When it comes to the cornerback position, the Los Angeles Rams have their top-five in place. This is going to make it very difficult for a sixth player to breakthrough. With Aqib Talib, Marcus Peterson, Nickell Robey-Coleman, David Long, and Troy Hill locks to make the roster, that’s what Dominique Hatfield will do. He’s next in our roster preview series.
Hatfield has spent much of the past two seasons on and off the Los Angeles Rams roster and practice squad. After signing as an undrafted free agent in 2017, Hatfield played in 11 games after making the Rams final roster.
Last season Hatfield failed to make the roster but was signed to the practice squad two days later. The Rams roster promoted him in mid-September. He spent most of the season there, but after an injury, he was placed on injured reserve.
This is going to be an uphill battle if there ever was one. With the team drafting David Long and signing Troy Hill to an extension, it essentially spelled the end for Hatfield. However, if the Rams do keep a sixth cornerback, Hatfield will be competing with Kevin Peterson and Donte’ Deayon.
Three Plays on Tape
This play comes from 2017 against the Minnesota Vikings. This is just an overall lousy play from Hatfield. This is second-and-10, and from the looks of it, Hatfield seems too relaxed. He takes the wrong angle, and Adam Thielen takes advantage. Now, the Rams do go with an all-out blitz, leaving Hatfield on an island with one of the best wide receivers in the game, but this is just lousy tackling and a wrong angle.
This next play comes from last year’s preseason. This is just lousy coverage from Hatfield. He lines up in the slot and follows Cam Meredith to the sideline, but then as Meredith turns upfield, Hatfield doesn’t support. Instead, he lets Meredith get behind him for an easy touchdown.
This might be one of the lone positive plays that Hatfield has made with the Rams. This should be a natural pitch and catch play, but Hatfield fights for the ball and takes it away from the receiver. It’s that kind of fight that has made him attractive on special teams.
Can Hatfield defeat the odds and make the roster once again?
Hatfield has defeated the odds in the last two years, but this season could be different. The Rams have a solid five at cornerback, and it would be surprising if they kept six. Even so, somebody like Peterson would probably get the roster spot over Hatfield. It’s going to take a monumental effort, but he’s done it before. Hatfield is a player that the coaches are familiar with, which goes a long way.
2019 Outlook and Role
If Hatfield makes the roster, it will be because of his role on special teams. He is no longer practice squad eligible. Therefore that is no longer an option.
Chances of Making Final Roster
Never say never, but Hatfield making the final-53 seems very unlikely. As mentioned throughout this article, the Rams have their top-5 pretty much set in stone. If the Rams do keep a sixth, a player like Peterson seems like the more likely option. However, Hatfield is a player that the coaches are familiar with, and he’s defeated the odds in the last two years. He could very well do so once again.