Last Thursday the St. Louis Rams introduced – oh, I mean re-introduced – Gregg Williams as defensive coordinator. And I love the idea of Jeff Fisher being reunited with Williams. It makes perfect sense to me.
Williams was the person intended to run this defense in the first place. Bountygate or not, Gregg Williams is one of the best defensive coordinators of our generation. At every stop during Williams’ career, he has produced a top five defense.
Will he produce another top five defense in St. Louis? It depends on what the Rams do during free agency or through the draft.
So before readers start playing fantasy GM, remember the Rams are $3.7 million under the salary cap. That puts an even bigger emphasis on the NFL draft this year. This year’s draft will be deep with players at all positions. Let me throw a couple of names at you.
Darqueze Dennard (5’11” 197 lb., Michigan State). He is a hard-hitting cornerback with that pick six ability who can change a quarterback’s mind with his coverage skills. If there is a knock on him it’s that he sometimes doesn’t look back for the ball. And with the way the Rams have been penalized as of late, he’s a pass interference waiting to happen.
Bradley Roby (5’11” 192 lb. Ohio State) – He is a very physical cornerback who hits like a strong safety and has very good speed. Roby was ranked fifth on CBS.com for corners in its mock draft.
Kyle Fuller (6’0” 190 lb., Virginia Tech) – He is the most disruptive cornerback in the draft. He plays like he has the wingspan of a big cornerback like Brian Dawkins did with the Philadelphia Eagles a few years ago. He likes to get dirty and is not afraid to tackle and get physical, if need be.
Khalil Mack (6’3”, 248 lb., Buffalo) – He is by far the best linebacker in the draft. In several mock drafts, I see him going to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with the 7th pick. He got the attention of everyone in the country with his performance against Ohio State. Even though he played in a 3-4 defense in college, he has the skill to play in a 4-3 scheme in the NFL.
Ryan Shanzier (6’2”, 230 lb., Ohio State) – He is the second best linebacker in the draft and would be a perfect fit with a Gregg Williams as a defensive coordinator. Everything Shanzier hits explodes. He plays angry and would complement Alec Ogletree exceptionally well.
Telvin Smith (6’3”, 218 lb., Florida State) – He can be very explosive. He’s not afraid to take on an offensive lineman. He is a very intelligent player, but the Rams already have someone with a similar build in Ray-Ray Armstrong.
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