Nicholas Scott Jersey

In 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles used their sixth-round pick to select cornerback Blake Countess 196th overall.

An undersized defensive back who split time between Michigan and Auburn in college, the 5-foot-10, 191 pound Maryland native really popped at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, showing impressive ball skills, while looking like the kind of player who could potentially squeak onto the roster as a rookie.

Was the move initially panned? Sure, many didn’t have Countess as a draftable player coming out of college, including NFL.com contributor Lance Zierlein , who gave him a ‘Back end of the roster‘ grade, but after trading away incumbent starter Byron Maxwell to the Miami Dolphins and only replacing him with Jim Schwartz lifers Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks, the team was in need of cornerback help badly.

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Fortunately, they found it with their very next pick, as they selected Jalen Mills 233rd overall.

Though some initially pondered which player would make the team, as Mills had issues both off the field and with measurables, the LSU product clearly won out and has remained a starter on the team to this day.

Countess, on the other hand, was offered a spot on the practice squad after initially being waived in the trim down to 53, but he declined; instead heading west to join the Los Angeles Rams, where he was elevated to the active roster on November 18, 2016.

From there, Countess spent two additional seasons with the club, splitting time between cornerback and safety as a flex reserve off the bench. Though he never quite made it into the starting lineup with much regularity, starting four games over 37 appearances, the Rams valued his contributions enough to offer him a $2 million tender to remain with the team in 2019 as a restricted free agent.

However, after the draft, his standings quickly changed.

After selecting two safeties, Taylor Rapp and Nicholas Scott in the 2019 NFL Draft, drafting John Johnson in 2018, and signing Eric Weddle in free agency, the Rams’ brass asked Countess to take a pay cut to remain on the roster moving forward; a proposition he declined according to Ian Rapoport.

In 2016, the Philadelphia Eagles used their sixth-round pick to select cornerback Blake Countess 196th overall.

An undersized defensive back who split time between Michigan and Auburn in college, the 5-foot-10, 191 pound Maryland native really popped at the Reese’s Senior Bowl, showing impressive ball skills, while looking like the kind of player who could potentially squeak onto the roster as a rookie.

From there, Countess spent two additional seasons with the club, splitting time between cornerback and safety as a flex reserve off the bench. Though he never quite made it into the starting lineup with much regularity, starting four games over 37 appearances, the Rams valued his contributions enough to offer him a $2 million tender to remain with the team in 2019 as a restricted free agent.

However, after the draft, his standings quickly changed.

After selecting two safeties, Taylor Rapp and Nicholas Scott in the 2019 NFL Draft, drafting John Johnson in 2018, and signing Eric Weddle in free agency, the Rams’ brass asked Countess to take a pay cut to remain on the roster moving forward; a proposition he declined according to Ian Rapoport.

While one could argue who has a higher upside between Countess or 2018 fourth-round pick Avonte Maddox, another pint-sized college corner turned safety, it’s clear having both players on the roster behind all-world utility man Malcolm Jenkins and the oft-injured Rodney McLeod would give the team more depth and optionality than just sticking with what they already have.

Was the move initially panned? Sure, many didn’t have Countess as a draftable player coming out of college, including NFL.com contributor Lance Zierlein , who gave him a ‘Back end of the roster‘ grade, but after trading away incumbent starter Byron Maxwell to the Miami Dolphins and only replacing him with Jim Schwartz lifers Leodis McKelvin and Ron Brooks, the team was in need of cornerback help badly.

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