Addressing depth in the secondary was clearly a priority for the Rams in the 2019 NFL Draft, taking safety Taylor Rapp in the second round, followed by cornerback David Long in the third.
Long is a two-time letterman at the University of Michigan and was a Second Team All-Big Ten selection in his final season in Ann Arbor. In 29 games, Long recorded 38 tackles, two tackles for loss, 17 passes defensed, and three interceptions.
Here are three things to know about Long:
1. AN L.A. NATIVE
Long is headed home for his professional football career and will take the Coliseum’s field just two miles from where he played his high school ball. After his 4.0 academic and four-star athletic career at Loyola High School, Long committed and then decommitted from Stanford, before aligning with the Wolverines and his new eccentric head coach Jim Harbaugh — who climbed a tree in his recruiting visit to land Michigan’s new top corner.
2. SHUTDOWN CORNER
Long’s stats might not jump off the page from his three years at Michigan, but according to Pro Football Focus that might just be because his man wasn’t open. Just ahead of the draft, PFF said Long could be a steal — noting that on 595 snaps, Long allowed just 18 receptions on 60 targets for 130 yards. And of the 18 receptions, only three went for a first down, only one for a touchdown. He never allowed more than two catches in a game in Michigan’s man-coverage scheme.
3. TOP 3-CONE TIME, 20-YARD SHUTTLE
Long posted the best three-cone (6.45) and 20-yard shuttle (3.97) times at the NFL Combine last month, providing a glimpse at his quickness in short space.
His three-cone time topped next-best time by 0.18 seconds and was the No. 5 time since 2000. General manager Les Snead often describes these drills as important for illustrating football speed, since a player rarely runs 40 yards in a straight line during a game.