The Los Angeles Rams defense wasn’t the focus of the offseason, but that could be a huge mistake regarding their cornerbacks. Recently, the Rams traded away E.J. Gaines to the Buffalo Bills in a package deal for WR Sammy Watkins. While that was a great move for the Rams offense, it certainly didn’t do any favors for the secondary.
The Rams are extremely thin at cornerback. Currently, their best cornerback is Trumaine Johnson, and he is serving under a franchise tag. The next cornerback with experience is Kayvon Webster, and while he does have potential, the jig is still up if he’s able to be a starter in this league. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips will certainly ease things along, but he can only do so much.
The rest of the competing cornerbacks are young and inexperienced, unless you count Lamarcus Joyner, but he is competing for a starting role at free safety. The concern then becomes what if Johnson suffers an injury? Johnson has a history of being injury-prone. All is not lost though, the Rams do have a few corners that have been making noise as of late.
Troy Hill flashed moments of potential last year, and stepped up at times when asked to start. He was far from perfect though, there were times he seemed lost, was simply beat and also didn’t wrap up on tackles on occasion. Worst of all, the Rams won’t have his services for the first two games of the season due to a DUI charge he received last year.
Michael Jordan played well in last year’s preseason, and eventually found himself on the Rams roster in 2016. He made a few starts after injuries plagued the Rams. He continued to make a name for himself during the Week 1 preseason game versus the Dallas Cowboys, making a few great plays including almost intercepting the football before it was overturned.
Quite possibly the most noise out of all the newcomers is local USC prospect, Nickell Robey-Coleman. He has often been the talk of training camp, garnering some praise from the coaching staff. He did make a few plays during the Cowboys preseason win, but also gave up a few plays too. He has still much to learn, but the potential is certainly there. I’m especially impressed with his tackling ability, especially at his size.
While the Rams do have a few options in younger talent, it would benefit them to look for another trade. At the very least, keep an eye on the late roster cuts heading into the regular season. You never know who might become available.