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Position battle preview: Second safety spot

A handful of offseason departures have created openings for multiple key roles on both the Rams' offense and their defense that will be closely monitored during Rams Training Camp presented by UNIFY Financial Credit Union. will be previewing the candidates for each ahead of camp. After breaking down those for nickel defensive back and the second EDGE spot, today we examine those vying for the other safety spot alongside Jordan Fuller.

The skinny

John Johnson III was counted on not only as an experienced voice in the Rams' secondary, but also the on-field signal caller for their defense as a whole last year. He was also valuable because of his range and instincts as a reliable tackler.

In March, Johnson parlayed that into a three-year deal with the Browns as an unrestricted free agent, leaving the Rams with a big void to fill next to Fuller.

The candidates (in alphabetical order)

Experience: One season

Notes: As covered in the nickel cornerback overview, whether Burgess plays alongside Fuller depends on whether defensive coordinator Raheem Morris views that position as a hybrid role, and in turn decides to to take advantage of Burgess' versatility, or play him at his listed position instead.

Experience: Rookie

Notes: An undrafted free agent signee out of Pitt, Ford was "hailed as the Panthers' most devastating hitter in at least two decades," according to his school bio. He tallied 45 tackles, three interceptions and three pass breakups while playing and starting at safety the Panthers' first seven games last year, finishing with Second Team All-ACC recognition from the Associated Press.

Experience: Rookie

Notes: An undrafted free agent signee out of Merrimack College, Grant collected 49 total tackles, two pass breakups, one fumble recovery and one interception during his final collegiate season in 2019.

Experience: One season

Notes: Similar to Burgess, Hughes' candidacy for playing alongside Fuller depends on if the Rams view him as a better fit at nickel. Hughes was one of three undrafted free agents to make the Rams' initial 53-man roster for 2020, mainly contributing on special teams while appearing in 12 games and both of Los Angeles' playoff games.

Experience: Three seasons

Notes: Rapp offers the most experience of the group, with starting experience from his 2019 rookie season to lean on. He logged 44 total tackles, three pass breakups, one interception and one forced fumble in nine games last year.

Experience: Two seasons

Notes: The 2019 seventh-round pick has become one of the Rams' most valuable special teams players and has missed only one regular season game over his first two seasons. Scott posted 17 tackles across 15 games last season.

Experience: Rookie

Notes: An undrafted free agent signee out of BYU, Warner notched 29 total tackles, two pass breakups and two interceptions across 12 games in his final collegiate season.

Check out photos of the Los Angeles Rams cornerbacks and safeties ahead of 2021 Rams Training Camp.

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