As the NFL Draft looms in the distance, teams are currently taking stock of their current players and evaluating rookies who could serve as possible upgrades. The latest edition to the St. Louis Rams, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams, could change how the team approaches the draft.
As we know, Tim Walton’s defense was passive and loose. Our defense struggled to contain wideouts on the outside, most likely due to the 10 and 15 yard cushions our corners were giving the offense. But that’s all in the past, and we are heading towards a new phase defensively that promises to be much more aggressive than the defense that caused Walton to lose his play calling duties and, ultimately, his job with the Rams.
William’s defense is all about being aggressive and bringing pressure, not only from the front four but also the linebackers, safeties, and even corners. This style of defense plays right into the hands of Cortland Finnegan and he could bounce back and thrive in William’s system.
Now that Trumaine Johnson has solidified himself as a legitimate starter, along with Janoris Jenkins, Finnegan should be able to step back in to his role in the slot and blitz, press cover and just plain cause havoc.
What does this mean for the Rams’ draft plans? Many mock drafts that I’ve seen have us taking a corner with the 13th overall pick in the first round. Some say we may take Darqueze Dennard from Michigan State, while others think Justin Gilbert out of Oklahoma State may be a better fit after his impressive showing at the NFL Combine. If Williams is as good as advertised, and if Finnegan gets back to playing his game – the Rams can forget drafting a corner with their second pick in the first round and focus on more pressing needs such as safety, wide receiver, and the offensive line.