It’s summer. Families are flocking to amusement parks from Los Angeles, California, to Hamilton, Canada.
But perhaps the biggest rollercoaster in LA this summer is the career of Los Angeles Rams’ CB Troy Hill.
Hill was originally undrafted in 2015 and signed by the Cincinnati Bengals who had an extremely deep cornerback group. Hill lasted the season on the practice squad though he was ultimately cut and claimed by the New England Patriots. A short five days later, Hill was once again waived and this time scooped up by the Rams which would turn out to be his home for longer than both prior stops.
Hill was pressed into playing time in 2016 by way of injury, and looked...well, not good. Due to a violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, Hill was subsequently suspended two games heading into the 2017 season. He did show a tremendous ability to tackle and wrap up offensive skill players though, registering 40 tackles in 12 games (four of which were starts).
Hill’s 2017 again saw him as a depth piece and once again registered 12 games of playing time (three of which were starts). This time around things became more positive for Hill - grading as one of the best players for the Rams in their first playoff game in a long time vs the Atlanta Falcons per Pro Football Focus.
Hill returns on a one-year restricted free agent deal though he still wouldn’t be an unrestricted free agent next season. So he’s still got plenty of football to put out before earning a potential pay day.
Unfortunately for Hill, there aren’t any starting spots available on the cornerback depth chart.
Newly-acquired CB Marcus Peters and CB Aqib Talib both have the starting outside spots locked up while CB Nickell Robey-Coleman re-signed on a three-year deal returning to the Rams as one of the most effective slot corners in the league.
Fortunately for Hill, he could be next in line for playing time. As the likely outside CB3, he’d likely find some minor playing time spelling Peters or Talib at times and perhaps finding snaps late in the occasional blowout. He’ll also have a spot on special teams under Special Teams Coordinator John Fassel.
His main competition for playing time and the top backup roster spot is former pro bowler CB Sam Shields and UDFA CBs Kevin Peterson and Dominique Hatfield, as well as rookies Curtis Mikell, Jr. and Taurean Nixon.
As the playing time just wont be plentiful for Hill, expectations need to be tempered. A realistic expectation would be for Hill to continue to play well for the special teams department registering some tackles in that regard. He might also maneuver his way into a handful of pass deflections as he has in past seasons.
But demanding regular performances like what we saw late last season without regular playing time is asking too much of a reserve.
Chances of Making Final Roster (8/10)
Coming off the most impressive performances of his career, Hill’s got a very good shot to make the 53-man roster.