LA Rams Darious Williams PFFs most underrated DB for 2021

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams have a pretty potent secondary, but one of the best cornerback duos in the NFL play for the guys with horns on their helmets. Of course, we’re talking about the likes of All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey, and his teammate and the other half of the dynamic-duo, defensive back Darious Williams.

Somehow, these two are struggling for the type of respect that they deserve in the NFL. Ramsey struggles with respect (Ramsey was not a top vote-getter for the 2021 NFL Pro Bowl, nor was he rated highly by Pro Football Focus in the 2020 season) because NFL quarterbacks fear him too much and throw the ball elsewhere. Williams struggles with respect because, well, he’s not Jalen Ramsey. The story would have ended there for now if not for the Pro Football Focus 2021 NFL All-Underrated Team by Anthony Treash.

We’d already commented on the honor from this list bestowed upon the LA Rams’ well-seasoned veteran offensive tackle, Andrew Whitworth. Now it’s time to sprinkle similar love upon LA Rams defensive back, Darious Williams.

As Anthony Treash himself writes about Wiliams in his article:

"“…He finished 2020 with the fourth-best PFF grade among all cornerbacks, including the postseason, racking up 16 combined interceptions and pass breakups in the process. Williams is a perfect fit for the Staley system, which won’t change much under new defensive coordinator Raheem Morris.”"

Fourth best among all cornerbacks in his first full season starting? How much better will he play in his second full season starting, I wonder?

Must Read. LA Rams DB Darious Williams playing for his 2022 payday. light

Darious Williams is the NFL’s best-kept secret outside of the Rams fan base

You know, it’s difficult to tell LA Rams fans that Williams can ever be underrated. Most of the fans who interact with our staff in the comments sections of our articles are insightfully aware of the fact that Darious Williams is one of the best defensive backs in the league. So the problem certainly isn’t in Los Angeles. Well, at least with the LA Rams fanbase.

So it must be the rest of the NFL fanbase who has simply overlooked the elite performance of Williams, perhaps in some biased attention towards their own secondary contributors. But there are few and far between who have been as proficient and reliable since the team promoted Williams to a starting role for the last part of the 2019 NFL season. Since that promotion, Williams simply has never looked back.

We have continued to point out the many accomplishments of Williams over his short but skyrocketing career. Now on a discounted one-year contract, Williams enters his third NFL season, and second as the LA Rams starting cornerback. Curiously, it was Williams who was noticed sharing his NFL wisdom with younger defensive backs this year at OTAs and training camp, and that is a sign of mastery of pass coverage. There are three levels of knowledge: learning, doing, and finally, teaching. DWill has entered the third plateau.

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And for good reason, as this season could be his career-best. He is another year older and experienced, and he has already performed on par with some of the best defensive backs in the league. This year, his contract year, he has additional incentive to go out and earn a paycheck like the NFL’s best for the 2022 season and beyond.