There are so many new faces on the LA Rams roster, and we know that only 53 players (not rookies) will make the teams initial 53-man active roster, and another 16 players will make the practice squad. That means that many of the rookies who have joined the Rams team may not be part of the journey through the 2023 NFL season. But don't scoff at their accomplishment of getting this far.
While the LA Rams may have opened the door a larger than average number of rookies this season, the truth is that each member of the Rams rookie class of 2023 has some intriguing qualities that are worth getting to know. Perhaps it's the fact that the class of 2023 was so very deep in a number of positions that the Rams sought to add depth to this year.
One such position is the safety position. The LA Rams did not make an effort to retain either starting safety Nick Scott or Taylor Rapp, which means that it's open competition for the starting roles. While some believe that veteran DB Jordan Fuller and Russ Yeast have all but secured starting roles in 2023, the Rams will need strong competition in training camp to ensure that the team has the best options to choose from. Mississippi State defensive back Collin Duncan is a rookie prospect who could surprise some folks and have a shot at making the roster.
A quick summary
Mississippi State safety Collin Duncan has the right size for the role of NFL safety, For a player who was added after the draft, he checks all of the boxes in terms of size, build, and swagger. Because his production did not spike as he matured in college, Duncan was not heavily scouted. But he was consistent enough to warrant interest from the LA Rams, and he did flash enough potential to give him a shot to prove himself in training camp.
What I don't like about this signing
Collin Duncan is a defensive back who is a wysiwyg. That is, what you see is what you get. While that may not be a bad thing, it does mean that he has a tough row to hoe in terms of making this roster.. His best season seemed to be 2020, when he delivered 45 tackles and two interception in just nine games. He had played 13 games in 2021 and 2022 with no appreciable increase in production
What I like about this signing
While Collin Duncan seemed to plateau as soon as he started for Mississippi State, his production was not bad. In fact, he was a dependable defensive back, playing 36 games and recording 149 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss, two quarterback sacks, 11 passes defensed, three interceptions, and a pair of forced fumbles.
Wile he is not blessed with off the chart athleticism, he gets the job done on the football field.
What I love about this signing
Duncan has all the pieces to be effective at the next level. He simply needs the right coaching staff to help him to get everything into alignment. Can the LA Rams coaches do that? Well, they are very good at what they do, and Duncan is a sharp DB with good football IQ. And a safety who stands 6-foot-0 and weighs 210 pounds is certainly the right size for an NFL safety.
He even sounds the part. Just listen to this post-game interview with Collin Duncan after a game with Georgia. He has the resonance and mindset of a defensive back who has no fear, who is willing to deliver, and who will not back down from a challenge.
He has the position down in terms of responsibility and role. And he can fill all of the tasks of the position. He even feels like a player who could do well for Coach Pleasant. The question is, will he?
What are his chances of making the roster?
I love his size, and I'm good with his production. The trick is, he will need to show a lot with the fierce competiion in place to make the Rams roster. He may have an outside chance to earn a role on the Rams practice squad. But he just feels like a DB who could surprise in Rams training camp.
Keep him on your radar.