Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Joyner Gives Rams Defense Flexibility, Tenacity


As the 44th pick inched closer, Rams GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher eyed their prospect board. One name written on a small piece of paper in permanent marker stood out above the rest: Lamarcus Joyner CB, Florida State. Just a few picks before the Rams brass were slotted to pick, their man was still available. Snead didn’t rest on his laurels though, as both he and Fisher believed the Eagles or Giants would pick Joyner before the Rams picked at number 44 overall. Snead got on the phone and worked out a trade with Buffalo, catapulting them to number 41 – ahead of Philadelphia and New York.

Once in position, the Rams did not hesitate when calling in their pick. The physical cornerback-safety hybrid should give a bit of a spark to the secondary, while also providing defensive coordinator Gregg Williams versatility in coverage and blitz packages. In the post-draft press conference, Fisher said Joyner will step in and play nickel corner, where he believes the Florida State product will thrive. While with the ‘Noles, he played both safety positions, cornerback and also nickel corner. In fact, Joyner started 27 straight games at safety before moving to corner as a senior.

No matter the position, the 5-foot-8-inch spark plug brings effort and physicality. Joyner isn’t particularly fast (4.55 40-yd dash) or strong (14 bench reps) but he plays fast and is an adept blitzer. As a senior he recorded 5.5 sacks for Florida State, which was most among NCAA defensive backs in 2013. From what we know about Williams and his defensive schemes, he loves to bring pressure from the secondary, something that the Rams had mixed success with the past two seasons with Cortland Finnegan. Joyner can be a joker in Williams’ defense, lining up at safety or in the slot with potential to attack the quarterback on any given play.

Joyner was a leader for the ‘Noles, and his attitude, toughness and ability to always be around the ball will surely make him a favorite among the coaching staff and his teammates. He joins Trumaine Johnson and Janoris Jenkins in a secondary group that is very young and talented. Pair that with a defensive line that will consistently get pressure on the quarterback and force hurried throws, and Joyner, along with the rest of the secondary will be in put in great positions to make plays.

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Tags: Lamarcus Joyner St. Louis Rams

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