There have been some nice NFL safes who began their careers on the nook and made the transition to security mid-career. Charles Woodson, Devin McCourty, Ronnie Lott and Rod Woodson made the transition. Older Rams followers bear in mind school quarterback Nolan Cromwell, who collected three All-Professional docks, 4 Professional Bowls, and Defensive Participant of the 12 months awards as an LA security. These are the massive names, in fact, however many lesser-known names over time have demonstrated the talent and flexibility of performing within the second echelon.
Versatility is vital to taking part in the place, whether or not it is unfastened, robust, overhanging or massive nickel/penny groupings. Safes are usually not restricted to disrupting opposing go assaults, they will need to have the soccer IQ to acknowledge formations and developments and make changes earlier than sudden actions. Even one thing so simple as a ahead assault on operating assist should be executed with precision to fill the suitable gaps and angles.
Options that present good safety? Processing, masking expertise and physicality
I am certain there are some nicely thought out explanations on the web, however that is my article, so I am going to construct the narrative and attempt to be transient, staying with the three key options.
As a closing word on soccer IQ/movie analysis, pace reading-and-reacting is a talent shared by all defensive studs. As soon as the motion crosses the scrimmage line, pace is elevated to attain right angles and/or play the ball. A momentary delay in recognition and response could make all of the distinction if you need to learn the quarterback, diagnose the receivers course, or cost downhill to cease a operating again who’s breaking management.
I’ve mentioned previously that I want the Rams had safeties with higher protection expertise, and that is why I am an advocate for transferring into deeper protection roles on later corners. Being stable in man protection and having hand/eye coordination even in a dominant zone scheme (just like the Rams use) is a big plus. Huge receivers now lead breakers/units and offenses. Even because the NFL strikes into extra umbrella zones, the very best defenses confuse and conceal their scope. Being able to change between all variable individuals/area prospects is high notch.
Physicality does not essentially imply being an aggressive punch. Whereas massive crunchies are identified to excite and energize each spectators and gamers, the principles are set to destroy them. Do not get me fallacious, I believe the depth chart ought to have an enforcer for subpackages, however after I say bodily, it is extra about their pace, size and agility. Once I say pace, I do not imply forty instances, I favor liquid protectors that may cowl the bottom and method the ball whereas the ball is within the air. Lengthy arms are essential, to not point out what number of passing video games are separated by inches, to not point out the flexibility to help with restoration interceptions. Lastly, having agility expertise to remain balanced and soar nicely combines with all of the above attributes to construct ball expertise.
An affect benefit within the second and third rounds can nonetheless be subtracted for the center and submit squad worth, in step with the concept Los Angeles can take an offensive lineman or a nook. It takes some luck to catch stable contributors in these rounds, however there isn’t any motive to not discover some devoted workforce assist and potential subpack candidates.
I discovered six nook gamers with some or the entire security options talked about above, and eventually determined to evaluation three of them. The opposite three, Anthony Johnson-Virginia, Montrae Braswell-Missouri State, and Jartavius Martin-Illinois, ought to enter the draft-free ranks.
Spherical 5 – Riley Moss, Iowa
He is a real midfielder for my part. He isn’t a puncher, extra of a catch and grasp. He appears prepared, however goes for a definitive conclusion quite than an enormous blow like a standard free safety. He manually fights blockers, drives runners in and in the direction of assist, and understands correct positioning whereas serving to to fill operating lanes.
product of moss Feldman’s Freaks Checklist, so it ought to check nicely for pace, agility and explosion. He has a great peak at 1.81 195 lbs and he has that skinny look that makes him look greater than he’s. You may see its fluidity within the film and it appears to have the ability to cowl the sideline easily. He follows the ball very nicely on deep passes and is excellent on tight balls.
Undoubtedly a borderline cornerback in school, he spent most of his time at varied district scopes. If you see him within the film, the scrimmage pad on the offensive line seems to be eerily just like the Rams. It responds nicely to underpasses and has the pace to traverse brief go/drag paths.
I am not very keen on Moss near the scrimmage line, there are too many good cornerers on this draft with higher aggression and equal trench expertise. As a no-development safety, they examine all of the bins besides arm size and look good within the film, as if they do not have alligator stubs. Whereas the Mix check may put him ready to be over-drafted simply effective, I’ve a fourth-round grade on Moss and if the Rams can get him in fifth, I believe it is price sufficient to drag the set off.
Spherical 6 – Chamarri Conner, Virginia Tech
Conner is a seasoned, versatile defender who tasks greatest as a robust safety or as half of a big nickel/penny package deal. He recorded 51 school video games, starting his profession as a border nook, earlier than splitting his time between robust safety, slot nook, and over-hanging safety. Throughout that point, he had 314 tackles, 21 losses, 19 passes and seven.5 sacks.
