3 shocking LA Rams players who could be traded in the off-season

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Roster Jalen Ramsey
Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports /

Shut down cornerback

Now don’t get me wrong. I personally believe that DB Jalen Ramsey is one of the best defensive backs in the NFL. But the challenge is that his teammates are egregiously taking him for granted in the Rams’ secondary right now. His presence in the secondary allows some players who hold the title of a defensive back to abandon any semblance of pass coverage and play almost exclusively run support.

In this pass defense of Seattle Seahawks WR DK Metcalf, Jalen Ramsey provides textbook coverage, remaining on the outside, jamming the receiver, and turning him toward the middle of the field where the defense is strongest. The problem?  Neither safety makes any break to the football. Rams DB Taylor Rapp freezes, biting on play-action. Nick Scott, who is playing dep coverage on the opposite side of the football field, arrives too late to be involved in the play.

That play was not an isolated incident. The Rams’ secondary is addicted to the incredible play of Jalen Ramsey, and that is accelerating the defense’s bad play.

Rams DBs are addicted to Ramsey’s proficiency

The trouble is, the Rams are trying to teach their young defensive backs how to play the game, but even the young newcomers are getting into the incredibly bad habit of waiting for Jalen Ramsey to make the play on almost any ball thrown in his vicinity. Based on the statistics from pro-football reference.com, Jalen Ramsey finds his receiver getting targeted more and more frequently.  The reason is simple. Where Ramsey used to deny nearly half of the passes thrown from ever getting to their target, he is only stopping one out of every three passes from getting to the intended receiver. And his five touchdowns are the most scores he has allowed in a season, with five games to go.

Is Ramsey still worth a first-round pick to a contender? I think so, absolutely yes. In my estimation, the guy is worth multiple picks in any trade scenario, including at least one first-round draft pick.  But the Rams’ secondary is not the same without Darious Williams this season and the Rams need to stop fooling themselves by depending almost entirely upon Ramsey to save them from themselves. Trading Ramsey away will clear cap space, and yield draft picks.

But it’s time for the Rams’ defense to rip the bandage off their coverage which is slowly weeping and getting worse, and commit to finding and rebuilding a young secondary once more. And in doing so, allow Ramsey to end up on a defense where his secondary teammates play football, not just run support.