Option 2: With the 104th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the LA Rams select
Rookie prospect defensive back Marcus Jones of the Houston Cougars is the smallest of these three at 5-foot-8 and weighing just 174-pounds. He more than makes up for it with his ability to cover, that to his electric 4.38-second 40-yard dash time. That will serve him well in the NFL, as speed has become the new prerequisite on both the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He is more than willing to get in close and play aggressively but like Jobe, can sometimes result in flags.
According to PFF (subscription required), he recorded five picks and allowed a paltry passer rating of 60.4 when targeted. He does project more as a slot corner than on the outside but at the same time, has shown a scrappiness to him when competing with those bigger, outside wide receivers. If your heart is set on bringing in a Darious Williams-type rookie, Jones is your guy.
The one thing that is really intriguing about Jones is what he can bring to special teams in the form of the return game. He had four return touchdowns last season and nine total return touchdowns in his career, tying an NCAA record. Jones is widely considered the best return guy in this draft and played some wide receiver early in 2021. If there is a downside to his return game, he’s had some fumbling issues at times. He brings a ton of athleticism and with the right coaching staff, can be utilized in a number of ways, even if he is unable to catch on as a starting corner right away.
Jones is a four-year starter with two years at Troy University in 2017 and 2018 but missed out on his 2019 season, due to NCAA transfer rules at that time. He has, of course, spent the last two years at Houston. His return skills may get him drafted before the LA Rams have an opportunity to select him but if so, he could be a really nice addition to their special teams and potentially become a starting corner for the team.