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The 5 O’Clock Club: Spotlight on new safety Terrell Burgess

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

Los Angeles Rams v Arizona Cardinals Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

The 5 o’clock club is published from time to time during the season, and aims to provide a forum for reader-driven discussion at a time of day when there isn’t much NFL news being published. Feel free to introduce topics that interest you in the comments below.

The LA Rams chose Terrell Burgess, a versatile defensive back from Utah, in the third round of the 2020 NFL Draft as the 104th overall pick. At the time, there was considerable optimism that the team had discovered a player who integrated the strength of an NFL safety with the coverage skills of an NFL cornerback, making him a talented and versatile defender.

His pre-draft profiles were filled with optimism and projected Burgess as an eventual average NFL starter. That never eventuated, despite the Rams’ need for a young player to step up. Around the time that Burgess was drafted, LA lost veteran S Eric Weddle and was anticipating the departure of free agent John Johnson III as a likely cap casualty.

Burgess was expected to provide continuity for the Rams secondary, and as his development progressed in 2020, it genuinely appeared that the Rams had struck gold.

However, Burgess struggled after a serious ankle injury ended his 2020 season early. When he returned in 2021, he lost the competition to start to teammate Taylor Rapp.

By 2022, he was fighting for his roster spot. Terrell Burgess was active for the first eight games, getting significant snaps in Weeks 3 & 5, but only one defensive snap in the other 5 games. He was inactive in Week 9, and was then released.

He landed on the Giants practice squad, and was active for one game as a Giant, but did not actually play in the game. He was also active for the Giants’ two playoff games, but again, did not play.

He ended up in Washington when the Giants released him in early May with an injury designation.

Burgess did contribute to the Rams’ championship season, and he has a Super Bowl ring. He had 6 regular season games with at least 5 defensive snaps, and he played a significant number of snaps in the wildcard round and divisional round games in the playoffs, though he did not see the field on defense in the NFC Championship game or the Super Bowl.

Burgess plays a lot of special teams. Per Pro Football Reference, he had 524 career special teams snaps in his two & half seasons with the Rams. Looking at the breakdown of snaps on PFF, he played on kickoffs, kick returns, punt returns and PAT/FG, meaning that he has a lot of special teams flexibility.

By the same token, Burgess has the flexibility on defense that the Washington coaches value so much. PFF says that in the 2021 season (the one in which he played the most defensive snaps) he lined up in the box 32 times, as a slot defender 65 times, and free safety 40 times.

Is Burgess any good? Well, he has certainly never lived up to expectations, but he stayed on the 53-man roster of the super bowl champion Rams as a backup DB and special teamer. It seems as if that’s the opportunity he will have here in Washington, where he will compete for a roster spot with players like Darrick Forrest, Percy Butler and recently-signed UDFA Kendall Smith.


What is Terrell Burgess’ most likely outcome in 2023?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Makes the 53-man roster; gets regular playing time on defense
    (7 votes)
  • 23%
    Makes the 53-man roster as a backup DB and special teams player
    (90 votes)
  • 50%
    Spends most of the season on Washington’s practice squad
    (192 votes)
  • 17%
    He’s grabbed by another team when Washington waives him
    (65 votes)
  • 6%
    Does not make an NFL roster in any capacity in 2023
    (23 votes)
377 votes total Vote Now