One of the St. Louis Rams' biggest needs is at the safety position. The Rams are solid at strong safety with T.J. McDonald, but at free safety, the Rams are very thin. They could decide to play Rodney McLeod there, but he's more suited for a reserve role. So could the Rams decide to sign a free agent safety, someone like Malcolm Jenkins?
Malcolm Jenkins hasn't been re-signed by the New Orleans Saints yet, and it appears the 26-year old will be heading to free agency. There's a link between Jenkins and the Rams; he played for current Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams for three years, from 2009 to 2011.
Now, don't let me lead you guys on; Jenkins isn't one of the best safeties available in free agency. But he would be an upgrade over what the Rams currently have. He could also play some nickel if the Rams needed. Jenkins finished the season with two forced fumbles, two interceptions and six pass deflections, to go with 68 tackles.
Here are some grades that Canal Street Chronicles (our Saints SBNation site) writer Andrew Juge, gave Jenkins in the last couple of games.
B+ (2.73) He took a horrible angle on one Cam Newton scamper but otherwise he played well. He had a big hit on a quarterback sweep that dropped Newton for a loss and sent him airborne. Overall he was a very sound tackler and saved a couple first down runs from being massive gains as the last time of defense with his sure tackling. He was also good in coverage and had 9 tackles.
Vs. Eagles in the Wildcard
Malcolm Jenkins: C+ (2.33) He quietly had 3 tackles and made little impact on the game.
Vs. The Rams
D- (2.56) He had 4 tackles, including a shoe string tackle of Stacy early that was nice because it saved a touchdown. That saves him from the F, though, because otherwise this was a Spagnuolo era type game from Jenkins. He had two personal foul penalties, meaning he gained 30 yards for the Rams' offense all on his own, he missed tackles, he took horrific angles on the ball carrier numerous times and he was poor in coverage. Disaster game from him.
Why should the Rams sign Jenkins? He could be had on a friendly deal, for one thing. The Rams can still draft a safety in the NFL Draft in May to improve the talent level at the position and have a player to develop behind Jenkins. This would be one of those stop gap veterans who will help the young safeties learn more, start for the Rams and be an upgrade over what they have.