The answer is no. Dwight Lowery will not replace the production the San Diego Chargers received from Eric Weddle. In his nine-year career in the city, Weddle provided much more than just what he did on the field. He was a great leader and motivator for the team and that is difficult to replace.
It remains to be seen if Lowery can step up and be a leader. He has enough tenure in the league to certainly take on that role. Lowery is a serviceable safety and a decent (not great) option for the team. He signed a three-year deal for $7.2 million dollars on Wednesday and should be at the very least in a battle for one of the safety jobs.
The 30-year-old Lowery was drafted by the New York Jets in the fourth round of the 2008 draft. He has had a decent eight year career and has been described by one scout as a solid but unspectacular safety. Not exactly the best of reports but he has had an eight year career so he must be doing something right.
The scouting reports on Lowery slightly contradict each other. All reports indicate he struggles with coverage but yet he allowed a 57 passer rating last year at safety. In fact he picked off four balls and did not allow an offensive touchdown on his coverage responsibilities last season. The passer rating is excellent and he does have a history of not giving up big plays.
The eight year veteran does have some injury issues that are a bit of a concern. In 2013 Lowery only played in three games for the season after suffering his fourth concussion since joining the league. That is a scary thing. He had multiple concussions in relatively a close period of time, but has been injury free the last two seasons. The Chargers will have to hope his concussion issues do not resurface as the team was decimated last season by head injuries.
Lowery played in all 16 games last season for the Colts. He recorded 76 tackles, one sack and four interceptions. The Colts safety was expected to return to Indianapolis but instead chose to come back to his home state of California. Lowery is a San Jose State graduate and very happy to return back to the west coast.
Last season for the Colts he graded out as the leagues 49th ranked safety out of 88 players. This is according to Pro Football Ranking and they also mention his diminishing pass coverage skills. This could be something to keep and eye on for Chargers management. However the team is invested in Lowery and he will play if healthy.
Replacing Weddle will not be an easy task. Perhaps the team takes a safety in the draft or perhaps they take Jalen Ramsey and attempt to make him into one. The team needs options at the position and I would think the Chargers will bring in at least one more quality veteran to compete at the position. I am skeptical if Lowery can both stay healthy and be productive in the Chargers system. We will see…Stay tuned Chargers fans, the 2016 team is just starting to take shape.