Any expectations that anyone has regarding the LA Rams secondary is the religious experience right now. That is, it's more faith-based than evidence-based, The LA Rams secondary has virtually no similarities to the group of defensive backs who helped this team win Super Bowl LVI. For that matter, this team has no similarity to the secondary that struggled en route to a 5-12 record in 2022.
A young squad? That's an understatement, folks. Outside of defensive back Jordan Fuller, who has been plagued with injuries in his short NFL career, the Rams are counting on rookies and young rotational players to form a secondary that is greater as a whole than sum of its parts. Realistically, to pull that off, the Rams need instant chemistry, continuity, and communication.
A quick summary
While the LA Rams may not have selected many defensive backs during the 2023 NFL Draft, they certainly did sign an abundance of defensive backs to the roster after the draft. One particularly promising cornerback is the signing of Rhode Island CB Jordan Jones. He is a 5-foot-10 and 186-pound ball-hawking defensive back who brings the type of low-risk high-reward to the Rams roster that you love to see with an undrafted collegiate free agent.
What I don't like about this signing
While there is plenty of potential, promise, and upside to rookie prospect Jordan Jones, I fear that his situation is not ideally suited on the LA Rams crowded and quite competitive KinderCare secondary training camp. In short, the Rams have 16 defensive backs who are entering their second or fewer years in the NFL. That's a huge number of players who need that extra bit of coaching and work to unlock their optimal performance for the LA Rams this year.
Do the Rams have enough coaching staff and time to truly get the most out of Jordan Jones? I don't know the answer, but I do know that he has work to do. That can be said of anyone who is not drafted, yes. But the Rams are really crowded with raw defensive backs this year.
What I like about this signing
Ball hawking defensive back.
That's it. That is what I like about this young man. We can talk about the track and field stuff all day, but until we get to the topic of how well does the defensive back play the pass, we are just talking about shorts and tee shirts, aren't we? Jim Fixx could run all day. Bruce Jenner could run and jump and throw. Neither athlete had a snowball's chance in hell of earning a spot on an NFL team's roster. But Jordan Jones does.
While not blessed with height, weight, or strength, he has managed to deliver a lot of production on the football field. And that is something I always like to see on the Rams roster.
What I love about this signing
I love the fact that Jordan Jones was projected to be a Day 3 drafted prospect, but fell to the LA Rams after the draft. That and the fact that he was called out as a 2023 NFL Draft sleeper. So he impressed more than just the LA Rams scouting department. And why not? This is a young many who showed up time and time again on the football field, delivering momentum-changing impact plays for the Rhode Island Rams:
I'm not usually one who gets swept up in the hoopla and buzz over a rookie, particularly one who did not hear his name called out in the NFL Draft. But in the case of Jordan Jones, I'll make an exception. This is a young man who accounted for 8 interceptions and 28 passes defended over his final two NCAA seasons.
Best of all, he remains cool in heated competition. A veteran's mindset in the body of a rookie is always dangerous.
What are his chances of making the roster?
In a push comes to shove type of competition, as long as he can survive the no-pads portion of team workouts, I think he has a great chance of at least making the LA Rams practice squad. The Rams may lean to more experienced defensive backs to make up the initial 53-man roster. But if he shows up large and in charge in preseason games, can make a positive impact on special teams, and impress DB coach Aubrey Pleasant with agressive play? Well, he could surprise everyone.
The key is that the LA Rams roster hold the 53 best players. And if Jordan Jones competes at his optimal level, there are not 53 better players on the Rams roster.