The Rams made a surprising move in free agency Tuesday, signing perhaps the best free safety available, Philadelphia's Quintin Mikell.
Earlier today, we looked at pessimistic reports of the Rams' salary cap room, and at the Rams' apparent low priority for true free safety play in their recent history with Oshiomogho Atogwe, and pretty confidently predicted that this would be the least likely position to invested in. Clearly I was wrong on that count, and perhaps the reports we saw limiting our spending were wrong as well.
All that aside, what kind of player are the Rams getting? One who excels in all facets of free satefy play, say those who scout the game closely.
The St. Louis Rams' four-year agreement with Philadelphia Eagles safety Quintin Mikell gives them a player they know well. Mikell is strong against the run and an aggressive tackler, according to an Insider report from Scouts Inc.
Mikell excelled in slot and flex coverage, covering tight ends and inside receivers with aplomb all season. He's been one of the game's more underrated defenders over the past couple of years.
Mikell was equally impressive as a run defender and as a cover man, leading our grading in both departments. With most safeties clearly stronger in one area or the other, Mikell stands out as a legit all-around talent.
We know that Spagnuolo prizes physicality and tackling ability in his defensive backfield, areas that Mikell is plenty capable in. But the job requirements of the free safety also require you to be capable as the last line of defense, often matched up against some of the elite talents in the game.
I delved into three Eagles' matchups from last season where Mikell graded particularly well, and plucked three individual plays against three of the best offensive players in the league to demonstrate what he will bring to the Rams' rapidly improving pass defense.