Rams Positional Outlook: Defensive Backs

Posted Feb 15, 2018

The Rams have a number of cornerbacks and safeties who are set to hit the open market once free agency begins in mid-March.

The 2017 Rams won their first NFC West title since 2003 with an 11-5 regular-season record. As Los Angeles’ focus shifts to 2018 and beyond, we’ll take a position-by-position look at how the Rams performed in 2017 and how each group currently stands at the start of the 2018 offseason.


CB | Trumaine Johnson
— Team-leading 14 pass breakups || two interceptions || one forced fumble || one fumble recovery || 70 tackles

CB | Kayvon Webster
— Eight pass breakups || one interception || 43 tackles

S | Lamarcus Joyner
— Tied for team lead with three interceptions || seven pass breakups || one forced fumble || 61 tackles

S | John Johnson III
— Third on the Rams with 91 total tackles || 11 pass breakups || one interception

CB | Nickell Robey-Coleman
— Nine pass breakups || two interceptions || one forced fumble || one fumble recovery || two tackles for loss || 50 tackles

CB | Troy Hill
— Five pass breakups || 18 total tackles

S | Cody Davis
— 25 total tackles || Three pass breakups || one interception || one QB hit

DB | Blake Countess
— One interception || 1.0 sack || 15 total tackles

DB | Isaiah Johnson
— Five total tackles

S | Marqui Christian
— Six total tackles || Four special teams tackles

*Signed to futures contracts: CB Taurean Nixon, CB Marcus Sayles, CB Dominique Hatfield


Trumaine Johnson, Joyner, Robey-Coleman, and Davis are all slated to become unrestricted free agents when the new league year begins in mid-March. Hill is also an exclusive rights free agent.


The Rams’ secondary had a solid year under coordinator Wade Phillips, cornerbacks coach Aubrey Pleasant, and safeties coach Ejiro Evero. As a team, Los Angeles finished tied for sixth with 18 interceptions, 13 of which came courtesy of the club’s defensive backs. Two of the Rams’ DBs also returned interceptions for touchdowns, and the club nearly had a third early on in the season.

The unit often showed it was ready to go early in games, as Trumaine Johnson, Robey-Coleman, Joyner, and Webster each recorded an interception on an opponent’s opening possession. Joyner also forced a fumble in Seattle, to account for five of Los Angeles’ eight opening-possession takeaways.

The Rams had to fight through some injury issues in the secondary, with Trumaine Johnson and John Johnson the only major contributors to play in all 16 regular-season games. Webster suffered a season-ending Achilles injury during the Rams’ Week 13 contest against Philadelphia, and Hill filled in at the starting spot opposite Trumaine Johnson through the rest of the realgar season and playoff game against Atlanta.

At safety, John Johnson started the year behind Maurice Alexander, but the rookie moved into the starting role opposite Joyner in Week 5 after playing much of the second half against Dallas the week before. Joyner also was quite effective in his position switch from slot corner to free safety, receiving a 90.3 “elite” grade from Pro Football Focus for his 2017 performance.

As for the future, however, the Rams have a bevy of key free agents in their secondary. After playing under the franchise tag for consecutive seasons, Trumaine Johnson is likely to become an unrestricted free agent in mid-March. A second-round pick out of FSU in 2014, Joyner is at the end of his rookie contract and is set to become an unrestricted free agent, too. Robey-Coleman and Davis are at the end of their veteran contracts, and are also slated to hit the open market.

With so many key free agents, the organization and players will likely have decisions to make over the next few weeks if the majority of the secondary is to remain in tact on the roster to start the 2018 offseason program. Plus, Webster is still recovering from separate surgeries to repair his Achilles and shoulder.

Given all that, it’s fair to expect Los Angeles could have some movement in the secondary over the next couple of months.