Will LA Rams DB Jordan Fuller re-earn a starting role in 2022?
When the 199th selection of the 2020 NFL Draft, the LA Rams selected Jordan Fuller, defensive back, out of Ohio State University. At the time, the late addition to the Rams’ secondary seemed like a wise choice for depth and perhaps a chance for a special team role that would earn him some playing time. At least that was likely the thinking at the time for the LA Rams to make that particular selection at that moment.
But Jordan Fuller? He had other ideas. He was burdened by a descriptive term that is almost fatal for defensive backs. It showed up in nearly each draft profile. That phrase? Slow. Oh, he was not described as the tortoise directly. Rather he was described with phrases like “Heavy legged backpedal”, “unable to match the strides of receivers for any length of time” or ‘lacking necessary speed”.
That was all quickly forgotten when Fuller took advantage of a Taylor Rapp injury to land sizeable chunks of practice with the defensive starters, grew quickly into the role, and has become the team’s starter from that moment forward. He paired up with John Johnson III in 2020 and paired up with Taylor Rapp in 2021. Now here is where the wrinkle comes in.
Can’t forget the playoffs, fella
The LA Rams faced the NFL playoffs with both starting safeties, Fuller and Rapp, injured and unable to play. Fuller had his ankle stepped on in Week 17 and was injured through the playoffs. Rapp landed in the NFL concussion protocol in Week 17 as well and was not cleared to go until the Super Bowl, one month later.
Their replacements: veteran Eric Weddle for Taylor Rapp and Nick Scott for Jordan Fuller, played extremely well throughout the playoffs. So well, in fact, that the difference was noticeable in several plays made on the football field. Nick Scott made two tremendous tackles. One tremendous play-saver against WR A.J. Green knocked an almost certain completion harmlessly out of his hands.
The second play, which I affectionately refer to as “The Hit”, is a tremendous shot that I never get tired of watching. In fact, since embedding it into this article, I’ve indulged and watched it repeatedly.
That blow not only stopped Samuel dead in his tracks, but it knocked him so silly that he was virtually ineffective for the rest of the game. Normally, I’m not inclined to emphasize one play as a momentum changer. But Scott’s laying the boom on Deebo Samual struck three years of frustration from every LA Rams fan into one incredible satisfying blow, and it was enough to make more than one Rams fan stand up and cheer.
And personally, I don’t know who you can possibly bench a guy who delivered so much for the entire LA Rams organization, in one tackle?
So we’ll just put this question out there for now and not really expect an answer. Will LA Rams DB Jordan Fuller re-earn a starting role in 2022? After all, if a player can come off the bench to stop two NFL stars dead in their tracks? If another two-year retired player can join the team cold and just make everything run so smoothly at a time when the Rams needed their best secondary play of the season?
I think it’s the right time to ask.