Drafting a defensive back in the 2021 NFL Draft made more than a little sense for the LA Rams. After all, the team correctly projected to lose both veteran cornerback Troy Hill and veteran safety John Johnson III in the 2021 NFL Free Agency market. The Rams had stockpiled plenty of safety help in the previous year’s draft, selecting both DB Terrell Burgess and DB Jordan Fuller in 2020.
Curiously, it was Fuller, who was chosen with the 199th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft out of Ohio State, who surged ahead to start alongside John Johnson in 2020. Burgess, who was chosen far earlier at 104 in the same draft out of Utah, was a hybrid defensive back who could play either cornerback or safety, did not seem to ‘kick in’ until the game against the Chicago Bears. Unfortunately, he fell to injury in that game and would not play for the rest of the season.
Rams roster 2021 rewind
The defensive backs for 2021 were a bit of a ‘whoever is healthy’ scenario, as starting DB Darious Williams missed Weeks 6-8. Rookie Robert Rochell was there, more than happy to get quality defensive snaps. And when he played he did a reasonable job on the football field. In 11 games with five starts, he played 234 defensive snaps and recorded 14 tackles, four pass defenses, and one interception.
Perhaps the most telling of his rookie season is the fact that he allowed just 60.9 percent of the passes targeting his receiver to find their mark. For a rookie who was playing against some pretty formidable offenses, that is pretty solid work. Pro Football Focus seems to agree, giving the young man a solid 61.9 grade for his work.5 reasons to believe LA Rams DB Robert Rochell breaks out in 2022 Click To Tweet