Its quite obvious that the Rams need a safety in the upcoming draft. The Rams have been left with a gaping hole at the safety position with the losses of Craig Dahl and Quintin Mikell, both the starters from last year. As of right Now Darian Stewart and Rodney McLeod would be the starting safeties on day one. If that doesn’t scream for trouble I don’t know what does. Luckily for the Rams there are some nice options in tonight’s draft that include Eric Reid, Matt Elam, Jonathan Cyprien, and Kenny Vaccaro.
The first thing that immediately pops up as a positive for Reid is that he is from the SEC. The SEC is as of now the power conference of college football and has produced a lot of good NFL talent the last couple of years. Reid is an athletic, fast, strong, and physical safety that brings a lot of attitude and leadership to the field. He is an all around defender that can play both the run and the pass. Reid also presents good hands and has the ability to take advantage of poor throws and catch balls away from his body. Reid plays very aggressive and can get caught playing too aggressive at time. He also isn’t a consistent powerful tackler. If the Rams drafted Reid, he would probably still be available at 22 and might last until the second round although it is unlikely we will last until 46.
Like Reid Elam also played in the SEC power conference. Elam plays a lot inside the box or at the line of scrimmage, and plays his best when he is asked to make a play. Elam also has the ability to contribute on special teams. Elam is small which concerns some scouts. Elam can be seen standing around on the field while others make a play and sometimes seems to lack urgency. If the Rams were to draft Elam they could take him at 22 or possibly wait until 46.
Cyprien impressed a lot of scouts at the Senior Bowl this year. Cyprien has the ability to play both man and zone coverage. He is also a physical, fast safety that can close in on stretch run plays or quick passes. Cyprien like Reid brings the attitude element to the field and is a solid tackler being considered the hardest hitting safety in this year’s draft. However, Cyprien can get caught being a step too slow in coverage and can get caught being too aggressive and looking in the backfield. If the Rams were to take Cyprien they could take him at 22 or wait to see of he is available at 46.
Vaccaro is considered by many as the best safety in this year’s draft but has failed to completely separate himself from the other safeties in the class. Vaccaro is a physical safety that has the speed and agility to stick with slot receivers and is a solid tackler. Unlike Cyprien, Vaccaro was used exclusively in man coverage and lacks the speed burst to play in zone. Vaccaro can get caught free lancing while playing zone and also gets caught looking in the backfield on play action.
Any of these safeties would be solid options for the Rams. Reid and Cyprien fit the Ram mold perfectly however. The Rams have a defense with a lot of attitude and are hard hitting. Reid and Cyprien bring a lot of attitude to the field and definitely have the ability to hit and tackle. Both of these players would be an upgrade and would be able to start day one and contribute on the field.