Training camp is quickly approaching and we are almost done breaking down every position, only a few more to go. On this edition of position breakdown, I am going to breakdown the cornerback position which is one area the Rams drastically improved in in 2012.
One of the big pick ups in the 2012 offseason was that of Cortand Finnegan. Finnegan was one of the players that followed Jeff Fisher from Tennessee to St. Louis and did it ever pay off. Finnegan stared the 2012 season well recording all three of his interceptions and his only touchdown in the first three games of the season. Finnegan did however give up a lot of passes thrown his way, a staggering 73% to be exact. Finnegan did however limit the yards after catch stat though. Finnegan plays like exactly what the Rams defense is all about, a bend but dont break player. Finnegan brings attitude and leadership to the defense as well. My standout moment for Finnegan was during the Redskins game when he forced Josh Morgan into a personal foul penalty basically winning the game for the Rams. If Finnegan can ignore his age and play like he can, Finnegan can still be a shut down corner.
Jenkins tied for the most interception returns for touchdowns last season with three Charles Tillman. Jenkins’ three interception returns for touchdowns are tied for the most in NFL history for a player in his rookie season, along with Hall of Famers Ronnie Lott in 1981 and Lem Barney in 1967. Jenkins also returned a fumble for a touchdown in his rookie season, giving him four total touchdowns. The Rams gambled on Jenkins and it sure payed off. Jenkins showed the ability that he can be a playmaker on defense and a future number one cornerback for the team. Jenkins did struggle in a few areas such as covering the underneath ball and taking a lot of risks. Jenkins also gave up 10.8 yards per pass, but if Jenkins can work on his discipline this offseason he will be a solid number two for now. Jenkins definitely has a bright future ahead of him.
Johnson had a pretty good rookie season for a guy out of the University of Montana. Johnson recorded two intercpetions last season and overall had a good rookie campaign. Look for Johnson to have a more expanded role as the nickleback this season. If Johnson can be a solid number three guy, the Rams could have one of the better secondaries in the NFL.
The Rams also drafted Brandon McGee who will be used mostly as a depth player that will make most of his contributions on special teams. I think the Rams are really going to miss the Bradley Fletcher. It is understandable however that they wouldnt want to pay him a lot of money to be a third or fourth guy on the depth chart. The Seahawks and 49ers may have added some arsenal to their passing games, but by the looks of it, the Rams will be ready for whatever comes their way.