5 LA Rams who have offered next to nothing in 2022

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Roster Robert Rochell
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Rams CB Rochell hasn’t turned the corner

I loved the selection of defensive back Robert Rochell with the 131st overall selection in the fourth round of the 2021 NFL Draft. And I was patient with his development throughout his rookie season. But now that he is in his second year, and still getting beaten for playing time by rookies who are themselves struggling at times, I have to accept the fact that he may not be in the long-term picture by the Rams coaches for an ever-increasing role going forward.

The idea of adding a 6-foot-2 195-pound incredibly athletic defensive back to someday line up on the opposite side of LA Rams All-Pro defensive back Jalen Ramsey is still enticing. But somewhere along the line, Rochell’s development slipped badly, and he is now playing behind what seems to be the entire rookie draft class of 2022.

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Rochell’s regression is quite disappointing

Robert Rochell is a large, speedy, and incredibly athletic defensive back who was raw. The Rams seemed to favor raw but quite athletic rookies in the 2021 NFL Draft. But just like Jacob Harris, the need to compete and win in 2021 created a backlog for rookies last season that has stunted their development across the board. Rather than compete for a larger role this season, the Rams traded for veteran defensive back Troy Hill, and Rochell was pushed down on the Rams’ depth chart.

Rookie defensive backs like Cobie Durant and Derion Kendrick were new to the Rams and showed promise, so they have been getting the lion’s share of defensive snaps this year. Robert Rochell’s action has plummeted this year from 234 defensive snaps in 2021 to just 18 defensive snaps in 2022. Is it all his play? Considering he flourished under Rams former-secondary coach Ejiro Evero last year and is suddenly struggling this year, I have to think that there is more to this story than a player suddenly backsliding.

That same backslide has led to the Rams cutting once-promising defensive back Terrell Burgess earlier this season. Two once-promising young defensive backs, both plummeting in the same season seem to be more than just a coincidence. But we can cover that in a future article. For now, let’s keep going.