LA Rams DB Cobie Durant putting up a Sauce-like performance

(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images) /

So many scoff at the LA Rams, repeating the same tired old narrative about the front office squandering draft picks and depleting the roster. It’s just a false narrative, screamed into the caverns of the Rams fanbase by an NFL pundit or analyst who got it wrong, but refuses to acknowledge that the Rams have discovered a loophole in the entire must-build-by-selecting-first-round-rookies mirage. When fortune turns south, and the Rams are suddenly fighting relentless numbers of injuries, those same old tired narratives get dusted off and republished with a word changed here or a sentence changed there.

Here’s the real scoop. It’s wrong.  No 53-man NFL roster could have succeeded under the conditions that hammered the Rams this season. Truth be told, few teams have had to face this much injury and adversity this season. But the problem is not about the Rams lack of first-round picks in the NFL draft.

The LA Rams don’t need to use first-round picks because, quite honestly, the team nails their later-round picks. So often we focus on the events that prove our point. What about the Rams roster showcasing so many contributors who have never heard their names called out in the draft?

And then there is the case of Rams defensive back Cobie Durant, perhaps the steal of the draft.  He did hear his name called out, by the LA Rams in the fourth round of the 2022 NFL Draft with the 142nd overall pick out of South Carolina State.

Standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 180 pounds, this fearless young man was not heavily scouted, and even when scouted was considered no better than a late Day 3 prospect. Well, draft analysts got that wrong.

The Rams chose him as their second selection, as he has more than proven their faith in him. He has played just 184 defensive snaps, appearing in 11 games and starting just once. But in that time, he has been targeted 13 times, allowed just five completions, broken up passes five times, and recorded three interceptions. He has 11 tackles on the season and has even recorded a quarterback sack.

That’s a helluva rookie season and has resulted in a mind-blowing Pro Football Focus grade in his rookie season of 86.7.  Just for comparison purposes, NFL rookie sensation Sauce Gardner has been targetted far more frequently and has just two interceptions. His Pro Football Focus this season is 88.0. To be clear, Sauce Gardner was selected in the 2022 NFL Draft with the fourth overall selection.

If Durant was selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, there would be more headlines and fanfare about his performance. But let’s not confuse hype with production. Cobie Durant is delivering incredibly well for his rookie season and has every reason to be expected to deliver even more positive results for the Rams’ secondary next season.

No, the Rams do not make selections in Round 1 of the NFL Draft. But when the team can get similar results from players selected in Round 4 and pay them less handsomely for similar production, who is really suffering from that?

Only those NFL pundits and analysts who hold a grudge for being wrong about the LA Rams.

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