Undoubtedly, the St. Louis Rams' search for safety help will rest heavily on players they can find in the 2013 NFL Draft. This happens to be a solid group of safeties, with some real talent at the top of the draft that could make an instant impact for the Rams this season and well beyond.
The safeties got their turn on the field on Tuesday. Let's take a look at the results.
Kenny Vaccaro, Texas
Vaccaro turned in a slower 40 time of 4.63 seconds. It really doesn't matter. He's not in the same stratosphere as the last Longhorn safety to get picked high in the first round, Seattle's Earl Thomas, but Vaccaro can play a little football.
He does weigh 214 pounds, and did fine for himself in the other drills, showing off the kind of athleticism that Texas used to match him up against Tavon Austin last season. The tape says all you need to know about Vaccaro. He blitzes, plays the run, works in coverage and has seen more than a few of the new fangled offenses dotting the college landscape. He's still a first-round pick, and might be there at No. 22.
Eric Reid, LSU
The Tigers safety posted a 4.53 40 time on Tuesday, among the fastest times at his position. Reid hovers in the margins between the first and second round of the draft. He does put out a walloping hit on defenders, but has coverage questions. His best fit in St. Louis might be a strong safety replacement along side a more agile deep safety.
Matt Elam, Florida
The NFL comparable on Elam's prospect information page: Quintin Mikell. Well how do you like that? One big difference is that Elam wouldn't command $9 million against the cap this year, which is kind of significant.
He clocked an unofficial 40 time of 4.46, but that didn't count. Here's what Mayock said about him:
"He will not tackle you, he will knock you out."
His violent approach to the game might be a nice addition to the Rams secondary.
Shamarko Thomas, Syracuse
Officially, he ran an impressive 4.42. Unofficially, he ran a 4.38 40. Factually, he fell on his face at the end of it.
High comedy aside, Thomas happens to be a pretty good football player. He topped out at his position in the drills, and even bested the cornerbacks in a few of them.