Even with an unusual offseason wrecked by the coronavirus pandemic, there was still a plethora of movement throughout the NFL. Honestly, it felt like that was the most movement we’ve seen in decades, but maybe that was simply due to “who” was moved and not so much an actual large group of players.
With that movement comes a new line of replacements. With high-profile veterans now in other places, younger players will need to step up. In a recent article posted to ESPN by Football Outsider Rivers McCown, he discusses the top-25 young prospects in the NFL that he believes are right around the corner from a breakout year. Of the 25 players listed, cornerback David Long was the lone Rams player among them.
Long was a third-round pick last season out of the University of Michigan. He didn’t play all that much behind Jalen Ramsey, Nickell Robey-Coleman, and Troy Hill in 2019 but with Robey-Coleman on a new team and not many challengers for snaps around him, Long could easily slide in as the team’s third cornerback in 2020.
“At Michigan, Long was a true outside corner who bullied receivers without much in the way of repercussions and piled up impressive coverage numbers like a few other Wolverines in the past couple of draft classes,” said McCown. “He plays stronger than his 5-11½, 196-pound frame would lead you to believe, which means he can handle some of the tougher matchups outside that the NFL can sometimes present. His horizontal movement is top-notch, which he demonstrated with an absurd 6.45-second 3-cone drill time at the combine.”
Long’s first legitimate action in the NFL didn’t come until the Week 17 matchup with the Cardinals where he played 76% of the defensive snaps. He unfortunately allowed a touchdown on the day but limited the rest of his outing to just three catches for 42 yards.
“We believe Williams will probably get the first look at snaps, but there’s not much track record of NFL success there, and Long’s pedigree will probably get him on the field in some way this year between Williams’ past, Hill playing on a one-year deal, and Ramsey’s contract status being hung up in long negotiations. Long is the best long-term bet of the group, and we expect him to start making that clear this year.”
And here are today’s links.
Stu Jackson highlights five offensive players to watch with training camp around the corner (TheRams.com)
Rams rookies react to signing their first NFL contracts (TheRams.com)
Rams cornerbacks had very different reactions to Thursday’s morning earthquake (The Rams Wire)
NFL Nation shares photos and videos of training camps around the NFL (ESPN)
DE Yannick Ngakoue is holding out from reporting to training camp (Bleacher Report)
Chris Trapasso talks NFC rookies who will replace veterans (CBS Sports)
Jamal Adams wants to retire as a Seahawk (Pro Football Talk)