Post Trade LA Rams mock draft reloads defense for 2023
With the 177nd pick
The LA Rams select Quindell Johnson, safety, out of Memphis. With the likely loss of both starting safeties Taylor Rapp and Nick Scott, the Rams will need to add depth to the back of the defense at a minimum. And the 6-foot-1 206-pound Quindell Johnson is a player who fits the LA Rams need for a back end play maker.
The Rams will love Johnson's ability to defend the pass. He can see the plays develop in front of him, and does a great job of recognizing receiver routes well enough to be where the football will be when it arrives from the quarterbacks hands. He can even start close to the line of scrimmage and still provide adequate pass defense. He does not need to allow huge buffers.
What Johnson shines at in pass defense, he tarnishes at shedding blocker and turning plays inwards to his pursuing teammates. He could probably stand to add an additional 5-10 pounds of muscle, if only to withstand the physicality of the position at the NFL level. But he has more to work on then just Huking out. Johnson has gotten bad marks for slipping off tackles, a pattern that will almost certainly draw immediate and passionate coaching commentary.
He can create turnovers, and he can defend passes. But he has been beaten deep, which should not happen to a safety. Of course, these are tendencies that need to be corrected, but the fact is that any rookie prospect hearing his name called out on Day 3 will have a punch list of areas to improve or fix in order to earn playing time in the NFL.