Up And Comers: Trumaine Johnson

I'm knocking on the door baby - USA TODAY Sports

You don't have to be a 1st rounder to develop in the pros.

When Jeff Fisher came to town, he knew the first thing he had to fix was the defensive back situation. The St. Louis Rams lost a mind-boggling 10 defensive backs to injury. The Rams made three major acquisitions in the defensive backfield: Cortland Finnegan, Janoris Jenkins, and Trumaine Johnson.

Johnson was a surprising rookie corner from Montana for the St. Louis Rams last season. He was drafted last year in the 3rd round to help provide depth. Honestly, there was a lot of discussion about how the Rams would use Johnson, some scouting reports said that he would be a better safety than a corner back, but Jeff Fisher decided early on that Johnson would stay at corner.

More than likely the main reason that Fisher wanted Johnson to stay at corner was because former starter Bradley Fletcher was an injury waiting to happen. Fisher could depend on the current safeties - Craig Dahl and Quintin Mikell - to hold down the fort.


Last season, Johnson had a pretty damn good season for a player who only played 366 snaps. he posted 8 pass deflections, 2 interceptions, and 31 tackles (29 tackles were solo).

Let's let PFF compare two players. Janoris Jenkins finished the season with 982 snaps, -7.9 total overall, and had a -11 pass coverage grade. Johnson finished with a 6.9 total overall, and his pass coverage grade was 4.1. It's important to remember a couple of things. Jenkins played off of receivers a lot and got beaten underneath. He's also a gambler.

Johnson "beat out" (Fisher probably wanted the snaps to go toward the future) Bradley Fletcher during the second half of the season. Johnson's role will be the same as last year, but with the departure of Fletcher he should see his snap count double. He's a bigger corner (6'1) and will be more equip to deal with the bigger receivers. He will be the outside corner when Finnegan plays nickel corner and replace Jenkins if he's hurt.

It's impossible to predict stats, but Johnson should easily be more productive this season, and that could mean bad news for Larry Fitzgerald week one.

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