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2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: CB Curtis Mikell aims to play small ball

Can the Rams continue to get big performances out of smaller guys?

Southern Miss CB Curtis Mikell breaks up a pass intended for Kentucky WR Garrett Johnson, September 2, 2017.
Southern Miss CB Curtis Mikell breaks up a pass intended for Kentucky WR Garrett Johnson, September 2, 2017.
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams’ official roster lists three players shorter than 5’9”.

One is S Lamarcus Joyner, a talented, physical safety heading into his fifth professional season playing under the franchise tag after being unable to secure a contract extension this last offseason in free agency.

The second is slot CB Nickell Robey-Coleman who got the extension Joyner could not in signing a three-year, $15.75m deal in mid-March.

The third is rookie undrafted free agent CB Curtis Mikell out of Southern Miss.

Roster battle

It’s fair to say that given his size, much like Joyner and Robey-Coleman, Mikell isn’t in play for an outside corner spot. That being the case, he’s looking at a split between fighting for the slot corner job and special teams opportunities. The latter is a wide field that includes probably 25 or so candidates fighting things out in training camp and throughout the preseason. The former is...hard to parse.

Could retirement-averse CB Sam Shields be in play for the slot? What of rookie UDFA Ramon Richards (roster preview)? Who from the rest of the cornerback roster?

Uh...check back in a month when camp starts.


We are still in rookie UDFA land.

So no.

Chances of Making Final Roster (2.5/10)

That backup slot role is one that really has been underdiscussed to this point.

Last year, Robey-Coleman played 15.5 games. In the other .5 game, the second half against the Minnesota Vikings, it wasn’t apparent that Robey-Coleman had a legitimate backup at the role (I went back and watched, and the Rams didn’t really use a slot cornerback as much as they did shift S John Johnson III around and let CB Trumaine Johnson shift inside). So perhaps Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips is looking for a legitimate fallback. Someone who, should NRC miss time again, could step in and maintain that role in nickel packages.

And maybe Mikell finds a way into that battle.

There are longer shots at this level of the roster.