Los Angeles Rams 90-Man Roster Preview: Cornerback Darious Williams

by Jake Ellenbogen
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The Los Angeles Rams brought Darious Williams onto their roster early in the year after the Ravens waived him. Williams wound up watching his new team compete for a Super Bowl. This year, he’s looking to become a contributor on the Super Bowl-caliber team. We preview the former UAB product in this new roster preview.

2018 Season

As mentioned above, Williams spent almost the whole season on the Rams roster after the Ravens waived him to make room for starting cornerback Jimmy Smith. The Rams oddly enough were able to see Williams in the preseason that year and even in practice. The two teams shared a joint practice and played in a preseason game. That was enough for the Rams to pull the trigger on claiming the rookie corner.

The great thing about Williams joining the Rams when he did is because of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. The Rams have legitimate mentors in their organization and Williams likely received plenty of mentoring from the veterans last year and even the veterans this year.

Roster Battle

I’d be lying if I said that Darious Williams doesn’t have anything to worry about in his quest to make the 53-man roster again. The truth is, the Rams added a third-round cornerback that without a doubt will jump him on the roster and with the extension of Troy Hill, there is only one spot remaining…If even. However, if the team decides to roll with an additional cornerback Williams would be in the mix to make the final cut.

Williams was on the roster last year so that is nothing new. However, the Los Angeles Rams still have a talented group of corners. The issue lies with the extension of Troy Hill which all but guarantee’s his spot on the roster. The Rams would not have made Troy Hill’s cap penalty a decent size if they wanted to get rid of Hill. The coaching staff simply likes Hill more than the majority of fans. I, for one, think that Hill is often scrutinized even in circumstances that are not his fault. Either way, Hill is going to be on the roster in 2019 and that makes things difficult for a guy like Williams.

The battle will likely be between Kevin Peterson, Donte Deayon, Ramon Richards and Darious Williams. That again falls on the fact of the Rams deciding to keep six on the roster. That’s a fairly big number when you are a Super Bowl team that needs to cut their 90-man roster down to 53. Even so, Peterson has NFL experience, Deayon has NFL experience and Richards was on the practice squad all year. Williams was on the 53-man roster but he arguably is in worse shape than a player that has started a game for the organization in Peterson and a player that is legitimately the only one who can backup Nickell Robey-Coleman.

Williams will have to earn his keep in the preseason as will most camp guys. However, he might need to blow the doors off to get the Rams to keep him on the roster.

Biggest Question?

Will Darious Williams be around the organization when the 2019 season hits?

This is a fair question because Williams as mentioned before spent some serious time on the Rams 53-man roster even though he never got to do much on game days. With Kevin Peterson placed on injured reserve and left there all season long, he now becomes a roadblock for Williams. You then have to look at Donte Deayon who still has practice squad eligibility and Ramon Richards who spent all season on the practice squad. They for Williams will be to stick around the organization in some capacity, however, that’s no guarantee with the limits on the 53-man roster and the practice squad.

2019 Outlook and Role

The role for Williams in 2019 will be to make the roster and fight to be active on Sunday’s. That’s not an easy goal as he was ruled inactive all year long. If Williams does not make the roster, the role for him will be to make the practice squad. It might come as a demoralizing shock for Williams. However, Williams will probably have his role demoted a year later due to the way things fell in place.

The Los Angeles Rams did make their claim on Williams, which gives me the reservation they like him moving forward. Now, he might not make the 53-man roster. However, as a second-year man, Williams should be a favorite for the practice squad. If the Rams decide to move on from Williams as a whole. There’s a good chance he could end up back in Baltimore. They were not trying to part with Williams last year. Unfortunately, they had to make room for their starting cornerback. Baltimore felt they could place Williams onto their practice squad without a hitch and the Rams changed that.

Should Williams not make either the roster or practice squad. He is going to have a spot no matter what on another NFL roster or practice squad moving forward.

Chance of Making the Final Roster

Less than last year? It’s just so tough for a player like Darious Williams to crack the 53-man roster. He could seriously benefit though from a practice squad stint. I think Williams could help in the long-term similar to the way this team held onto Blake Countess and Marqui Christian. It’s not to say every man the Los Angeles Rams claim is going to be a long-term piece. However, the Rams claimed Countess from the Eagles in 2015 and he just left the organization. Christian was claimed as well and his snap count has gone up each year. It’s not the best position to be in if you’re Willaims, however, it’s a pretty good position to be in.

The final rate of chance for Williams to me would be 30 percent. He has the talent to play in this league, he just plays with an edge you can’t coach. However, the problem most undrafted rookie cornerbacks run into is their starting point on a depth chart. If Williams can, the best places to play would be with the Rams and Ravens. Both places housed him so far and already have him in a pecking order. Once Williams leaves the organization and goes to a third organization, the pecking order resets. This is why it’s not easy for the undrafted rookies to move up the rungs. You ideally want to make a name for yourself within an organization, pay your dues and work your way up. Williams could follow up with the idea this year.


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