Who is Derwin James?
- Derwin James plays safety in the NFL for the Los Angeles Chargers
- He made a Pro Bowl appearance and was 31st in the NFL Top 100 Players list in his rookie year
- Injuries have curtailed his progress but he came back in 2021 with career-high figures
Derwin James is an American football strong safety who plays in the NFL for the Los Angeles Chargers. He was drafted in the 2018 NFL Draft by the Chargers in the first round, as the 17th overall pick.
James was born in Haines City, Florida on 3rd August 1996, and did his high schooling at Haines City High School there. He was rated as a five-star recruit and was ranked as the best safety, and fifth-best overall player in his class by rivals.com. James committed to Florida State University to play his college football for the Seminoles between 2015 and 2017.
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In an industrious freshman year, in 2015, James recorded 91 tackles, 4.5 sacks, four passes defended, two forced fumbles, and 2 fumble recoveries. Prior to his sophomore season, he was ranked as the 3rd best sophomore by Lance Zierlein. However, his sophomore year, 2016, was compromised by a knee injury that required him to go under the knife and miss most of the football season. He ended up playing just 2 games that year.
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In December 2017, James declared for the 2018 NFL Draft and was signed by the Los Angeles Chargers on a 4-year contract worth $12.38 million, fully guaranteed, that included a signing bonus of $7.09 million. He was named as the starting strong safety immediately and made his NFL debut as well as first career start in the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs. On his debut, he made 3 tackles and 2 passes intercepted, and also grabbed his first career sack on star quarterback Patrick Mahomes. James made his first Pro Bowl appearance in his rookie year, and was ranked 31 on the NFL Top 100 players list.
After a promising rookie season, his next two campaigns were curtailed by injury- after he was revealed to have a stress fracture on his right foot that required surgery in 2019, and then a torn meniscus in 2020, once again requiring surgery meant he sat out the entire 2020 season.
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He came back in the 2021 season, making a career-high 118 tackles, 2 sacks, 5 passes defended, and three forced fumbles.