Dominique Hatfield was a two-way star at Crenshaw High School, just five miles from Hollywood Park. A member of the 2012 Los Angeles Times All-Area Team and the 2012 Los Angeles City Section Defensive Player of the Year, Hatfield spurned an offer to nearby UCLA to head to Utah. Now back in LA as a pro, Hatfield is hoping to make the Los Angeles Rams and stick around long enough to get a field-level view of the Rams’ new stadium where Hollywood Park once stood.
There’s a ton going on here for new Rams Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips.
At the top, you’ve got some combination of Trumaine Johnson, Kayvon Webster, Lamarcus Joyner, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and E.J. Gaines. Behind that group is the depth battle between Hatfield, Mike Jordan, Troy Hill, Aarion Penton (roster preview) Blake Countess and Kevin Peterson (roster preview).
The Rams only kept five on the 53-man to start the 2016 season, but things changed quickly (see: Coty Sensabaugh). So the depth crew is playing for both a shot at an immediate roster spot, but also the pecking order as the season goes on as openings develop.
Hatfield’s a smaller athlete than a big-framed technical corner a la Tru. He might be an early look on special teams with his speed. At corner, he could well punch into the slot to deal with some of the smaller receivers inside. One thing to note again, every cornerback that attended Rams minicamp was under six feet tall, so perhaps Phillips and Cornerbacks Coach Aubrey Pleasant are scouting out a specific role for this crew to scrap for.
Overall though as a UDFA, Hatfield’s coming in low.
Chances of Making Final Roster (1/10)
I don’t see an easy path for Hatfield. He was a late addition to the mix and will have plenty of ladder to climb just to stick the practice squad.
There’s always a story to be had out of a hometown kid who comes back in town to see the dream through.