The Los Angeles Rams took their second safety of the 2019 NFL Draft with Penn State S Nick Scott. At the time, the pick did seem more like drafting a random player. However, there’s more to this pick than some might imagine.
Scott may be a safety, but truthfully, the Rams value his special teams coverage more than anything. That’s not to say that he can’t serve as depth. But should the Rams pursue a special teams coverage specialist in the NFL Draft at all?
Could Scott have been an undrafted free agent?
It’s difficult to determine if Scott would still be available as an undrafted free agent. Some experts saw him going in the sixth or seventh round, while others think he should be a priority free agent. The Rams could have waited, but why wait for prospect and risk the chance of losing out on him? Keep in mind that this is the seventh round. Any prospect here could be a gem or cut before the start of the season. The difference in this situation is the Rams already have a job in mind for Scott.
What are the Rams getting in Scott?
Technically, Scott did play RB, CB and S at Penn State. That’s a ton of versatility there, but Scott will probably focus primarily in the secondary. The Rams have a surplus at RB so it’s doubtful he will contribute there, but he may try doing some kick/punt returns. By drafting Scott, Les Snead put himself in a position to negotiate with Blake Countess’s current contract. Unfortunately, both sides weren’t able to come to terms and Countess is no longer part of the team.
The true purpose of drafting Scott is his excellent special teams coverage. Special teams coach John Fassel did list Scott as one of his favorite targets for special teams of the 2019 NFL Draft. For some, this may come off as insignificant, but contributors to special teams is more crucial than you might imagine. It makes sense too considering Scott is a decent tackler, does have good speed and is a highly regarded leader at Penn State. It’s doubtful that Scott will be the star of the 2019 NFL Draft class, but he may be player the Rams are happy to have.
I believe that Scott may have found the perfect situation by being drafted by the Rams. Honestly, the Rams don’t have a ton of needs and can afford to look for special role players this late in the NFL Draft. It’s a different form of approaching the NFL Draft and I support it. Admittedly, I do believe the Rams could have found him as a priority free agent, but hey, they really like the guy. Overall, I think a B- grade is a fair one. Hopefully, Scott will make a name for himself in more ways than one.