Free safety, depth at cornerback on list of Rams' draft needs

The NFL draft begins April 28 and the Los Angeles Rams hold five picks. We continue our look at a different position every day to see what the Rams have in place, what they need and when they might address it.

Next on the countdown is a look at this year's crop of defensive backs.

In place: Trumaine Johnson, E.J. Gaines, T.J. McDonald, Maurice Alexander, Coty Sensabaugh, Lamarcus Joyner, Marcus Roberson, Eric Patterson, Troy Hill, Cody Davis, Christian Bryant

What's needed: The Rams suffered big losses in their secondary this offseason as starters at corner and safety -- Janoris Jenkins and Rodney McLeod -- departed for the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, respectively. That leaves big holes at both positions though it could have been worse at corner had the Rams not used the franchise tag to keep Johnson around. The Rams have Gaines ready to return from injury but there's no guarantee he'll be able to return to his rookie-season form. With that in mind, the Rams signed Sensabaugh to add some depth and he'll compete with Gaines for the starting job opposite Johnson. Joyner returns as the nickelback, but coach Jeff Fisher has said he could get a look at free safety, which would allow Sensabaugh or Gaines to move into the slot. Roberson also can figure into the mix on the outside as he enters his third season. Still, the Rams could use another corner or two to provide competition and develop. The more pressing need is at free safety where there's not an obvious replacement for McLeod like there was for Jenkins. Fisher pointed to Alexander as being able to play there and though that would require some schematic creativity from coordinator Gregg Williams, he certainly has proven that he can figure things out if given the right talent. If it's not Alexander, other options include Joyner, Davis and Bryant. With as much as the Rams like to use a single high safety with McDonald in the box, the Rams could use an athletic type who can run the alley and cover the middle of the field.

Verdict: After the Rams take a quarterback at No. 1 overall, they only have four picks remaining and all of them are on the third day. As needs go, you can put receiver and tight end right there with the need at safety, so it would seem most likely that the Rams use those picks to address those needs so long as there are players worthy of being taken in those spots when the Rams come on the clock twice in the fourth and sixth rounds. As for options at free safety, the draft has some intriguing options though guys like Florida State's Jalen Ramsey, Clemson's T.J. Green and Boise State's Darian Thompson will be long gone by the time the Rams draft again. Later-round options include Boston College's Justin Simmons, Ohio State's Tyvis Powell and Miami's Deon Bush. Middle Tennessee's Kevin Byard is another name to file away, though his buzz has increased as the draft nears. As for cornerback, there's plenty of depth in this draft and there should be some good players available to add developmental depth to the mix. It would be a surprise if the Rams didn't come out with at least one safety or cornerback in the draft and add to it with undrafted free agents after it's over.