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Analysis: Five players to watch on the Rams defense as training camp opens

Players officially reported to Rams Training Camp presented by UNIFY Financial Credit Union earlier this week. As they gear up for a return to the practice field later next month, takes a look at five of them to watch on defense.

Note: Choices and analysis reflect the author's alone and do not represent the views of the Rams coaching staff.

1) John Johnson III – Safety

Johnson said this spring that last year's season-ending shoulder injury had fully healed. Now healthy, training camp will be the first glimpse of what a Johnson and Taylor Rapp safety tandem will provide Brandon Staley's defense.

2) A'Shawn Robinson – Defensive tackle

The new addition to the Rams defensive line joins an already-talented and deep group and should provide value to the Rams' run defense. His 91.3 grade in that category in 2018 was the sixth-highest awarded to an interior defensive lineman by Pro Football Focus that season. Training camp will be the first opportunity to see that in action.

3) Leonard Floyd – Outside linebacker

Besides Robinson, Floyd was the other major free agency signing this offseason excluding returnees. When on-field work begins, Floyd will be reunited with Staley – who was his outside linebackers coach with the Bears in 2017 and 2018.

4) David Long Jr. – Cornerback

Injuries at the cornerback position afforded him more playing time late in the season, seeing 26 snaps against the 49ers in Week 16 and 52 against the Cardinals in Week 17. He should be one of the candidates competing for the No. 3 cornerback spot.

5) Travin Howard – Inside linebacker

After missing his rookie season due to injury, Howard made 19 total tackles and three pass breakups while playing in all 16 games in 2019. Like other candidates for the open competition at inside linebacker, he's a player to keep an eye on.

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