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Rams Thinking About Trumaine Johnson As A Safety?

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May 11, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Nick Johnson (14) runs as cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) defends during mini camp at ContinuityX Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE
May 11, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Nick Johnson (14) runs as cornerback Trumaine Johnson (22) defends during mini camp at ContinuityX Training Center. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

Last season, anyone who could play cornerback had a standing invitation to sign with the St. Louis Rams, as injuries wiped out an already suspect depth chart. Safeties, meanwhile, stayed healthy. Fast forward to today when the Rams are suddenly flush with talent, though not necessarily experience, in the secondary. The depth is forcing some thinking outside the box, and one move being talked about is moving rookie Trumaine Johnson to safety.

Pro Football Weekly says there is some thinking inside the brain trust at Rams Park about moving the big, phyiscal Johnson to safety. It's just speculation right now.

We hear there continues to be speculation that the very physical Johnson could be moved to safety.

Johnson measures 6-foot-2, 205 pounds. He is large for a cornerback, playing for a head coach with a history of preferences for smaller, feistier corners. His skill set actually applies well to playing safety, especially since his backpedal and turn-and-run look would offer some early limitations in man coverage.

Size aside, Johnson does well in zone coverage, reading the ball and the plays in front of him. That allows him to break on a ball, setting up the opportunity for a pick. You can see some of those skills in the video below, though I will caution you with the usual caveat that this is a highlight video.

The Rams have a pretty good setup at safety right now, with veteran Quintin Mikell and a young Darian Stewart. However, moving Johnson to safety would give them a true centerfield type safety beyond just Stewart, who struggles with tackling as it is.

Another tidbit from the PFW post, Jerome Murphy has been bumped down the depth chart to the sixth spot, behind even Josh Gordy. That order will change in training camp, so keep an eye on the cornerback battles.