Derion Kendrick does DB for the LA Rams with pizzazz

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams are not the type of team to leave too many things to random chance. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, as the team’s saturation of data analytics in virtually all personnel decisions has made the entire organization quite aware of the fact that they are playing against the odds with almost every choice.

Rather than ignore the repercussions of getting it wrong, the LA Rams front office has simply gotten better at improving the odds. One example is the choice to add Georgia cornerback Derion Kendrick with the 212th selection of the 2022 NFL Draft, after selecting South Carolina State cornerback Decobie Durant in the fourth round with the 142nd overall pick.

They’ve done this strategy before, by selecting Ohio State safety Jordan Fuller with the 199th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft after selecting Utah safety Terrell Burgess earlier in the draft. It was Fuller who earned the starting role for the LA Rams secondary as a rookie.

Kendrick adds pizzazz to the Rams’ secondary

Kendrick is a bit bigger-bodied cornerback, standing 6-foot-0 and weighing 194-pounds. He is not a finished product by any means, but he has the type of prototypical frame that can beef up to 200-210 pounds and still play comfortably and fluidly in the secondary.

Unlike DB Troy Hill, Kendrick is proficient in both zone and man coverage schemes. He has solid technique, has the ability to succeed in pass coverage as well as defend the run, and was projected as high as Round 2.

Pick 212: CB Derion Kendrick

CB. 212. Draft Buzz. DerionKendrick. player. 814. NFL Draft Profile. Georgia

Kendrick is a young man who can compete for an outside cornerback spot early. Even as he bulks up in the weight room, he will be stiff competition on the outside, particularly in Raheem Morris’s primary zone coverage.

What will you love about Kendrick?

He is a ball hawk. While he tested slow in his 40-time, he plays faster on the football field. What his feet cannot do, Kendrick’s brain more than compensates for with great angles, well-timed leaps, and a knack for using the sidelines as a second defensive back in coverage.

He was a former wide receiver, which gives him an excellent ability to read routes. And his hands are excellent in pass coverage, avoiding penalties and showing up at just the right moment to break up a pass or, better yet, snatch one away from the receiver.

If he can put together a good training camp, Kendrick has the ability to not only make the LA Rams’ 53-man roster but to earn playing time. He can be that good. the only question left to answer? Will he be that good?

Trending. 4 LA Rams who may lose their starting jobs to rookies. light