It is such a shame that in order for Eric Weddle to have his incredible Super Bowl story with the L.A. Rams, Jordan Fuller had to miss out on the postseason entirely. One of the great day three stories of recent memory, Fuller will return to man his green dotted position in 2022.
Who will be next to him at safety?
2022 L.A. Rams Safeties
Here: Jordan Fuller, Nick Scott, Taylor Rapp, Terrell Burgess, Antoine Brooks, Jake Gervase
Not here: Eric Weddle
Jordan Fuller - 6’2, 203 lbs, born 3/4/1998
Two seasons as starting free safety, two injuries
Contract: 2020 sixth round pick is signed through 2023
Once again the “double down” draft strategy results in the second guy beating out the first and justifying the decision. Of course, Fuller and Burgess are much different as players and Fuller had an easier path maybe to start in year one, but there’s nothing easy about making it in the NFL as a sixth round pick.
Let alone as a starter in your first game and as a veteran leader in year two, calling plays.
Fuller recorded 113 tackles and an interception in 16 games last season, missing nine tackles and allowing two touchdowns. He played in 1,029 snaps (93-percent) and should continue to be a regular starter over the next two seasons after having essentially replaced John Johnson as the leader at safety.
But is Fuller an elite player who changes the game? The Rams don’t need that from him and most importantly, he’s not a liability. That’s where L.A. could struggle at the other safety spot. He needs to stay healthy though. Fuller has missed nine games over his first two seasons, including playoffs.
S Jordan Fuller to miss rest of season with ankle injury.— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 11, 2022
Updates on CB Darious Williams, S Taylor Rapp + more. ⤵️
Taylor Rapp - 6’, 208 lbs, born 12/22/1997
Contract: Will be a free agent in 2023
If I’ve learned anything about Rapp during my time at TST, it’s that most of you don’t say his name for positive reasons. Rapp has even won some player of the week awards, but there are understandable concerns about his ability to cover opposing players.
I saw Taylor rapp proposed to his girlfriend on the field.— Big Game Bengal (@BengalYouTube) February 14, 2022
Probably about the only time he’s ever locked anybody up
I’m not sure I need to be that harsh to Rapp. However, he played in 1,114 snaps last season (96-percent) and I get why fans would like that number to come down in order to bring up a more impactful safety in today’s NFL with the likes of George Kittle and DK Metcalf running at you in the NFC West.
Like the cornerbacks, Rapp had impressive times at the combine in his shuttle and three-cone in 2019.
Terrell Burgess - 5’11, 202 lbs, born 11/12/1998
Contract: A 2020 third round pick, Burgess is signed through 2023
Nobody seems to be quite sure what the hold up has been for Burgess, a versatile prospect out of Utah who was expected to be able to compete at multiple positions right away. But despite needs at nickel and safety, Burgess has only appeared in 139 defensive snaps and it’s not because of injuries.
Burgess ran a 4.46 at the combine with a 122” broad jump. It’s impossible to say if 2022 will be his year. Sometimes we’ve seen that Rams just take a couple years to get their chance to shine—Greg Gaines being a perfect year three example in 2021—and sometimes they don’t.
Nick Scott - 5’11, 201 lbs, born 5/17/1995
Contract: A seventh round pick in 2019, Scott will be a free agent next year
Through it all, Scott has persevered and he did have a year three breakout in 2021. After sticking on special teams for two seasons, Scott played in 413 defensive snaps (36-percent) last year, getting in on some action whether it was with two safeties on the field or three.
This is a Nick Scott appreciation tweet.— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) October 8, 2021
Picked by @nickmscotty pic.twitter.com/k3oY1H81P8
Scott had a 128” broad jump and a 41” vertical leap coming out of Penn State in 2019. He had two picks last year and could be starting next to Fuller, but that doesn’t lessen the likelihood of safety being a need in the draft.
Also: Antoine Brooks, Jake Gervase
Is it a need in the draft? Hell yeah
Rapp and Scott are going into a contract year and the Rams made little effort to retain Johnson in 2021. I can’t imagine effort to keep Rapp or Scott, if only because L.A. has clearly allocated its expenses to other positions.
Some names to look out for: Smoke Monday, Tycen Anderson, Leon O’Neal, and Nick Cross. The Rams might even double down on safety one more time.