Rams Roster: Fast 40+ Rams roster roundup: S Quindell Johnson (#27)

Quindell Johnson Memphis
Quindell Johnson Memphis / Joe Murphy/GettyImages

In one of our LA Rams mock drafts, the one after trading away Jalen Ramsey, we projected the LA Rams to select Memphis safety Quindell Johnson in Round 5 of the 2023 NFL Draft with the 177th overall pick. That clearly did not happen. Instead, the Rams selected BYU wide receiver Puka Nacua with the 177th overall pick. But aren't we discussing Memphis safety, Quindell Johnson? We are, indeed.

For whatever reason, a lack of NFL teams in need of a promising defensive back or an abundance of talent at that position, Quindell Johnson never heard his name called out in the 2023 NFL Draft. That's just fine, because he signed with the LA Rams anyways.

A quick summary

We've had our eye on Memphis defensive back Quindell Johnson for some time. He already looks the part at 6-foot-1 and 206 pounds, and he has a solid reputation for doing the things that need to be done to succeed at the back end of an NFL defense. He has the size to expect durability, and he has some solid college production that should translate into the NFL.

What I don't like about this signing

It's never a good thing to be so certain as to never ask questions. We envisioned Johnson as a value-added addition in Round 5, but 32 NFL team personnel departments thought otherwise. What am I missing? Was the field so competitive that other players simply satiated the demand for safety help long before Quindell Johnson rose on their draft board? Or is there something a bit more subtle and flawed with his NFL projection?

Johnson needs a bit more bulk, and must learn to shed blockers. That will not happen instantly.

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What I like about this signing

I like defensive backs who can defend the pass, and that is something that Quindell Johnson can do effectively. How well will that hold up to NFL caliber receivers? We will never know that answer to that question until we see him on the football field competing against NFL caliber receivers.

Johnson was a solid collegiate contributor, putting up 226 tackles, 15.5 tackles for a loss, 1.0 quarterback sack, 10 interceptions, 24 passes defensed, three fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles. If the defense made a play, Quindell Johnson was usually involved.

What I love about this signing

Quindell Johnson is one of those players who seems to compete better in pads on the football field than he ought to. He is simply a natural at making plays on the football, and his ability to generate turnovers could be a huge asset for a Rams defense that seems to be hopelessly bending this season.

Johnson does not walk on water, and he will undoubtedly be subject to plenty of rookie mistakes in his first NFL season when he sees action. But DB Coach Aubrey Pleasant loves to coach an aggressive mindset in his players, and that type of message will resonate loud and long with a player of Quindell Johnson's caliber. If he can impress Coach Pleasant, he can succeed in the NFL.

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What are his chances of making the roster?

The LA Rams need defensive backs, as even the players who make the initial 53-man roster are no guarantees to play effectively. And the Rams will want to have plenty of readily-available options to call up in case of poor play or injury. For that reason, I would be very surprised if Quindell Johnson does not at least make the Rams practice squad.