With the Rams running a Tampa 2, or 4-3 defense based mostly out of the nickel package, there are a few things you need.
1. Pass rush ends ... Check (Quinn, Long, Hayes)
2. Run-stuffing interior d line ... almost there (Brockers, Langford, _______)
3. Cover corners ... Check (Finnegan, Jenkins, Johnson) Note: Finnegan plays the slot receiver in nickel.
4. Run stuff SS/ Cover FS ... No Note: Unfortunately, it looks like Mikell is on his way out due to the cap hit. He is the perfect SS fit for the Rams in this defense. Don't be surprised if he is released and we try to resign him for about a $4M cap hit. We desperately need a FS who has some height, can cover, and can play half way decent in run protection.
5. Flexible, quick linebackers ... almost there (Dunbar WS, Laurinaitis M, _______ SS) Note: One thing people take for granted is an athletic playmaker at the strong side. You need someone who can cover a slot, back, or tight end in a base 4-3, while giving you exchangeability in the nickel with only two backers. Preferably someone with size and speed.
DE: Sam Montgomery, "Tank" Williams, Margus Hunt, William Gholston, Corey Lemonier
DT: Jonathan Hankins, Jesse Williams, Sylvester Williams, Brandon Williams, Montori Hughes, Kwame Geathers
CB: Tharold Simon, David Amerson, Micah Hyde
SS: Matt Elam, Robert Lester, Duke Williams
FS: Kenny Vaccarro, Eric Reid, DJ Swearinger, Tony Jefferson, TJ McDonald, Bacarri Rambo, Zeke Motta
LB: Alec Ogletree, Manti Te'o, Arthur Brown, Chase Thomas, Jamie Collins, Kiki Alonso, Kevin Reddick