Safety has been a big weakness for the St. Louis Rams for a couple of years. Although the Rams haven't been linked to any of the top safeties, they did hold a workout with Washington State's Deone Bucannon. Bucannon is an intriguing name, and one that hasn't been mentioned a lot with the Rams, but he could be a good fit if the Rams decide to draft him.
For those wondering about safeties and #Rams, source says Washington State's Deone Bucannon did pay pre-draft visit to St. Louis.— Nick Wagoner (@nwagoner) May 2, 2014
So what makes Bucannon an interesting prospect? Bucannon is 6'1 and 211 lbs, and he had a great combine, he ran a 4.49 40 yard dash, did 19 reps on the bench, and the only drill that he wasn't a top performer on was the 20 yard shuttle.
Now let's see what the tape says about Bucannon (this is my opinion built from watching clips of him).
Positives: He is the physical presence on the field; he will lower the boom and he isn't afraid to do it, no matter how big you are. He will also fight through blocks. He can play the ball when it's in the air and he will usually come down with the interceptions that you would expect him too. Honestly, he's better playing his deep half than I was lead to believe? He will need some work in reading, but there's nothing that I saw that says he couldn't compete for a starting job during the season.
Negatives: Bucannon is a player that isn't afraid to tackle, but he will miss a few. He struggled at times against shifty players, and sometimes took the wrong angle when chasing down a ball carrier. His biggest issue is his hit or miss diving tackling style. Honestly, at his size, you would expect him to lunge less at players. He's not as fast as his forty time would tell you. Regarding his speed - like I said it's good but not 4.49 good - if he's beat on a passing route, he probably won't catch up. Also, covering in the slot isn't his strong suit, but he could be "coached up".
Although the Rams could draft Bucannon, my thoughts are that they would if they can't grab one of the top three safeties in the draft. He's more like current safety T.J. McDonald - who was a rookie last season - although Bucannon would seem to have better ball skills and could be more trustworthy playing deep on third downs.
I asked Bleacher Report writer Matt Bowen, what type of safety would Gregg Williams want? Keep in mind that Bowen breaks down coverages and also played safety under Gregg Williams - he also wrote about Greggs' defense which you can read here.
@T_Bron Type of safety GW wants (physical, aggressive). But can he play in the post? Need a FS to make plays in the middle of field.— Matt Bowen (@MattBowen41) May 4, 2014
The question becomes: Can Bucannon play in the middle of the field? Honestly, I can't accurately answer that question, I don't think he will have a great impact playing there year one. Now, I will say this, the Rams played Craig Dahl, Rodney McLeod, and T.J. McDonald deep middle. It wouldn't be a surprise if the Rams drafted Bucannon and played him there too.
Although the fit might be questionable, with Bucannon being a 2nd-3rd round talent and the St. Louis' need at safety, he could be interesting enough for the Rams to draft him. The Rams have talked about interchangeable safeties, and Bucannon could fit the bill.