LA Rams may have no choice but to keep these 6 rising D stars

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Roster J.R. Reed
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive back

The LA Rams are tireless when it comes to adding talent, and the manner in which the team added defensive back J.R. Reed. It was after teams had set their 53-man roster, and their 16-man practice squad that the LA Rams found former Georgia safety J.R. Reed waived from the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Rams signed the 6-foot-1 195-pound defensive back to their practice squad in a September 10, 2020, transaction that few paid much attention to. After all, the Rams had Terrell Burgess, Jordan Fuller, and Taylor Rapp as young defensive backs who were making headlines at the time. Few worried about bolstering the practice squad, or about a player who seemed to have little chance of making an NFL impact. That’s why it’s sometimes just best to sit back and admire the handiwork of the LA Rams personnel office.

Reed was promoted to the active roster in November 2020, where he remained for the final seven games of the 2020 season. He ended up playing exclusively on special teams coverage units but did get two tackles on 106 snaps. That all led to his getting a taste of NFL football, and getting much better for his sophomore season. He is a very intriguing player, someone who can play nickel inside linebacker, or who can remain deep as part of the Cover-3 staple that defensive coordinator Raheem Morris loves to put on the field.

In just two preseason games, Reed has put up nine tackles, three deflected passes, and one interception. He has even earned top marks for the LA Rams defense in the first preseason game from Pro Football Focus. For a defensive back competing for a safety spot, those are huge numbers. Will it be enough to get him a spot on the team’s 53-man roster? Well, if he doesn’t land a spot with the LA Rams, he most certainly will with some NFL team.

And to think, it all began because the Rams signed him to the practice squad a year ago.