IV: A true shutdown corner
I may be a voice in the desert on this matter, but I truly believe that the team's secondary is the weakest link right now on the defense, and perhaps the most urgent need for the team this offseason. In fact, the need could be so great this offseason that the team may need to address defensive backs multiple time in the 2024 NFL Draft. CB Kool-Aid McKinstry would be one that I can see the team trading up to add to the roster.
Like the 2024 rookie quarterback class, the cornerbacks who are on the draft board are numerous and talented, This class is so talented that even the toast of the Senior Bowl, Toledo CB Quinyon Mitchell, is currently viewed as just the seventh-best defensive back in this draft class. While this article may talk about McKinstry, the Rams may trade up for one of the top defensive backs from this draft class.
What attracted me to Ga’Quincy McKinstry, or "Kool-Aid" to most folks, was the name. Kool-Aid is an incredible name for a defensive back. But, it's his athleticism, he fearlessness, and his physical size, that truly kept me poking around to see if he could be an answer for the team's secondary woes. Then there is the added bonus that he brings to the team in the form of an exemplary punt return book of business that the team is desperately in need of.
This guy is as much of a fit for Rams DB Coach Aubrey Pleasant as rookie NT Kobie Turner was an ideal fit for former Rams DL Coach Eric Henderson. He has the football IQ to call out covererages, understanding the value of communication lines to ensure solid secondary play. He has the ability to play outside corner, but can slide in to cover the slot in the same game. He has amazing ball instincts,
He does not fall apart in the face of adversity or after a bad play. He collects himself and reestablishes solid pass defense. He is quite adept at press coverage, and can stick to his receiver like a shadow, whether on short, intermediate, or deep routes.
He is not perfect. He will need to refine his use of hand in the NFL to avoid penalties. He will also need to improve coverage on elite route runners, as he can stray away from sharp cuts. But if the Rams hope to shut down opposing receivers, Kool-Aid McKinstry needs to be on their shopping list, and the team must be prepared to trade up to get him.