The Los Angeles Rams had themselves a successful 2020 NFL Draft as they were able to address almost all their positions of need despite not having a first-round pick.
The Rams managed to replace Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks with Cam Akers and Van Jefferson, respectfully, while also finding a potential replacement for Dante Fowler Jr. in Terrell Lewis. Los Angeles also had a glaring hole at the nickel cornerback position but seemingly solved it by taking Utah safety Terrell Burgess late in the third round.
Burgess recounted the moment he was drafted by the Rams and admitted he was overwhelmed with emotion due to his excitement to be playing close to home, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“Honestly, I didn’t really get a chance to get everybody’s reaction, I was crying so much,” Burgess said. “But, I know that my mom’s really excited that I get to stay home. My two sisters still live here in San Diego. My brother lives out of state, but I’m sure he’ll come back home every time I have a home game to come watch the game. They’re definitely very excited that they can just drive up and see me.”
Burgess also revealed that former Rams safety Eric Weddle, who also went to Utah, helped him through the draft process and serves as a mentor to him:
“I think the biggest thing that (Weddle) said was just be patient and understand that everything’s on God’s plan of what happens,” Burgess said. “Take it day-by-day and try not stress about it because everything happens for a reason and this is crazy. I think the biggest thing from him is, it’s nice to have somebody that went to my school, went on to the league, is kind of from Southern California and be able to be kind of a mentor for me. So, it feels great.”
The defensive back only had one season as a full-time starter in Utah, but he made the most of his opportunity by recording 81 tackles, five passes defensed and one interception. However, his versatility was likely the main selling point for the Rams as he is able to play both safety and at slot cornerback, a much-needed boost to the secondary.
Los Angeles will walk into the 2020 NFL season with John Johnson III and Taylor Rapp as the starting safeties, but Burgess should see snaps almost immediately given his skillset. His discipline and ability to diagnose plays will be useful for new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley and should help him earn more playing time during the regular season.