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2016 Rams Roster Preview: DB Michael Jordan Wants To Be 'His Ball In The Air-ness'

Besides wearing #23, and sharing the same moniker, Rams UDFA defensive back Michael Jordan (Western Missouri) is his own force with which to be reckoned. At 6'0 200, Jordan has solid size, instincts and strong ball skills. Can he stick in a crowded DB room?

The Los Angeles Rams signed the decorated NCAA Division II DB immediately following the 7th round of the 2016 NFL draft. Jordan was voted to five different All-American teams, an impressive feat:

For his play in 2015, Jordan landed on five different All-American teams. The three-time first-team All-MIAA defensive back has been named first team All-MIAA, first team Don Hansen All-Region and All-America, first team D2CCA All-America, first team D2CCA All-Region, first team AFCA All-America and first team AP Little All-America. Jordan was also a finalist for the Cliff Harris Award, given to the nation's top small-college defensive player.

Jordan finished his final season as a Griffon with 41 total tackles, at team-high five interceptions and an MIAA-high 22 passes defended. He leaves Missouri Western second on the career interceptions list with 16.

Jordan was a coveted player by many teams due to his strong production and potential, but wound up choosing the Rams due to the opportunities available there.

It was a good choice, as he has a good chance to make it after the departure of CB Janoris Jenkins and question marks surrounding the roles of CB's LaMarcus Joyner and Coty Sensabaugh.

Roster Battle

Jordan has the measurables and the confidence to push for a job on the depth chart. Although his pro day 40 time was around 4.6, which is on the lower end of what you'd like from an NFL cornerback, his other workout numbers indicate more than enough athleticism to play cornerback in the NFL:

At 6 feet, 200 pounds, he has good size for the position, and his Pro Day numbers — he says he ran a 4.60 40-yard dash and posted a 37-inch vertical and a 10 feet, 7 inch broad jump — are solid.

And although it was against lesser competition, he had a ridiculous 22 passes defensed in 2015.

Looking at the rest of the Rams' DB room, the top 5 cornerbacks are as follows:

  1. Trumaine Johnson (presumed starter at outside CB)
  2. EJ Gaines (presumed starter at outside CB)
  3. LaMarcus Joyner (presumed starter at nickel CB/potential free safety)
  4. Coty Sensabaugh (depth at CB)
  5. Marcus Roberson (depth at CB)

Sensabaugh was signed as a free agent this offseason to provide depth and insurance if EJ Gaines suffered any setbacks. He can also play nickel CB if Joyner gets a tryout at free safety after the departure of Rodney McLeod.

So, that leaves Roberson as competition, in our eyes. He will need to make sure that whatever Roberson does, he does it better.


Based on Thom Hanrahan's St. Joseph News-Press interview with Jordan, the Rams would like Jordan to focus on cornerback:

Jordan said the Rams see him as a cornerback at the next level. He said he is confident in his ability to contribute in the NFL and that confidence is borne of a high level of play in the MIAA against some of the best players NCAA Division II has to offer.

"I am perfectly fine with (playing corner)," he said. "It is what I have been doing and it is what I enjoy."

We expect Jordan to immediately push Marcus Roberson for the 5th cornerback spot, provided he excels in special teams as a gunner or on kickoffs and shows solid tackling ability in space.  His nose for the ball and ability to break up/defend passes should allow him to stick with the Rams.

Chances of Making Final Roster (6/10)

Jordan's skillset actually compares very favorable to the breakout cornerback of 2014, EJ Gaines. While neither are known for blazing speed and athleticism, both players have the ball skills, instincts and awareness that coaches love.  Jordan is a great fit for the Rams, and will provide some much needed depth at outside CB.