The NFL lockout is ending soon, real soon. And that means teams can get back to the business of preparing for the 2011 NFL season. Just as important, we fans can get back to the business of preparing ourselves for the season. To get back up to speed, TST is kicking off our roster review, taking a look at where the St. Louis Rams stand on the eve of free agency and camp. Earlier today VanRam took a look at the Ram's QB situation, and now I'm going to go over the cornerbacks.
The CB position hasn't been talked about much lately. This is for good reason as it is a pretty solid situation as of right now. More after the jump.
He's now the Rams best DB since OJ left. According to Football Outsiders he had the 4th best success rate of all CBs at 65%. He was also fifth in yards per pass at 5.2. He is one of the most underrated corners, mostly due to the fact that he doesn't get interceptions. He is a great player for the Rams and expect more of the same next year from Bartell.
Also from Football Outsiders, which I recommend you take a look at since they do a great job, Fletcher is the best tackling DB in football. He is a young player on the rise. He is the perfect Spags corner, a tough guy who plays press well. He played very well last season coming off injury. He had 4 picks and 11 pass deflections. He still has a lot to learn, but I'm thinking it won't be long until we see this guy in the Pro Bowl.
Nickels and Dimes/ depth
He's the Rams starting nickel back going into camp. He certainly has the speed you look for. He ran a 4.31 at the combine. He's played okay the last few year and is steadily improving. For more on King listen to the end of Turf Show Radio where 3k, Van and I discussed the Rams nickel back position.
The Rams dime back going into camp. I actually really like this guy's ball skills. From what I've seen he's been solid. He can cover well and has a knack for getting deflections. He played decently in his second stint for the Rams last season. He will have a battle with Jerome Murphy for the dime spot.
Right now he is just a backup, but he has his faith in his own hands. He was a third round pick so he has good talent, but he is a bit raw and at time he can be over-agressive. He played sparingly last season. There's been talk about moving him to safety, but the team has said they won't move him there. He has the potential to be a great press nickel corner and I'm expecting him to win the battle with Butler and maybe even win the nickel spot by the end of the year.
Marquis Johnson and MIkail Baker
One of these guys will make the team to primary play special teams. It's a toss up who wins, but it will be a hell of a battle. The edge might be in Baker's favor as he is faster, a 4.41 forty compared to Johnson's 4.64, as speed is a must have skill for a special teams gunner. The loser could still end up on the practice squad though, or maybe both. You never know with these low round picks.
Tomorrow we have T.Ram looking at Tight Ends and VanRam looking at Running Backs.