Nickell Robey-Coleman named one of NFL's 11 best slot defenders
There’s a lot of star power on the Los Angeles Rams defense, from Aaron Donald to Eric Weddle. Yet, since he arrived in 2017, Nickell Robey-Coleman has flown mostly under the radar. He’s the Rams’ starting nickel cornerback and despite not officially being a starter, Robey-Coleman is one of the team’s most important players on defense.
Doug Farrar of Touchdown Wire recently listed the 11 best slot defenders in the NFL. These can be safeties, corners – any position as long as they cover the slot. Robey-Coleman made the list, checking in at No. 10.
Robey-Coleman has been one of the league’s better slot defenders throughout his career, both in Buffalo and in Los Angeles. Aggressive to a fault at times, he’s also a highly aware defender who will occasionally get a bit too physical—ask the Saints about that.
But in 2018, he allowed just 38 catches on 63 targets for 294 yards, 200 yards after the catch, and an opponent passer rating of 81.1. He’s debited a bit on this list because he was involved in three touchdowns to one interception, but he’s consistently been a guy you want on the inside.
Robey-Coleman is a diminutive cornerback, standing just 5-foot-8, 180 pounds. However, what he lacks in size he makes up for with toughness and technique. His footwork and short-area quickness are excellent, allowing him to mirror smaller receivers in the middle of the field.
Of course, he’s going to struggle against bigger slot guys who can use their size to box him out, but Robey-Coleman doesn’t back down to from any challenge.