Raheem Morris loves the growth of Cobie Durant across his rookie season

Cobie Durant joined the Rams as a fourth-round pick this year, hailing from South Carolina State where he was a ball hawk in the secondary. He didn’t get an opportunity to play right away, but he also didn’t have to wait long.

In Week 2, he took the field after Troy Hill got hurt and quickly recorded his first career sack and interception. Unfortunately, a hamstring injury sidelined him for three games, and after getting back healthy, he strictly played special teams for five weeks in a row.

In the last four games, he’s reemerged as a playmaker on defense, highlighted by his two interceptions against the Broncos last week. Raheem Morris has seen Durant go through an up-and-down year but he loves the growth the rookie cornerback has shown.

“We started the season without our starters obviously, and then people got hurt in that Atlanta game,” Morris said Thursday. “I don’t know if you remember that or not, but Cobie came in, was the first one off the bench, went out there, got his first sack, got his first pick in a game, almost ran back for a touchdown and pulled his hamstring on the very next play. Had to miss some time coming back. It was something, but he missed some time and then that provided the opportunity for (Derion Kendrick) to step in. DK stepped in, played well a lot of the time there and did some really good things for us. Then Cobie came back ready, eased him back into the process, got some of our starters back, played those guys. Cobie got his next opportunity and he’s done nothing but go out there and absolutely shine and show some of that brilliance that he showed in training camp. Some of the things he did in training camp, picking off the ball, covering the best wideout in the National Football League in Cooper Kupp.”

What has really helped Durant carve out a role in the secondary is his position flexibility. He’s a smaller corner, but he has the ability to play outside or in the slot.

Morris admitted the Rams had no idea he could play the “star” role inside, which is where Jalen Ramsey often lined up last year, so he’s fit nicely in that spot as a rookie. The Rams still move him around a little bit, but in the last four weeks, he’s played 103 snaps in the slot and 40 outside.

“Then when he came in, we had no idea that he could play nickel, the star position, and he was able to go into the star position, really impress his coaches and do some of those things really well which was exciting knowing that he was (an) outside guy,” Morris said. “He really bought into that system, really got into that role and owned it and now he’s out there and he’s just kind of been able to be flexible and move and move like a vet. He’s grown every single week and learning from his guys and he’s having fun with (DB) Jalen (Ramsey), and I think Jalen’s having fun with him. Getting him to play around a little bit with some of his lineups, some of the things that he’s doing. It’s been fun.”

It’s still early in Durant’s career, but he certainly looks the part of a starting cornerback in the NFL. He’s getting valuable experience late in the year with the Rams out of contention, which gives him a leg up on the competition heading into 2023 when he could be expected to start alongside Ramsey.

He has the instincts, speed and coverage skills to excel in the NFL, and he’s proved that in the last four weeks.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire