The Los Angeles Rams are going to be relying heavily on their younger players in 2023, including a host of second-year pros from the 2022 draft. They’ll need at least a few of them to step up and become above-average starters, helping make up for the losses suffered this offseason – which include Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd and Bobby Wagner.
One potential breakout candidate: Cobie Durant, a fourth-round pick out of South Carolina State in 2022.
Pro Football Focus named one breakout candidate for every team in the NFL and for the Rams, Durant was the pick. After a rookie season that included a pick-six and three total interceptions in just 281 snaps played on defense, Durant could be in for a big second season in L.A.
Durant didn’t play much until late in his rookie season, but he will be thrust into a starting position with the departure of Jalen Ramsey.
The former fourth-round pick did flash potential when he got onto the field, and he ended the season with a 75.2 PFF grade that ranked 18th among cornerbacks. He was especially good in a nationally televised Christmas Day game against the Broncos, where he picked off two passes and returned one for a touchdown.
On paper, Durant is the Rams’ top corner right now. He’s ahead of Derion Kendrick and Robert Rochell, who could be the other two starters at the position for Los Angeles. Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, a rookie sixth-rounder, could also factor into the mix.
If the Rams are going to stay afloat on defense without the stars they lost this offseason, Durant will need to be a big part of it.