts his body to redirect his angles.

Tribble shows no fear in dishing out big hits and he has a determination to make plays. He is a physical open-field tackler and a powerful hitter.


CB DeJuan Tribble
Grant Halverson/Getty

What's Not To Like

Tribble's 5'9" stature is shorter than the ideal NFL frame and he is equipped with small hands to match. Luckily, he has learned how to compensate for these deficiencies, but the real test will be how he continues to compensate at the next level.

Tribble held a starting role at cornerback his senior year with the Eagles but was forced to miss the last three games of the season due a sprained MCL. As scouts estimated him having a 4.40 40-yard dash prior to his senior year, Tribble posted a disappointing 4.59 at the Combine. With his current production, Tribble lacks the second gear and explosive speed needed to recover when beaten.

Tribble struggles in man coverage and tends to get too confident. He allows an excessive cushion between him and his opponent, which will prove quite costly against the Randy Mosses of the world.

Tribble relies heavily on his natural athletic ability and must focus more on his technique. Because he lacks height, he needs to improve his timing when fighting for jump balls because it will prove to be difficult for him to compete with tall receivers. Once Tribble has the ball, he needs to focus on properly securing it before he runs.

Tribble must also show more patience because he seems to get reckless on his quest for the ball. While this aggression is desirable, he neglects his main coverage task because his burly craving to make plays can override his discipline.

Who The Bolts Passed Up

Many people expected the Chargers to draft an offensive tackle earlier than round seven and this could have been the spot to do it. King Dunlap, who played college ball with Marcus McNeill at Auburn, was on the board here and could have been an excellent pick.

The Chargers showed interest in Dunlap leading up to the draft, meeting with him at the Senior Bowl and the Combine before attending his Pro Day. Instead, the team decided to wait until round seven to draft a tackle. Dunlap was picked up by the Philadelphia Eagles four picks before the Chargers tabbed Corey Clark.

Looking Forward

While the Bolts lost free agent Drayton Florence, they added to the depth in the secondary by picking up Antoine Cason in round one. With starting cornerbacks Antonio Cromartie and Quentin Jammer already in place, the Bolts can never have a bench too warm. With the addition of Tribble, the Chargers have injected competition and injury protection to one of the game's most important positions.


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