This is part seven of a nine part series previewing each position on the St. Louis Rams in 2015. They will go as follows:
1 – QB
2 – RB/FB
3 – WR/TE
4 – OL
5 – DL
6 – LB
7 – CB
8 – SS/FS
9 – Special Teams
Part Seven – Cornerback
Current cornerbacks on the St. Louis Rams roster:
Imoan Claiborne – Claiborne was signed as an UDFA this past spring out of Northwestern State University. Claiborne showcased his talent during OTA’s and coaches were impressed. Claiborne is a good directional runner and can disrupt routes of WR’s when he gets his hands on them. He lacks the size of playing outside but will compete for a roster spot. Keep in mind that the Rams kept five CB’s on the 53-man roster in 2014.
E.J. Gaines – Gaines stole the show in 2014. He was a sixth round draft pick in the 2014 draft. Much wasn’t expected from him but he took the starting job at corner opposite from Janoris Jenkins. Gaines started in 15 of 16 games for the Rams in 2014 and had 70 tackles, two interceptions, and 15 passes defended. He will likely be one of the starters at corner again unless Trumaine Johnson is able to pass him up on the depth chart.
Janoris Jenkins – Jenkins has been a starter at cornerback for the Rams ever since he was drafted in 2012. He played in 14 games in 2014 and suffered a career low in tackles and passes defended. He will likely be the starter at cornerback opposite from E.J. Gaines. Jenkins is also headed into the last year of his rookie contract so look for Jenkins to perform well in 2015.
Trumaine Johnson – Johnson started in only five games in 2014, mainly because of the emergence of E.J. Gaines. He will see the field for some time in 2015, as he will be competing for reps between E.J. Gaines and Lamarcus Joyner (and occasionally Janoris Jenkins if he needs rest or is playing poorly).
Lamarcus Joyner – The Rams selected Joyner in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Joyner primarily played nickelback in 2014. He played in 10 of 16 games and his playing time will depend on DC Gregg Williams’ schemes. Joyner is small but isn’t afraid to attack the ball carrier and run downhill.
Brandon McGee – McGee was a fifth round pick in 2013 for the Rams. He hasn’t seen the field much due to a crowded CB situation and also injuries. He saw playing time in 15 games of his rookie season in 2013 and only two games in 2014 because of injury. McGee will be slowly worked into games as he is coming off of a foot injury.
Marcus Roberson – Roberson saw playing time in 9 games (two starts) during the 2014 season. Roberson tallied one interception and 10 tackles. He will be competing with Imoan Claiborne for the last roster spot at CB.