II: DB Ahkello Witherspoon
The LA Rams secondary is showing up very well in 2023, and you can thank that resiliency to the addition of veteran defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon. Witherspoon was signed later in the off-season, in late June 2023 to be exact. He was the solution to a problem that the Rams secondary had with size.
Former Rams defensive back Robert Rochelle was added to the Rams roster as the heir apparent to All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey. But Rochelle never delivered to the level of his promise. Noting his lack of progress, and the need for a tall and physical defensive back, the Rams took a shot on Witherspoon on a one-year prove-it contract. So far, Witherspoon has definitely proved himself to be worthy of an extension. In fact, he may be doing too well at proving himself this season.
Witherspoon quietly squelches receivers
One of the problems with a great defensive back in the fact that the spotlight invariably seeks them out to showcase what a great job they are doing. But that spotlight has yet to be trained upon Ahkello Witherspoon, which gives the false impression that the guy is simply doing what is asked of him in this Rams secondary.
Let's start off by illustrating that Ahkello Witherspoon has been targeted 61 times in 11 games. That works out to more than 5.5 passes thrown his way per game, which is a rather high frequency. But he has allowed only 28 receptions of that number, or just 45.9 percent completion rate. He also has two interceptions so far this season. He even has 27 tackles so far this season.
While he is not a shutdown cornerback, he has proven to be the LA Rams one of the most effective defensive back this season, second to only John Johnson III in terms of completion rate. Ultimately, the Rams pass defense has remained resilient all season thanks to Witherspoon's command of the Rams secondary.