Rams' Needs: Secondary

04/13/2006

In free agency, Corey Chavous was brought in to replace Adam Archuleta at strong safety, and Fakhir Brown was signed to compete for a starting job at cornerback. Nonetheless, the Rams probably need to come out of the draft with two more defensive backs, most likely a safety and a corner.

Besides Chavous, the Rams have only second-year players Oshiomogho Atogwe and Jerome Carter under contract who figure to make the opening-day roster at safety. At the moment, Atogwe is penciled in as the starting free safety opposite Chavous. But the depth chart could change if Texas safety Michael Huff is still available at No. 11 overall.

At cornerback, past starters Jerametrius Butler and Travis Fisher are coming off season-ending injuries. DeJuan Groce is a restricted free agent. The early read on defensive coordinator Jim Haslett is that he likes bigger corners, which could work against Groce. Ron Bartell could be moved to safety, and Dwight Anderson also will compete for a roster spot.

Judging by the guest list for predraft visits, the Rams definitely are looking for secondary help in the draft. The team brought in at least six defensive backs this week: Florida State CB Antonio Cromartie, Virginia Tech S Justin Hamilton, Clemson CB Tye Hill, Huff, Abilene Christian S-CB Danieal Manning, and Fresno State CB Richard Marshall.