LA Rams safeties Rapp plus Johnson equals better 2020 defense

(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /
1 of 4
LA Rams Taylor Rapp
GLENDALE, ARIZONA – DECEMBER 01: Taylor Rapp #24 of the Los Angeles Rams scores a touchdown after intercepting a pass by Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals during the second half at State Farm Stadium on December 01, 2019 in Glendale, Arizona. Rams won 34-7. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images) /

LA Rams safeties Taylor Rapp and John Johnson III shared the lead on Rams defense with 2 interceptions each. With more playing time in 2020, look for both to be huge contributors for the 2020 defense

The LA Rams defense has plenty of stars. Defensive standouts like DT Aaron Donald, CB Jalen Ramsey, ILB Cory Littleton, DE Michael Brockers, OLB Dante Fowler Jr, and OLB Clay Matthews, and even CB Marcus Peters before being traded. So many stars played for the Rams defense in 2019. Despite the presence of marquis defensive stars, it was the Rams little known safeties who shared the lead for interceptions- Taylor Rapp and John Johnson III each had two picks for the team in 2019.

The most curious part of that fact?  Johnson only played six games before falling to injury, and Rapp played a bit role before taking over at strong safety for Johnson. Johnson is a solid safety standout, while Rapp was a rookie who flashed star potential.  But can the defense work with both covering the backend of the field?

Most certainly yes!  It’s no secret that the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, and now even the Arizona Cardinals, lean heavily upon the running game. Additionally, NFL offenses feature tight ends in the passing game more each year.  Since wide receivers typically command the attention of cornerbacks, it falls upon the safeties to defend tight ends on passing routes.  The Seattle Seahawks TE Will Dissley, San Francisco TE George Kittle, and Arizona Cardinals TE Charles Clay all had measured success against the Rams in 2019.

An ability to defend tight ends would be an improvement for the Rams defensively for 2020. Add defending the run and you’ve got the makings of a Top Five defense for 2020