Darious Williams is entering just his second season as a starting cornerback in the NFL, but he’s already taken on a leadership role in the Rams’ locker room. He’ll be the No. 2 corner in L.A. this season and with Troy Hill leaving in free agency, the Rams need someone to step up in that nickel role.
One possibility is rookie Robert Rochell, who the Rams drafted in the fourth round at No. 130 overall. The Central Arkansas product is incredibly athletic despite being raw, and projects well as a starting cornerback in a year or two.
Williams thinks even higher of Rochell, saying he has everything it takes to not just be great, but an elite cornerback.
“Scooter, he’s going to be a player,” Williams said Tuesday. “He’s explosive. He’s got everything in his body to become an elite corner. If I can help him, just like anybody else, as much as I can, knowledge, I can give it to him and that’s going to increase their level, their game, that’s what I’m going to try to do. He’s real eager him, Brontae Harris, those younger guys are real eager to learn. They’re really eager to get better. I just try to give them all the techniques I know and let them take off.”
Rochell has been proactive in seeking advice from the Rams’ corners. It wasn’t Williams who went to the rookie trying to help. It was Rochell who sought guidance from Williams, which shows an interest in getting better.
“I just sit back. I don’t really go out and try to approach anybody,” Williams said. “He just came to me to get better. Brontae, same thing. When they come to me for help, I tell them everything I know. Scooter, I think he knows the situation, draft picks, depth and everything. He knows at any moment he can be in, so he knows he can possibly be and needs to be prepared.”
Rochell will have to beat out David Long Jr. for the third cornerback spot, which could be difficult given the disparity in NFL experience. But as Rochell finds his footing, he could push for even more playing time as the season progresses.