By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
NFL teams will have to trim their rosters down from 80 players to 53 by next week. That means time is running out for guys on the roster bubble. The Rams some tough choices and several rookies have stood out to the coaching staff.
Daniel Hardy, a seventh-round pick, was in the backfield with newcomer Cobie Durant and probably should have gotten half credit for the sack during the game vs the Texans as they both pressured the QB. Logan Bruss, the team’s third-round pick, started his second preseason game at right guard, even with an injured a knee.
“The whole rookie class, we come in and compete,” Durant said. “The rookie class that they brought in, they can depend on.”
Another stand-out is rookie wide receiver Lance McCutcheon who went undrafted, but he flashed more of his high potential Friday night. After not playing much during the games first two drives, McCutcheon made a rapid impact by recording a 22-yard reception and did it against cornerback Derek Stingley Jr., the third overall pick in the 2022 draft. In the pre-season opener the Montana State product caught a 60 yard pass from Bryce Perkins for a score that energized So-Fi Stadium.
“(McCutcheon’s) a very dynamic and athletic player, so he’s only going up,” Hardy said of his former Montana State teammate.
Durant has played mostly as a slot cornerback in practice this summer, but he saw a few snaps on the outside against the Texans, a position he primarily played in college. Durant said he enjoys playing on the inside because it will help him become an all-around defensive back.
“It’s a lot more technical in the inside,” newcomer Durant said. “I played outside all my life. It’s not bad, I adapted to it quickly. Football is football at the end of the day. “
Derion Kendrick and Durant already knew each other before meeting in person after the Rams selected the two cornerbacks in this year’s NFL draft. Kendrick has stood out in camp with his athleticism and tough ball sense. the former Georgia Bulldog had a pass deflection against the Chargers and a fumble recovery and return. versus the Texans.
The familiarity wasn’t because they’re both from South Carolina and they play the same position. They have a mutual friend in BJ Davis, a linebacker for South Carolina State, where Durant played. Davis grew up with Kendrick.
“My homeboy been talking about Cobie over the years and I finally got to really watch him this past year when they played Clemson,” Kendrick said.
The rookie cornerbacks were 90 miles apart for most of their lives in South Carolina and instantly connected in Southern California because of a mutual friend. Now Kendrick and Durant are starting NFL preseason games together.
It would be a good thing if they could do it daily and year round in LA. That means they both made the squad.