Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
The Los Angeles Rams have signed former Utah Utes cornerback Dominique Hatfield as an undrafted free agent. The signing comes days after the Rams released defensive back Ishmael Adams, who failed his team physical.
Hatfield, who is also a Los Angeles native, played football at Crenshaw High School, where he starred as a receiver, defensive back, and return specialist.
Hatfield initially participated in the Rams rookie mini-camp for the over the weekend. The Rams did not draft a cornerback in the 2017 NFL Draft; however, they signed cornerbacks Aarion Penton of the University of Missouri and the Jared Collins University of Arkansas, as UDFAs. However, the Rams would waive Collins on Monday afternoon to make room for other free agent signings.
The signing of Hatfield also comes with problematic issues as he was the same of Adams were arrested for an assault and misdemeanor robbery. Utah coach Kyle Whittingham, initially would suspend Hatfield but, would later lift the suspension.
At 5-foot-10 inch and 175 pounds, he is the type of cornerback that can play tight coverage, bump-and-run, trail, man-to-man, as you can see his blanketing cover skills.
Hatfield had been performing exceptionally well throughout the training camp which ended this past Thursday. During practice this week, Hatfield so impressive, he was able to make a few interceptions.
Expect to see Hatfield play significantly tonight against the Oakland Raiders on passing downs, a lot with two’s, and on special team. If the rookie plays early against the passing downs, it would be great to see how he would fair against the Raider’s starting receivers Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper. The Raiders signed former Minnesota’s Vikings former 29th overall pick of the 2013 NFL Draft Cordarrelle Patterson and also matched up against returning receiver Seth Roberts.
Hatfield will have to play his heart out tonight, be almost flawless when provided the opportunity to play. This game will test all of his skills, as the Rams defensive backfield is deep with defensive backs as the wide receivers. Tonight will be the Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips grading period on who will be there on opening day.