The four most successful cornerbacks for the Los Angeles Rams under Sean McVay have all been acquired via trade, with the exception of Darious Williams, who was picked up on waivers. But the Rams have not been successful with drafting cornerbacks under Les Snead and McVay.
Will David Long, Jr. or Robert Rochell change that?
2022 L.A. Rams Cornerbacks
Here: Jalen Ramsey, David Long, Robert Rochell, Kareem Orr, Tyler Hall, Grant Haley
Not here: Darious Williams, Donte Deayon
Jalen Ramsey - 6’1, 208 lbs, born 10/24/1994
5x Pro Bowl, 3x All-Pro
Contract: Signed through 2025 on a five-year, $100 million contract
Ramsey remains a lockdown cornerback, a rare star at the position thanks to unique size, athleticism, and football IQ. He’s not going to be able to shut down every receiver on every play, but the whole body of work speaks for itself and Ramsey is as good as they come. Ramsey played in 1,037 snaps (96-percent) last season, missing one game.
David Long, Jr. - 5’11, 196 lbs, born 2/6/1998
Contract: Rookie contract expires in 2023
Long ran an absurd 3.97 in the short shuttle and 6.45 in the three-cone at the 2019 combine. But he failed to see many snaps on defense in 2019 and 2020, then played in 516 snaps (47-percent) over 16 games in 2021. He had his opportunity to become a mainstay in the secondary, but Long’s struggles stood out in 2021 training camp, in part because so many other parts of the Rams roster was clearly working and then there was a weak spot on the defense.
Darious Williams wasn’t considered by many to be much better, but now with Williams gone via free agency, Long’s opportunity to start with the Rams will continue. Will he hold onto it?
Robert Rochell - 6’2, 195 lbs, born 4/26/1998
Contract: A fourth round pick in 2021, Rochell is signed through 2024
Not experienced against premium competition given that he played at Central Arkansas, but Rochell was impressive over 234 rookie snaps considering the circumstances. He runs a 4.41 and was also super fast in the shuttle and three-cone, along with an insane 43” vertical.
Rochell was targeted 23 times in coverage, allowing 14 receptions for 183 yards with one touchdown and one interception allowed. Rochell also had four missed tackles in a limited amount of time. Dealt with a chest injury in 2021.
LA Rams Transactions:— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) January 21, 2022
• Designated for Return, RB Darrell Henderson Jr., DL Sebastian Joseph-Day, DB Robert Rochell
The rest: Kareem Orr, Grant Haley, Tyler Hall
The Rams found Darious Williams once, could it happen again? Of course I can’t rule anything out, but the odds of it happening remain low. If there are developments in that area during summer camps, we’ll let you know.
Is it a need in the draft? Absolutely
Darious Williams was a 5’10, 184 lbs corner out of UAB in 2018, with a 73” wingspan, 30.75” arms, a 4.44 in the 40-yard dash, 39” vertical, and 6.85 in the three-cone. Les Snead has a type.
Cornerbacks like that in the 2022 NFL Draft would be Trent McDuffie (who will be drafted well before pick 104), Zyon McCollum, Cam Taylor-Britt, Damarri Mathis, Josh Thompson, and USC’s Chris Steele.
The Rams do not go heavy at cornerback in the draft, specifically because of the trades mentioned above (Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, Jalen Ramsey), but with Williams out and Long probably close to on his way out, the 2023 need is obvious.