LA Rams: We aren’t surprised so many surprised by Terrell Burgess Day 1

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Terrell Bugess
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams entered the 2020 NFL Draft with their eye set on adding a viable safety prospect. The team knew that veteran Eric Weddle had opted to retire. The contract of returning from IR veteran John Johnson III would expire in 2021. And rookie Taylor Rapp flashed brilliance, but also flashed struggles, in his first NFL season.

The Rams could not miss at safety, not at all. The team needed to nail that role because salary cap money was tightening up quickly and the safety position is incredibly difficult to project from college to the pros. The Rams needed to get one player ready to step in for nickel or dime packages that same year. Okay, here’s where it gets good. Very good.

The LA Rams wanted to be certain that they had addressed the safety position adequately. So with the 104th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Rams selected safety Terrell Burgess from the University of Utah (Draft grade -6.28).  Later in the draft, with the 199th pick, the Rams selected safety Jordan Fuller from Ohio State University (Draft grade – 5.62). At the time, it merely seemed as though the LA Rams were being extra cautious about the safety position.

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But then, a funny thing happened in the condensed training camp. Projected starter Taylor Rapp injured his leg, and that opened the door to the Rams rookies to compete for a starting role. Surprisingly, it was Jordan Fuller who emerged not just as an emergency starter, but as a fully functional NFL-caliber starting defensive back.  He put up solid numbers in 2020, and his performance was very promising for an even better season in 2021.