The Los Angeles Rams have limited options in this year’s NFL Draft after giving up picks for the right to select quarterback Jared Goff last year. One position the team is looking to draft young talent is at the cornerback position. With reports surrounding the team that the Rams are looking to trade Trumaine Johnson, it is becoming clear that the Rams are looking to get younger at this position. Here are five potential players the Rams could draft at cornerback.
1. Adoree Jackson, USC
After finishing a successful college career USC, Jackson would make a return to the Coliseum as a pro. He is a bit undersized at 5’10,” but scouts are impressed by the raw athleticism he possesses. The former Trojan is also known for his aggressiveness and solid open-field tackling. Jackson does tend to struggle against receivers that posses a solid blend of size and speed, which is possibly why Sports Illustrated only ranks Jackson as the #10 CB in this year’s draft. The Rams may find a diamond in the rough in the second or third round with this former Trojan on the draft board.
2. Rasul Douglas, West Virginia
At 6’2” and 209 pounds, Jackson is considered more of the prototypical cornerback. Scouts believe that the former Mountaineer has the ability to disrupt passes consistently. They also believe that he can win 50-50 balls at all times against his opponents. Douglas has an excellent ability to return interceptions as well, averaging 12.6 yards per interception return last season. Douglas does have some work to do to improve his upper body strength, as scouts indicate he does struggle to keep his body under control while moving. He also tends to grab opponents for too long, which in the NFL will be a holding or pass interference penalty nearly every time. Look for this former Mountaineer to be available in the third or fourth round.
3. Fabian Moreau, UCLA
Fabian Moreau has one major thing above all going for him: explosive athleticism and speed. Moreau registered a 4.35 40-yard dash time, a vertical of 38 inches and an 11-foot-3 broad jump at his Pro Day. You simply cannot teach that kind of athleticism to a player. It is entirely possible that Moreau would have been selected in the first round were it not for the pectoral injury he suffered on March 21. NFL scouts rank him as the third highest cornerback in their mock draft at the position. In addition to his athleticism, Moreau has the ability to change directions quickly and is very light on his feet. His injury could move Moreau to the second round where the Rams could find a steal at this position.
4. Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
The sleeper pick of this draft could end up being the former Colorado Buffalo. Standing at 6’0” and 202 pounds, Awuzie certainly has the makeup of a cornerback and has decent speed (4.44 at the combine). Awuzie plays well in man-to-man situations, but he sometimes has trouble in off coverage situations where he tends to blow other assignments. One thing that may work to his detriment (and perhaps to the Rams favor) is that he played for a school that struggled for much of his career. Had he been playing at a power like Oklahoma, Florida, Alabama, or Ohio State, he would be a first round pick. Look for Awuzie to possibly be there in the third round, and the Rams should take a good hard look at this hidden talent.
5. Howard Wilson, Houston
Standing at 6’1” and 184 pounds, Wilson has the size of a cornerback, but does he have the physical ability to do so after tearing his ACL in 2015? There is little doubt that many scouts will take a deeper look to see how that ligament has healed over time. Wilson possesses great hands and finds a way to take the ball away from opposing receivers. His adequate size also makes Wilson excellent at winning 50-50 balls up in the air. He averaged one interception for every 15 times they threw to him. However, scouts are concerned about his slim frame, which could be a problem against more muscular receivers, especially in one-on-one situations. Look for Wilson to be available in the fourth or fifth round.
Sources: CBSsports.com, nfldraftscout.com, sportsillustrated.com, NFL.com.