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2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: Is S Steven Parker the surprise UDFA for 2018?

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Can the undrafted safety from Oklahoma make some waves in training camp and fill out the depth for Lock Angeles?

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NCAA Football: Rose Bowl-Oklahoma vs Georgia Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams S Steven Parker was a three-year starter that played in every game and tied for fourth on the Oklahoma Sooners with 63 tackles and ranked third with six pass breakups. Back in 2014, Parker was the 53rd overall recruit in the country signing with OU.

Even with pedestrian speed for a safety (a 4.50 40 time at the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine), Parker has good size, athleticism, and a significant amount of special teams experience.

Pro Football Focus ranked the safety prospects for the 2018 NFL Draft and had Parker at 25:

Solid across the board for four years at Oklahoma, Parker doesn’t do anything exceptionally well and he must cut down on the big plays as his penchant for going for the highlight-reel hit has done him in far too often.

Parker ended his career as a Oklahoma Sooner with a bang. Playing in the Rose Bowl against the Georgia Bulldogs, Parker recorded his first touchdown for the Sooners with a thrilling fumble recovery and 46-yard run for a touchdown. While the Sooners failed to best the Bulldogs in that incredibly entertaining Rose Bowl game, Parker left a strong impression with his play.

Now the Los Angeles Rams have signed S Steven Parker as an UDFA. The big question is whether Parker can sharpen his instincts enough that he can compete with the other safeties on the team. And of course, there’s always an opportunity to make a splash with the special teams unit.

Roster Battle

While S Lamarcus Joyner and S John Johnson III hold the starting spots at the safety position, there is a lot of fluidity with the backups. S Marqui Christian seems like a lock to make the squad, so Parker will most likely be battling with S Blake Countess, S Isaiah Johnson, S Nate Holley and S Afolabi Laguda for the final spots.

Expectations

Given that he’s an UDFA, not a whole lot of pressure is going to be placed on him. However, Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel aka Coach Bones will be looking for some inspired productivity in training camp. If Parker succeeds there, the hype will only get louder.

Chances of Making Final Roster (4.5/10)

What’s encouraging about Steven Parker’s chances is that his competition is made up mostly of undrafted players or guys that were selected in the later rounds.

If Parker makes the team, it’s going to be a big accomplishment, but he definitely has his work cut out for him.