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2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: DB Ramon Richards on razor’s edge

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A versatile defensive back who played both safety and cornerback at Oklahoma State, could Richards join Lock Angeles in 2018?

Oklahoma State DB Ramon Richards breaks up a pass intended for Tulsa WR Keenen Johnson, August 31, 2017.
Oklahoma State DB Ramon Richards breaks up a pass intended for Tulsa WR Keenen Johnson, August 31, 2017.
Rob Ferguson-USA TODAY Sports

For three years, Oklahoma State Cowboys fans got used to the roller coaster ride that was CB Ramon Richards.

From our friends over at Cowboys Ride for Free, the SB Nation community for fans of Oklahoma St., on Richards’ move to safety last season:

I don’t think I saw any other player’s name cursed on Twitter last season more than cornerback Ramon Richards’. For every amazing interception (like the one pictured above) there was a blown tackle or busted coverage that led to a huge gain or touchdown.

Or you could look at it the other way. Richards wasn’t perfect, but he made up for those mistakes with huge plays. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time to make the crucial pick. (Maybe because teams kept targeting him because they knew he was the best chance to get beat?)

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In theory the move will allows Richards to use his instincts, without getting burned as often as he has by them in the past. If that means more plays like this one, then that’s a good thing for Oklahoma State.

While reports from practice have been positive, we won’t know for sure if the move was a smart one or not until the season starts. If it works, which means Richards limits the mistakes of previous years and the cornerbacks are OK without him, then Oklahoma State could have the kind of secondary necessary to win their second Big 12 title.

A Big XII title wasn’t to be. OSU came up short behind Oklahoma and TCU, but finished the year on a strong note beating Virginia Tech in the Camping World Bowl to segue into a year without QB Mason Rudolph, WR James Washington or Richards who ended up putting in a fine season at safety.

Now a rookie UDFA for the Los Angeles Rams, the question is if his versatility in the secondary is worth, well, anything, or if he’s being brought into training camp to fight for a spot on Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel’s special teams squad.

Roster battle

Tough to say if this is a DB v. ST issue.

If it’s about DBs, his versatility would serve him well. He’d likely not be as well suited to an outside cornerback slot, but could well be in line to land somewhere on the depth chart for the nickel cornerback role. With CB Nickell Robey-Coleman fully in command of the starting job there, the reserve roles are much murkier. And at safety, nothing is set in stone behind starters S Lamarcus Joyner and S John Johnson III. Given the likelihood of Joyner’s exit next offseason in free agency, the staff will likely be looking at much of training camp and the preseason as an early audition for the 2019 safety depth chart.

Expectations

Rookie UDFA. Not really.

Chances of Making Final Roster (1.5/10)

If anything, Richards will likely have to work to get in on special teams. He could develop as a UDFA DB over time. Plenty of Rams have made the roster before him this way: Rodney McLeod, Cody Davis, Craig Dahl and Darian Stewart to name recent examples.

There’s room here. But there are a ton of candidates fighting for this sliver of real estate.

Richards is gonna have to earn it.