Terrell Burgess making a name for himself with the Los Angeles Rams
For three years, safety Terrell Burgess saw very limited action on the football field for the University of Utah. Apart from playing time for the special teams unit, Burgess' experience seeing the field as a safety came with just three starts in those three seasons.
But then it was Burgess' senior season and he found himself with one chance to prove his worth and future in the sport. He earned the starting role at strong safety, playing alongside free safety Julian Blackmon and cornerback Jaylon Johnson, two bonafide NFL players.
He finished the season with 81 tackles — 7.5 for loss — one interception and five pass breakups en route to earning all-Pac-12 honorable mention recognition as a senior. Those numbers, combined with the position he played (albeit for a year), proves how versatile Burgess is, a massive commodity in today's league.
Burgess parlayed that senior season into the NFL, being taken 104th overall in the third round by the Los Angeles Rams.
Now Burgess is participating in the Rams summer training camp ahead of the upcoming NFL season — and it's only taken a week or so for Rams media, coaches and fans to understand what sort of player they got when they drafted Burgess.
Apparently starting safety Taylor Rapp went down in training camp with an undisclosed knee injury, it was Burgess who has stepped up the most.
According to Sports Illustrated's Eric Williams who covers the Rams, Burgess has been getting in some serious run with the starters due to Rapp's injury and looks like the real deal.
Burgess emerged this past season in college as sort of a hybrid safety for Utah defensive coordinator Morgan Scalley, showcasing his ability to play the backend of the defense while also coming in run support. That's why he was so coveted by NFL GM's and talent evaluators due to his ability to defend at the nickel position and take on slot receivers and tight ends.
But one of Burgess' best traits, and why the Rams are so high on him, is his attention to detail. Lauded by scouts, coaches and teammates for his preparation, Burgess reads play development very well and has the field awareness of a professional despite just 17 career starts, 14 of which came at safety and the other three at cornerback.
He is a perfect fit for the Rams, who they are looking to build depth in the secondary. With starting cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and Troy Hill and safeties John Johnson III and Taylor Rapp already entrenched, the Rams are desperate to employ some versatility in their new defense with coordinator Bradon Staley.
Despite being a little small for safeties, measuring in at 5-foot-11 and weighing 202-pounds, Burgess is arguably best suited as a nickel cornerback but could provide safety help in a pinch. He will compete for playing time with cornerback David Long Jr. for the slot role, and with Nick Scott and Jake Gervase for the third safety role.
It's expected that due to his ability to play multiple roles, Burgess will more than likely see the field quite a bit, especially when Los Angeles kicks off the 2020 season on Sunday Night Football against the Dallas Cowboys.
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