Unless you have been living under a rock, the Rams have moved on from their All-World cornerback Jalen Ramsey, leaving the team with a bevy of young players who will need to step up to fill the void.
Luckily, the Rams have selected three cornerbacks in the past two drafts (and probably 1-2 more in the upcoming draft class), meaning the team will not be short of options when it comes to replacing a player of Ramsey’s caliber. Now, no one expects any of the young guys on the roster right now to be as good as Jalen Ramsey, hell, about 99.99% of all corners are not on Ramsey’s level. With that being said, this is the NFL and, with a starting spot on the line, I expect the young players to be salivating over the chance to become a starter.
Last season, fellow rookies Derion Kendrick and Cobie Durant got a majority of the snaps for guys not named Jalen Ramsey and Troy Hill. Troy Hill missed a handful of the season with an injury, which allowed Kendrick to get a solid six career starts under his belt. However, those snaps came with some struggles, as Kendrick struggled at times with his eye discipline along with his speed, leading to some big plays given up by the young cornerback out of the University of Georgia.
The other rookie, at the time, in Cobie Durant snagged a pick in his first action he saw in week 2 before an injury sidelined him through week 6. Then, Durant saw zero defensive snaps from weeks 8-12, a curious move by defensive coordinator Raheem Morris as Durant showed promise. Then, in week 15 against Denver, Durant exploded with a big-time two interception game that resulted in Durant's first career pick six, proving he was more than capable of being an impact player in this league.
One player that sort of got lost in the shuffle was Robert Rochell, a man set to enter his third season in the NFL. Last season, Rochell gradually fell back in the line-up, logging just 26 defensive snaps all season long in a year where he was not injured. For Rochell, that low of a snap count is very concerning, especially due to the fact that two rookies basically jumped over him in the depth chart.
Even though Rochell did not see much action last year, and with the departure of Jalen Ramsey, he will have an opportunity in training camp to prove why he should be a starter. It is fair to assume that, given his performance last season, Cobie Durant is pretty much locked in to one of the two starting corner spots with the ability to move inside and play some nickel as well. However, that second spot is up for grabs, with Derion Kendrick and Robert Rochell at the forefront of that battle.
This training camp will be huge for both Rochell and Kendrick, with a chance to prove their doubters wrong. What do you think Rams fans, will Derion Kendrick or Robert Rochell win the battle? Will another rookie come in and steal the show?