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Rams' plans at cornerback without Hill

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Steve Spagnuolo coached defensive backs for the Eagles early in this decade. For him to inherit and then promptly trade a cornerback with a first-round pedigree must tell us something, particularly. But what?

The 185-pound Hill is smaller than the cornerbacks Spagnuolo has coached recently with the Giants. That would be a matter of preference and not something that would automatically rule out a player. Hill was recovering from knee surgery, so it's possible he wasn't at full strength. But if he had the potential to become a top-flight player, a team could live with short-term issues. On another level, Hill might have stood as a symbol of the Rams' past, although lots of other Rams players share that distinction.

As much as anything, the Rams' decision to trade Hill to the Falcons -- presumably for a late-round draft choice -- reflects what the team thought about Hill relative to the promising young corners already on the roster. The group features 2007 third-rounder Jonathan Wade, 2008 fourth-rounder Justin King, 2009 third-rounder Bradley Fletcher and free-agent rookie Quincy Butler. Wade is the favorite to start opposite Ron Bartell. King has bounced back from toe surgery. The current Rams leadership drafted Fletcher. Butler has been a surprise of camp.

If the Rams had kept Hill, perhaps they would have felt compelled to start him -- at the expense of developing other talent. The team must have felt as though the other corners on the roster could provide similar or superior production -- and at lower prices. As for Hill? He was considered a highly promising player not long ago, as this 2008 Scouts Inc. profile shows:

Hill is a third-year player who only started four games last year due to injury. He is an athletically gifted player with good agility and straight-line speed. He has smooth hips with quick feet and good acceleration. He excels in man coverage due to his ability to flip and run without giving up much separation. He has very good speed to run deep. He's an aggressive player in man coverage who will challenge receivers early in routes and is not afraid to try and make plays on the ball down field. A confident player in his speed to close quick and make up ground as the ball arrives. When playing off the ball he will often shuffle to gain depth. He has a good short burst to close on an angle but is somewhat inconsistent as a tackler. Against the run, he will give effort to make plays but not a consistently physical force on the outside. Hill is a solid starter when healthy who still has upside and hasn't reached his full potential yet.

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As long as he doesn't pull a Von Hutchins on us this should be OK.

If he pulls a Von, then all of a sudden TD has got Hill, Hutchins, Foxworth and Laurent on his record.

TD is a New England bred GM. Expect to see lots of flipping. Half will probably be OK. The other half will be questionable. This may be the new model in the NFL.

In other words, don't buy a jersey unless it's Ryan, Roddy or Turner. Abe will be gone soon. Trust me.

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As long as he doesn't pull a Von Hutchins on us this should be OK.

If he pulls a Von, then all of a sudden TD has got Hill, Hutchins, Foxworth and Laurent on his record.

Foxworth was never meant to be more than a stop-gap measure. We needed him and he performed well, at least until he started slowing down at the end of the season. Foxworth looks good on TD's record. Brought him in when he was needed, let him go when he was done. I doubt you see Foxworth doing much in Baltimore this year.

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TD turned us around. What I like, is the guy makes a decision and gets after it. He doesn't sit around biting his fingernails in limbo. He has got some testosterone and does what he thinks is best based on a background of evaluating talent at a very high level including NE.

Depending upon what we gave up, Hill has proven ability provided he can get that knee "Sunday Ready".

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As long as he doesn't pull a Von Hutchins on us this should be OK.

If he pulls a Von, then all of a sudden TD has got Hill, Hutchins, Foxworth and Laurent on his record.

TD is a New England bred GM. Expect to see lots of flipping. Half will probably be OK. The other half will be questionable. This may be the new model in the NFL.

In other words, don't buy a jersey unless it's Ryan, Roddy or Turner. Abe will be gone soon. Trust me.

I thought Robinson was here before TD...TD is the just the guy that traded him...

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As long as he doesn't pull a Von Hutchins on us this should be OK.

If he pulls a Von, then all of a sudden TD has got Hill, Hutchins, Foxworth and Laurent on his record.

Hutchins was brought in to be a nickel back and ended up with a freak foot injury. It happens. It happened to Brooking a few years ago too. Just because there is no room for him on this very young roster doesn't reflect on TD. He was never meant to be a long term solution anyway and the young guys were outplaying him.

Same thing with Foxworth. He was a last minute adjustment who panned out really well for us. I think Foxworth was a a serious win for TD last year. Yes he walked away and signed with his home town team this offseason but that was his choice. We actually offered him more money and he gave the Ravens a home town discount.

With Douglas going down I am disappointed that Robinson is gone. But when we traded him away Douglas was solidly in the #3 spot, Gonzalez was fast becoming a favorite target of Ryan's. Robinson wasn't going to get much playing time so why not get something for him rather than letting him ride the bench.

Hindsight being what it is its easy to say we should have kept Robinson, but the fact is Booker (another TD move) is looking really good and I think the good will from the Robinson trade allowed us to get Hill for dirt cheap. A former 1st round pick for a 7th round pick??? Come on, even if Hill flames out on us it cost us a 7th round pick! Hardly a bad deal.

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As long as he doesn't pull a Von Hutchins on us this should be OK.

If he pulls a Von, then all of a sudden TD has got Hill, Hutchins, Foxworth and Laurent on his record.

TD is a New England bred GM. Expect to see lots of flipping. Half will probably be OK. The other half will be questionable. This may be the new model in the NFL.

In other words, don't buy a jersey unless it's Ryan, Roddy or Turner. Abe will be gone soon. Trust me.

Laurent wasn't drafted by TD, try again.

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As long as he doesn't pull a Von Hutchins on us this should be OK.

If he pulls a Von, then all of a sudden TD has got Hill, Hutchins, Foxworth and Laurent on his record.

TD is a New England bred GM. Expect to see lots of flipping. Half will probably be OK. The other half will be questionable. This may be the new model in the NFL.

In other words, don't buy a jersey unless it's Ryan, Roddy or Turner. Abe will be gone soon. Trust me.

The only one of those you MIGHT can put on ihs recoord is Robinson, but we moved up in later rds to get the players we wanted so if the guys we drafted with those picks do well then it was a smart trade. And if Douglas wouldnt have gone down we wouldnt even be discussing it because Robinson wouldnt have been on the field that much anyway.

Foxworth was a smart move. We got him for very cheap and he definitley out performed the price we piad for him. He asked for too much money so we didnt pay him. I thinki that was smart. If we would have payed him then it might have made contract negotiations for Roddy White even more difficult.

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As long as he doesn't pull a Von Hutchins on us this should be OK.

If he pulls a Von, then all of a sudden TD has got Hill, Hutchins, Foxworth and Laurent on his record.

TD is a New England bred GM. Expect to see lots of flipping. Half will probably be OK. The other half will be questionable. This may be the new model in the NFL.

In other words, don't buy a jersey unless it's Ryan, Roddy or Turner. Abe will be gone soon. Trust me.

Hutchins had a freak injury and Robinson hasn't done anything during the regular season. Foxworth was a great trade that went sour when he scoffed at our offer to play near his mommy and daddy in MD. Not sure how those are bad marks "on his record".

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