Undrafted. Underrated. Under appreciated.
This is the Darious Williams story.
Originally undrafted in 2018, Williams came into the league from little-known school UAB, which had its football program recently revived after a two-year hiatus. Williams faces an uphill battle as he tries to crack the 53-man roster, though it’s been done before.
The cornerback position group likely contains four or five near “locks” to make the roster, though positional versatility as well as special teams ability could lend Williams a hand onto the active roster.
Starting at the top, veteran cornerbacks Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters spearhead the group as surefire starters and potential pro bowlers. The nickel spot will be filled by one of the more perennially underrated players in the league in Nickell Robey-Coleman. That doesn’t leave much room for the remaining cornerbacks, especially when you factor in a third-round draft pick being spent on CB David Long, and a contract extension being handed out to reserve CB Troy Hill.
Williams potentially comes next after the aforementioned group, though even the sixth cornerback spot isn’t certain as fellow undrafted free agents Kevin Peterson (recovering form a torn ACL) and Dominique Hatfield have displayed spurts of decent play.
The expectations simply aren’t much in 2019. At best, Williams will be a special teams contributor, though it’s more likely his best shot at sticking with the Los Angeles Rams lives and dies with a practice squad spot.
Chances of making the final roster (1/10)
Unfortunately for Williams, he’s competing for a roster spot in arguably the deepest position on the team. From veteran pro bowlers, a Super Bowl champion, and rookies who were highly invested in, the opportunities are very bare.
Like I said earlier, Williams’ best shot at sticking around in Los Angeles will be to work his way onto a practice squad spot, with a shot to be a contributor in 2020 and beyond.