For safeties, the 2011 NFL Draft is remarkable for its lack of remarkable talent at the position. UCLA's Rahim Moore is considered the top safety, but few draft watchers give him a first round grade. Middle and late round safeties offer the draft's best hope for teams in need of a safety, like the St. Louis Rams.
To date, the Rams have shown some interest in a couple of those mid-round safeties this year. They have a pre-draft visit with Temple S Jaiquawn Jarrett and a private workout with Boise State S Jeron Johnson. (Reminder: you can keep up with the Rams draft interests via the TST tracker).
Wes Bunting over at the National Football Post has a look at a handful of mid-round safety prospects. These players, in Bunting's eyes, offer very real potential to be starters on safety-hungry teams and legitimate NFL contributors. I'll let you read the full list, but I will point out that one player he mentions is Jarrett.
Here's Bunting on Jarrett:
Jarrett's a guy I've liked on tape for a long time as well. He's a smooth, coordinated defensive back who doesn't waste a ton of motion when asked to change directions and gets up to speed quickly....Jarrett really improved his overall feel in zone coverage this year, doing a better job recognizing routes develop around him and also looked more physical as a tackler when attacking downhill. He isn't an elite athlete like Culliver by any stretch, playing more like a 4.55 guy on tape. However, I certainly think there is enough upside and overall growth potential to his game to at least make a roster in year one and fight for playing time down the line, with the possibility of earning a starting job in years 3/4.
That's a very positive report. And given the success Rams' coaches have had with defensive backs through their personal histories (remember, Spagnuolo was defensive backs coach in Philly for a long time), these are exactly the kinds of players they can turn into contributors.
The downside to a pick like this is that it probably still leaves the Rams needing a more immediate answer for the departed Oshiomogho Atogwe.