There is no doubting the level of play both Darius Williams and Jalen Ramsey bring to the Rams. Both elevated the defense to championship-caliber in 2020, and they’re poised to do it again in 2021.
Even after the departure of Brandon Staley, the defense retained most of their key pieces, including one of their two PFF top-ten corners.
While fans might think of Ramsey as better than Williams, the sports stats website ranks Williams above Ramsey. Williams is fourth (with an 81 overall grade), and Ramsey is ninth (with a 77.3 grade) among cornerbacks.
The two cornerbacks are very close. According to PFF, only pass rushing sets them apart.
PFF grades Williams 56.3 at pass rush compared to Ramsey’s 77; however, Ramsey also pash rushed more often. Ramsey pass rushed 13 times compared to Williams’ two attempts.
PFF also believes Williams to be the better run defender with a grade of 67.2 and Ramsey at 65.5. Lastly, Williams beats out Ramsey on coverage with 81.5 compared to Ramsey’s 77.8.
A glance at the stats shows how productive Williams is over Ramsey. Williams led Ramsey with 16 pass deflections and five interceptions in 2020 — including the playoffs. While Williams has the flashier stats, Ramsey beat him in yards per completion and miss tackles. Ramsey only allowed 9.6 yards per completion, while Williams allowed 12.3 yards. Then Ramsey only missed three tackles while Williams missed five.
But that’s the point – both corners are outstanding and contribute in different ways.
Ramsey is a true shutdown corner – someone who will stick on the opposing team’s No. 1 receiver and slow them down. Williams sits back in coverage and has an eye for the ball. Ramsey forces quarterbacks to throw to other receivers making Williams look more productive during the game. However, Ramsey not showing up on the stat sheet is a good thing.
PFF’s grades aren’t going to change how the Rams use the two cornerbacks. Ramsey will remain on opposing No. 1 receiver, and Williams will stick to the twos and threes. However, it makes for an interesting debate.
Do you prefer an eye for the ball or a shutdown corner?
Luckily for the Rams, they don’t have to decide because they have two of the best in the league.
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