Rams secondary could be among league's best with Kamren Kinchens

There are not many ball-hawking safeties in the NFL. Did the LA Rams land a unicorn in DB Kamren Kinchens? Perhaps, and here is why.
NFL Combine, Kamren Kinchens
NFL Combine, Kamren Kinchens / Stacy Revere/GettyImages

The LA Rams secondary may not be filled with familiar faces just yet. But the changes to the secondary were necessary, and I believe that the changes were a deliberate indication that the team's new Defensive Coordinator Chris Shula was not a fan of a bend-but-don't-break strategy, particularly in the secondary. If the pattern of who the front office targeted this offseason, then the Rams want to get a much larger number of turnovers from this defense in 2024.

And perhaps the key to that pilfering philosophy rests on the shoulders of rookie defensive back Kamren Kinchens. Here's why:

If NFL defenses are the epicenter of creating turnovers, then the fault lines of those defensive interception tremors is shifting from cornerbacks to safeties. Of the top 24 leaders in interceptions in 2023, 10 of them played safety. In 2022, 19 of the top 28 leaders in interceptions played the safety position. But in 2023, the Rams safeties accounted for five interceptions. In 2022, Rams safeties accounted for just four interceptions.

The Rams need more ball-hawking bravado from that safety spot, and Kamren Kinchens oozes cutpurse qualities every time a football leaves the hands of the quarterback.

That is just what this defense needs.

NFL Draft profile. Kamren Kinchens. 51. Kamren Kinchens draft profile. NFL Draft Buzz. Defensive back. Kamren Kinchens. 99. Miami. player

Of course, it won't be that easy to get Kamren Kinchens onto the football field. The roster has a glut of solid defensive backs lined up for the 2024 NFL season. Not only does the team welcome back both Quentin Lake, Jason Taylor II, and Russ Yeast, but the team extended veteran John Johnson III as well as signing FA Kamren Curl. And there are more players competing for playing time.

Kinchens was the only defensive back drafted by the Rams. Will he be enough? The team did add plenty of veteran reinforcements to the secondary.

But nobody on the Rams roster has the chops to play safety and pick off passes quite like Kamren Kinchens can. And in a season with the emphasis on interceptions, that has to count for something.

How impressed are the Rams coaches with Kamren Kinchens? Just read how HC Sean McVay beamed about the only defensive back selected in the 2024 NFL Draft:

"The deep ball range. I think you see the toughness, the range being able to play really sideline to sideline, his (Kamren Kinchens) deep defense feel. You can see at the point of contact there is no flinch. He has got good ball production. There was a lot of appreciation from (Defensive Backs Coach/Pass Game Coordinator) Aubrey (Pleasant), from Coach (Safeties Coach) (Chris) Beak, from (Defensive Coordinator) Chris Shula. (Pro Scout) Matt Waugh did a great job. These are four players that we expect to come in and be big time factors for us and add to the overall roster."

HC Sean McVay

That level of over-the-top praise is tough to bench. Of course, we have training camp, but when the pads go on, does anyone expect Kinchens to wilt under pressure? Kamren Kinchens played football for the University of Miami, and feasted on errant throws from opposing quarterbacks. In his last two college seasons, he put up 11 interceptions that included two pick sixes. He also recorded 59 tackles in each of his final two seasons, as well as forcing two fumbles.

Kinchens is a spider of the secondary. He weaves a deceptive web of baiting the opposing quarterback to sail the football into his range and then pounces for the pickoff.

If Kinchens does not show up in a big way in 2024, the team has plenty of talented players to handle the workload. But if he does showcase his skills in his rookie season, the Rams secondary could be counted among the league's best this season. The Rams have solid pass defenders. But Kinchens brings the potential for picking off passes to an entirely new level.

Thanks for reading.