Player III: DB Tre Tomlinson
Ranked as the 20th best cornerback in the 2023 NFL Draft, defensive back Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson (a.k.a. Tre Tomlinson) waited until Round 6 at the 182nd pick of 2023 NFL Draft to hear his name called by the LA Rams. That's a bit of a wait for someone who was prepared to hear his name called out on Day 2.
Let's cut right to the chase. Tre Tomlinson is not what all NFL general managers are looking for in a cornerback. He stands 5-foot-8 and weighs in at 178 pounds. If he was 6-foot-1 and 200 pounds, he would have been a Top 10 rookie selection for sure. The LA Rams were not discouraged by his lack of height, as they had ample experience with 5-foot-9 187-pound cornerback, Darious Williams, and that experience was very positive.
Tomlinson has every right to arrive to the NFL with a chip on his shoulder. He was lauded throughout his NCAA football career, and showed more than production on the football field. He was a tremendous competitor, one of those standout players whose very passion and fire fuels the performance of the guys playing around him:
He gets the game of football, as he is the nephew of TCU football legend and Pro Football Hall of Famer running back LaDainian Tomlinson. As such, he arrives to the NFL without the traditional wide-eyes of a rookie. He knows how the sport works, and how to prepare to compete for playing time right out of the gates.
The fact is that the LA Rams need Tre Tomlinson to step up right out of the gates, and I think that he will. The Rams reunited with defensive backs coach Aubrey Pleasant, and Pleasant was instrumental in optimizing the production of Darious Williams when they were together in the Rams' secondary. In fact, some have attributed Williams' regression in 2021 to the loss of his DB coach. Tre Tomlinson has a passionate coach who wants the best out of his players, and Tre Tomlinson is good enough to deliver. Keep an eye on him, as he could shock a few in his rookie season.