Montell Garner's path to the NFL wasn't easy.
A 2011 college recruit, Garner didn't get the offers he was looking for coming out of the Dallas area, leaving him to enroll at Navarro Junior College, a football powerhouse that has produced more than a dozen NFL players.
After two solid years at Navarro, Garner spurned Kansas State among others to head to the University of South Alabama whose football team had only been in existence for just four years and having just a single season of FBS-level play under their belt.
Two years later, and Garner is a St. Louis Ram.
The Rams are already stacked with youth at cornerback. The real battle here will be beyond Garner's reach. The question is whether or not he can stand out to enough of a degree to make the Rams' practice squad. It'll be a fight.
Beyond the six returning corners (Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, E.J. Gaines, Lamarcus Joyner, Brandon McGee and Marcus Roberson), the Rams added Imoan Claiborne into the mix. Those six returnees all made the 53-man roster last season.
The question then becomes two-fold.
1.) Who, between Garner and Claiborne, is able to make it through the first cut and offer something the Rams' coaching staff is interested in holding onto a bit longer and...
2.) if either can jump whomever is at the bottom of the 6-man pool from last year. You'd have to think it's Brandon McGee based on his limited playing time, both on defense and special teams. Can either Claiborne or garner leapfrog him for the sixth CB slot?
Chances of Making Final Roster (2/10)
Never say never. The Rams' top five cornerback depth chart is reliable enough to play risky with the sixth pick. We're not counting the chances of making the practice squad, so this is strictly based on making the 53-man. Suffice to say, McGee's hanging on with the staff at this point. And with that being the case, all Claiborne or Garner would need is a good one-and-a-half month run (especially if it coincides with a tough stretch for McGee) during which they're likely to see plenty of time.
The whole rookies section in the OTA tracker? That's of limited import during OTAs. Fast-forward to camp and the preseason, and it's a whole new ballgame.
And it's the one Garner's going to have to win to stick around in 2015.