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Maurice Alexander named Pro Football Focus' most improved safety

The Rams third-year defensive back has earned the most improved nod at his position for the 2016 season.

With the NFL into full-fledged offseason mode, it has entered the time frame where predictions are set forth for the upcoming season.  

In line with that, Pro Football Focus has recently projected Los Angeles Rams defensive back Maurice Alexander to make the biggest leap in the league at the safety position in the 2017 campaign.

Alexander played nothing but special teams as a rookie in 2014. The next season, he got his shot on defense in Week 7 and ended up playing in every game to finish out the year. The Rams moved him all over the place; he spent 43 percent of his snaps as a free safety, and he struggled. Jump to 2016 and Alexander found his rhythm as the team’s starting FS, playing over 75 percent of his snaps there. He displayed great coverage skills, as he was targeted once of every 32.4 coverage snaps (the fourth-best rate of 92 qualified safeties).

Alexander is set to take on a significant role in the secondary next season assuming the starting duties at strong safety with the departure of T.J. McDonald in free agency to the Miami Dolphins on a one-year deal. 

The 26-year-old played in a hybrid role through his first couple of seasons in the league splitting time at cornerback and safety. Alexander is coming off his most productive campaign recording 50 total tackles, a pair of interceptions, a sack, and four pass deflections in 14 games played. 

Lamarcus Joyner is expected to take up the starting free safety spot following the addition of former Buffalo Bills cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman in free agency. Along with that, the defense will also see a major change in philosophy under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who plans on utilizing the 3-4 scheme. 

Bob Garcia IV is a staff writer of LARamsReport.com. You can follow him at @bgarcia90 and us on Twitter at @LA_RamsReport.

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