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Can Rams secondary survive without Jalen Ramsey?

The Rams DB room is very young, who will step up if Ramsey is moved?

Las Vegas Raiders v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images

As I’m sure all of Rams nation knows right now, there are major roster moves on the horizon for the team coming off of a disappointing 5-12 output. One of those rumored moves involves 3-time all-pro corner Jalen Ramsey, a superstar that has been a cornerstone to the Rams success since his arrival back in 2019.

Since the rumors came out, Ramsey has been very active on his Twitter account, sending out a multitude of cryptic tweets that seem to be related to said rumors. The latest being a video Ramsey posted that mashes himself up with NBA legend Allen Iverson, as the quote “Imma win wherever I go. Wherever I go, imma win, I don’t care where I go” is played in the video associated with the tweet.

As each day passes, it becomes more and more clear that the Rams moving on from Jalen Ramsey is getting closer to becoming a reality. The fact of the matter is that Ramsey is far and away the best cornerback to play for the L.A. Rams in perhaps the team’s history, so replacing him will be nearly impossible.

With that being said, the Rams have spent a solid amount of draft capital on cornerbacks in the past few draft classes, possibly signifying that they were getting prepared for a move elike this to occur. The question is, is L.A. actually ready to move on from what Jalen brings to the defense? Can the young guys that they have invested draft stock in be trusted to cover opposing teams biggest threats on the outside? Let’s dive into the matter:


NFL: DEC 25 Broncos at Rams Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Although last season was one of the toughest seasons for the Rams in recent memory, there were still a few bright spots and things to look forward to as we head into next season. One of those bright spots became cornerback Cobie Durant, as the 2022 4th round pick out of South Carolina State was easily the Rams most impressive rookie last season.

Durant appeared in 13 games for the team last season, and quarterbacks had a QB rating of just 52.7 when targeting him. On top of that, Durant snagged three interceptions on the year and took one all the way back to the house on Christmas Day:

Durant did not see much action at the beginning of the season and, despite that, snagged an interception in week two against the Falcons in his first defensive snaps in the regular season. After that, Durant got injured and missed the next four games, which led to falling out of the rotation when he returned from injury. Then, in week twelve, Durant returned to the rotation and never looked back, averaging about 65% of the defensive snaps in the final six games of the season.

In those final games, Durant proved that he was the second-best corner on the roster behind Jalen Ramsey, catapulting himself over the likes of an aging Troy Hill, and fellow young guys David Long Jr. and Robert Rochell. If the Rams do decide to move on from Ramsey, Cobie Durant could find himself as the teams CB1 heading into the 2023 campaign.


Denver Broncos v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images

Not only did the Rams draft Decobie Durant in the 2022 NFL Draft, they also selected Robert Rochell in the 2021 NFL Draft, a cornerback from Central Arkansas. In his rookie season, he started in just five games and snagged an interception as well. However, after suffering an injury against Jacksonville last season in week 13, Rochell did not play another game in the Super Bowl season.

Heading into the off-season following the Super Bowl victory, many expected Rochell to step in and fill the void left by Darious Williams (who left for Jacksonville in free agency). Rochell’s sophomore campaign fell far short of those expectations, as he failed to start any games at corner and only played 26 defensive snaps all season long. The snap count was devastatingly low for a player who was healthy all season, as he could not find snaps following a multitude of injuries on the defense.

If Jalen Ramsey ends up getting traded, Rochell will NEED to step up and put his 6’3” frame to good use. Rochell is built very similarly to Ramsey, so maybe he learned a thing or two from the all-pro and can apply it to training camp as he battles to prove he belongs in the NFL.


COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 26 Notre Dame at USC Photo by Brian Rothmuller/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Both cornerbacks David Long Jr. and Troy Hill are more than likely taking their talents elsewhere in 2023, so it will not be surprising if the Rams elect to select another corner in this years draft. Given the style of play in the NFL today, you can never have enough guys that can cover.

One corner that I watched a lot (as a USC fan and a former college corner myself) is USC corner Mekhi Blackmon, a solid cover man that excels in press coverage and man to man situations. Blackmon will more than likely be a very late round selection, so taking a chance on him would be a great pick in my eyes.

Blackmon is a very natural player that possesses extremely fluid and smooth hips, allowing himself to cover different types of wide receivers that he will see at the pro level. The only knock on Blackmon is he is not a willing tackler and actually struggles at it, almost crossing himself off lists that see him as a potential special teams talent. If the Rams select Blackmon, they will have to accept that it is strictly of the potential of having a coverage specialist and not some sort of swiss army knife.


The fact of the matter is that, if the Rams do trade Ramsey away, the secondary WILL struggle in the early going. The group will be very young and inexperienced, meaning mistakes will be made early and often. However, with that being said, the best way to find out about young talent is to throw them out there and let them play, and you never know what could come from it. Will the secondary be good without Ramsey? Probably not. Can they survive without him? Yes they can, and the experience the group will gain will prove who really belongs, as well as who wants to be the new leader of the group.