I think it's safe to assume that the St. Louis Rams are looking for help in their secondary in the 2011 NFL Draft. They have scheduled or have had private visits and workouts with two safety prospects, that we know of. In addition to private time with those two prospects, staff has had private conversations with other safeties and cornerbacks throughout the parade of prospect all-star games and the Combine.
Louisville CB Johnny Patrick had a formal interview with the Rams at the Combine this year, one of 13 teams he talked to in Indianapolis. Last year, he had 5 INTs with the Cardinals and was an All-Big East selection. You can read his scouting report here. It sounds like he knows how to cover the field, and can play most of the field. MtD has his as their sixth rated CB in this draft class.
With a cornerback pick in rounds two or three, an interesting situation could be shaping up for the Rams. Obviously, they'd be smart to have a replacement in-house for Ron Bartell who struggled with injuries but was still outstanding last year. Bartell is also a free agent after the 2012 season.
Where does Jerome Murphy fit into their plans? Ideally, he'd be the third CB, and a starter in waiting, behind Bradley Fletcher and Bartell. Beyond those three, they have Justin King and Marquis Johnson. King played in the nickel role some last year, and Johnson, a seventh-round pick from Alabama last year, spent the season on the practice squad. King was re-signed by the Rams before the lockout. They definitely need to add a corner to the roster.
And then there's the safety question? Even if they believe some combination of Craig Dahl, James Butler and Darian Stewart can replace Atogwe, they still need some depth. Before the lockout, there was some expectation that they would make a move in free agency. That still might happen. Something has to. They have needs in the secondary and not enough draft picks to fill them.