The only “splash” new additions for the Los Angeles Rams during the 2023 offseason came outside of the March free agency period.
But of all the newcomers, it’s a safety from the Southeastern Conference realm who earned the title of “Most Exciting” free agent addition post-draft by Bleacher Report on Monday, May 29: Florida’s Rashad Torrence II.
Torrence was ‘All Over the Place’ for Gators
Rare that an SEC defender, let alone a Florida Gator who has starting experience, falls out of the NFL Draft. The 6-foot, 193-pound Torrence, though, had his reasons attached to him.
One was his 40-yard dash time — which was one of the slowest for his position group.
“Rashad Torrence II is a litmus test for how important you think athletic testing is. Torrence ran the second-slowest 40-yard dash (4.72) among all safeties at the combine with teammate Trey Dean III right behind him (4.75),” Alex Ballentine of B/R wrote. “That’s obviously a concern for someone who played the majority of their snaps as a deep safety. According to PFF [Pro Football Focus], he logged 370 deep snaps with another 103 in the slot and 184 in the box.”
Yet, the Rams became convinced to take a flyer on Torrence. Even with that designated slow speed, Torrence found a way to make up for it on the field.
“Despite the lack of speed, Torrance was all over the place with 87 tackles for the Gators last season,” Ballentine said.
There’s also the belief that the safety will grow into his role down the road.
“It’s worth noting that he’s young too. He turned 21 in March and left Florida early. He might need to add weight to his 6’0″, 193 pound frame, but he has some of the makings of a box safety/linebacker hybrid in the league,” Ballentine said.
The All-Pro cornerback often played near the linebackers and was plugged in multiple spots on the field during his time with the Rams. Now, Ramsey is off to the Miami Dolphins which creates open competition for that vacated defensive spot. Could Torrence be up for the taking?
Rams DC Gives Early Update on ‘Star’ Contenders
Defensive coordinator Raheem Morris became one who immediately addressed who could fill for the multiple Pro Bowler Ramsey at the “star” with the L.A. media on Wednesday, May 31.
“It’s hard to even mention Jalen, because like he’s the prototype for every position,” Morris began. “But when you talk about what it is, it’s really the increased toughness. It’s really the short space quickness, and when you put a guy like the (DB) Cobie (Durant) and you put a young (DB Shaun) Jolly in there, they definitely have those tools and those attributes. They definitely lack the size that Jalen had, which is kind of unique. But those are the things that we look for. Those are things that you look for in just around the league in general.”
That helps answer who has gotten the bulk of the reps at Ramsey’s “star” slot.
“And those guys that we have right now going out to getting those reps are certainly showing those attributes and being able to do some of those things,” Morris said. “Jalen provided sort of a unique ability just with his size, either outside corner or whether you played him inside, I don’t think it really mattered. (He’s) kind of unique in his own right.”
There may have been no mention of Torrence. But, he has a chance to show his capability in playing that spot bequeathed by Ramsey — and go from “most exciting” UDFA addition to “breakout” addition.