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Early 2020 position outlook: Safety

After examining the Rams' offense, defense and special teams following the 2020 NFL Draft, will take a deeper look at each position group as we get closer to the upcoming season. The series concludes with the safeties.

Who's back

Jake Gervase: Signed as an undrafted free agent last year, Gervase spent the majority of the season on the practice squad but did see action in a couple games.

John Johnson III: Suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in the Rams' Week 6 loss to the 49ers, but still managed to have 50 total tackles, two pass breakups and two interceptions last year prior to the setback.

Taylor Rapp: Took over for Johnson after his injury and started the remaining 10 games alongside safety Eric Weddle, producing 100 total tackles and a pair of interceptions.

Nick Scott: The 2019 seventh-round pick primarily contributed on special teams as a rookie, tallying eight tackles.

Who's gone

Marqui Christian: The former 2016 fifth-round pick became an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year after his rookie contract expired. He reportedly agreed to a deal with the New York Jets that later fell through, so he remains a free agent.

Eric Weddle: Retired in February.

Who's new

Terrell Burgess: Chosen with the Rams' third-round compensatory selection this year, Burgess was named honorable mention all-conference by Pac-12 coaches after he collected 81 tackles, 7.5 for loss, one interception and five pass breakups while starting in 14 games in 2019. Burgess' 81 tackles led Utah's defensive backfield and were third-most on the team.

Jordan Fuller: The sixth-round pick out of Ohio State produced 62 tackles, two interceptions and four pass breakups in 14 starts en route to first team All-Big Ten honors in 2019.

JuJu Hughes: Undrafted free agent signee out of Fresno State whose 80 tackles as a senior marked a single-season career best and third-most on the team. Hughes was a two-time All-Mountain West honorable mention selection (2017, 2019) and second-team All-Mountain West selection (2018) during his four-year college career.

Key question(s)

What does a Johnson-Rapp safety tandem look like? Johnson said this spring their skillsets complement each other well and that Rapp is more versatile than people think.

How, if at all, do the responsibilities of the safeties change in Brandon Staley's defense? While Staley indicated there wouldn't be wholesale changes to the Rams' defense, he has also said how much he values versatility in the secondary – specifically, the ability for defensive backs to play at the front end or the back end.