How The Rams’ Derion Kendrick Got Allen Robinson’s Attention

New Sheep recipient Allen Robinson is one of the best players in the NFL, beating defensemen and catching 50-50 balls. The eight-year veteran usually beats cornerbacks in jumping, muscle or agility.

But newcomer Derion Kendrick doesn’t appear to be intimidated by reputation or successor resumes.

After four training sessions in training camp, Kendrick has established himself as a player to watch, he has played many games, including covering for Robinson.

The trend continued on Wednesday during a full force exercise when Kendrick interrupted a laser pass from defender Matthew Stafford Robinson in front of the end zone. Later, he hit the ball 50-50, intended for Robinson, into the far corner of the end zone.

“He plays hard and he’s a good opponent – and that’s what you want from young guys, veterans, anyone,” Robinson said. “You want this competition in training camp. This is what will prepare you for the season.”

The real test for Kendrick and the other rookies begins on Friday, when the Rams are expected to put on shin guards for the first time after Thursday’s off day.

But Kendrick has already made an impression on coaches and teammates.

“He has a good playing style,” coach Sean McVeigh said, “and he’s a very excitable person.”

Kendrick, selected in the sixth round, is in contention for a role in the supporting Jalen Ramseyveteran Troy HillDavid Long and professional sophomore Robert Rochell.

The 6-foot, 190-pound Kendrick played as a backup receiver for Clemson’s 2018 National Championship team before switching to cornerback.

Rams cornerback Derion Kendrick runs during practice.

Rams cornerback Derion Kendrick runs during practice Tuesday in Irvine.

(Kewson Gong/Associated Press)

Following the 2020 season, he was removed from the program, reportedly for repeated violations of team rules. Kendrick moved to Georgia ahead of the 2021 season and intercepted four assists for a team that won the college football playoffs and produced 15 NFL draft picks.

Kendrick likely slipped in the draft due to the circumstances surrounding his departure from Clemson and was reported to have run 40 yards in 4.77 seconds in Georgia afternoon practice.

“People had doubts about whether I could run or not, but from my film you should know that,” he said this week. “I have never been a 40-year-old guy. … I don’t run on the track – I try to play football as best as I can.”

Kendrick is keen to show that he was underestimated in the draft.

“It’s time to prove my point,” he said, “and keep your head down and keep working.”

Kendrick said his experience with the new team in Georgia helped him adjust to the new situation. He seeks advice from veterans on the field and in the quarterbacks’ conference room.

“I’m just trying to play my part, just doing what I can learn from everyone and just gaining everyone’s trust,” he said.

Kendrick builds his business.

This week, he interrupted a long pass at the goal line, intended for the receiver. Tutu Atwell. The game caused a celebration among defenders, including Kendrick.

“When I met him, he was already out of his shell,” said security guard Nick Scott, laughing. “That’s what you love about him. Playing in this DB position, you had to be confident and he went straight to the field. He was confident. It’s just his character and it only helps him on the field.”

Appreciating Scott’s comments, Kendrick chuckled.

“I’m a little calmer off the pitch. … a little joke,” Kendrick said. “But everything comes out on the field.”

Practical Observations

  • Stafford’s right hand still looks great. He made several passes without a look, including a touchdown pass to wide receiver Van Jefferson.
  • Robinson has made some impressive shots and continues to garner rave reviews from coaches and teammates.
  • Hill, who returned to the Rams after playing last season with the Cleveland Browns, intercepted a Stafford pass during a full-team drill.
  • Alternate quarterback John Woolford passed several touchdowns against No. 1. 1 defense, one against sophomore Ben Skowronek. Tight end Brysen Hopkins made Woolford’s most spectacular pass – a bullet near the right pylon on the goal line. Wolford and Hopkins later connected for a touchdown.