He wins with aggressive effort and recreation energy. Solidly constructed at 6′ 205 lbs, the Conner has each the braveness to set an edge as hang-safe and the pace to replicate receivers in dock/drag fashions. His recreation is significantly better than going downhill with huge receivers to show and run quite than open his hips. It seems to be prefer it has sufficient lengthy pace to stick with the patrons, however it’s going to want quite a lot of technical enhancements to spend so much of time exterior.
The school tape reveals that Conner has good blast in addition to lengthy pace. He has the facility to shut tough ends and the motion expertise to stick with quick slot patrons. He blitzed very often and was aggressive in closing runs on the sidelines. He is cautious of the place the ball goes, takes good angles and makes use of the proper timing to ship stable hits. An excellent batsman who hits low and thru the runners is extra of a hammer than a nailer.
With Rams, you may immediately assist particular groups, the is Draft Network Reported that Conner has 800 custom team images at Va Tech. A stellar expectation of danger/reward, including each athleticism and stamina, matches the Rams’ historical past of choosing footballers with scorching motors and excessive IQs. He performed primarily within the area go protection system and skilled together with his eyes on the backcourt. Whereas his turning and operating expertise are missing in exterior man protection, his expertise are stable on the backside, and he can reply nicely each sideways and downhill when he is again in Safety 2 or 3.
seventh spherical – Justin Ford, Montana
An emotional, chirpy and aggressive FCS candidate, Ford has come an extended method to 2023. NFL Draft. He is an older contender at 25 for subsequent season. He began at Golden Valley Neighborhood Faculty, signed with Louisville in 2019 and led to redshirting, transferred to Montana and battled the COVID19 shutdown. When he lastly noticed the pitch, Ford responded with two spectacular seasons for the Grizzlies, gathering 74 steals, 28 defensive passes, 11 tackles and 5.5 losses. He was a unanimous FCS All-American choice.
Ultimately week’s Hula Bowl, Ford measured a stable 6′ 190 lbs. With 31” arms and 74” wingspan. He was reported to have spoken to Pittsburgh Steelworkers, Philadelphia Eagles, Chicago Bearsand Buffalo Bills. On the FCS stage, opposing groups typically stayed off the sphere or by inserting the receivers huge to the border, primarily pushing it away from the motion.
Ford lined up primarily within the press, whether or not he was a 1-on-1 man, guarding the plains or patrolling the world on the flank. His twitch and pace permit him to go up and down the sideline at quick huge angles, however his again pedal wants work. He appears to favor the bail approach when going backwards. Ford’s greatest function is to face motion, the place his consciousness, studying and response expertise, and outburst may be developed. He reads the backcourt nicely and is fearless in operating assist and tackling blockers.
I actually like this actress as a junior faculty candidate. Whereas its recreation is dominant, it’s going to fly in opposition to low competitors and underneath the radar. He looks like a star candidate, at the least for particular teamwork, and his ball expertise are at knowledgeable stage. Whereas researching him, there have been studies that he was a film junkie and had an excellent understanding of route bushes. He apparently lives for soccer and his competitiveness will trigger him to do something to play within the NFL. The Rams have air that wants a dose of it.
Why not simply do a “actual” safety sketch?
The pool of nook kicks in 2023 may be very deep. Though it’s totally early within the course of, I’ve over 30 potential purchasers with a qualifying rank and most of them are Spherical 4 or higher. However, underneath the identical parameters, solely about 20 safety and possibly 10-12 is Spherical 4+. If the Rams wish to use their 2nd or third spherical picks within the security place, they’ll undoubtedly catch the very best expertise.
Why not take candidates with plus attributes? Three profile gamers (all six I am contemplating really) have benefits solely as particular workforce gamers, and this function is appropriate with the draft positions lined. If the Rams are to stick with Raheem Morris and allow him to take over the Tampa2 zone, they want defenders with vary and ball expertise.
The primary gamers of 2023, Taylor Rapp and Nick Scott, are each limitless free brokers and really comparable of their type of play, which means higher in opposition to operating quite than passing. Contemplating the idea of the umbrella zone is to maintain every thing forward, the Rams have been typically injured by receivers operating freely from behind the defence, and 61 gave up explosive pass play. It is sensible to fill the listing with plus protection guys.
All three potential candidates, Riley Moss, Chamarri Conner Conner and Justin Ford convey protection expertise, glorious danger/reward worth and positional versatility. Ford performed within the Hula Bowl, and each Moss and Conner have a spot within the Senior Bowl, so Rams followers will not be the one ones who discover them.
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