Day 2 of NFL Combine marked by Rams favored DBs going down to injuries

NFL Combine, Nate Wiggins, LA Rams
NFL Combine, Nate Wiggins, LA Rams / Stacy Revere/GettyImages
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While I failed to name safety prospects in any previous articles, I can quickly remedy the matter by focusing on a few who should be on the team's radar now. The team is projected to lose both starting safeties John Johnson III and Jordan Fuller to the 2024 NFL Free Agency market, JJIII for the second time in four seasons. While there are reports that the team wants to re-sign them, and has a role for both, history is simply not on the side of any extensions happening.

After the 2022 NFL season, the team willingly allowed both safety Taylor Rapp and Nick Scott to sign with other teams uncontested. Even if the Rams put more effort into extensions this season, I am not convinced that either Johnson or Fuller will be back.

That means that the team will be under pressure to select at least one safety who is capable of earning playing time in the 2024 NFL Draft. So who might fit that set of conditions?


Defensive backs - Safeties

Here are some names of players who appear to fit the culture of the team:

  • Day 1 - Tyler Nubin, S, Minnesota
  • Day 2 - Jaden Hicks, S, Washington State
  • Day 3 - Cole Bishop, S, Utah

So did any earn high marks in the 40 yard dash?

Minnesota safety Tyler Nubin is considered by many to be the top or among the top safeties in the 2024 draft class, and for good reason. Standing 6-foot-1 and weighing 199 pounds, Nubin is a solid presence in any team's secondary. He can do it all: Run support, press/man pass coverage, and zone pass coverage. His football IQ is not only off the charts, he is an excellent communicator and is active in ensuring that his teammates are in the correct position to make plays. While not blessed with blazing speed, the Rams have been willing to focus on safeties whose football swiftness is greater than a player's track speed. I love this young man's potential. Projected: Round 2

Washington State safety Jaden Hicks embodies the fierce tough competitor that fans love to see from a defensive back. Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 211 pounds, Hicks is a player who loves to be physical, loves to work hard, and continuously gives off a love of football that even fans in the nose-bleed section of the stands can see. Hick is a big defensive back who is surprisingly effective in pass coverage. He is not fully fluent in all aspects of a safety role, as he needs to refine some coverage techniques as well as tackling skills. But he is a player who absolutely loves the game. Projected: Round 3

Utah safety Cole Bishop is a name that I have seen discussed by fans as a solid option for the team's secondary. He has been described as both a free safety and a strong safety, depending on the draft scout. But he is a solid 6-foot-2 206-pound defensive back who is not shy about stating that he is the best safety in this draft class at covering tight ends, and he may be correct.

He credits his tight-end coverage skills to training and competing against former tight end teammate Dalton Kincaid, a player who the Rams were rumored to have targeted in the 2023 NFL Draft, but failed in their attempts to trade up.

Bishop's stock is rising rapidly, as he has a solid body of work that was only amplified by his outstanding combine numbers. He may not be elite at any single safety role yet, but he does have an excellent foundation at all areas. The expectation is that he is an NFL-starter caliber safety who will only get better with playing time and experience. Projection: Round 4