The NFL Playoffs will continue on Sunday afternoon and once again, Detroit Lions fans will have to watch other teams compete for the Super Bowl.
The first matchup of the day begins at 3:00 EST and features the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. the Los Angeles Rams.
CB DARIOUS WILLIAMS, LOS ANGELES RAMS
Darious Williams was the only restricted free agent to receive the first-round tender last offseason at a value of $4.766 million, signaling how much the Rams value his contributions. The move may also demonstrate their perception of how Williams is regarded league-wide if they thought a second-round tender would not have been enough to keep another club from signing him to an offer sheet. A very solid player opposite Jalen Ramsey, Williams has thrived in a heavy zone scheme but has physical limitations at just 5-foot-9. Nevertheless, opposing quarterbacks rarely fare well throwing into his coverage, and he deserves a payday.
Darious Williams has elite quickness, movement skills and the ability to find and break up the football once it’s in the air. He can play equally well in man or zone coverage but has always been protected by his role within the Rams defense.
G AUSTIN CORBETT, LOS ANGELES RAMS
The Cleveland Browns took Corbett with the first pick in the second round of the 2018 NFL Draft, and his NFL career got off to a rocky start. After Corbett played just 15 snaps over one-and-a-half seasons, the Browns sent him to the Rams for a fifth-round pick. Strangely enough, Corbett’s career trajectory now somewhat resembles that of Browns star right guard Wyatt Teller, with a trade and a change of scenery leading to a boost in his play.
Corbett didn’t miss a single snap for the Rams in 2020 and logged a career-high 73.4 overall grade and 76.4 run-blocking grade despite switching from center to right guard. He’s maintained that level of play through Week 12 of 2021, and his upward trajectory, positional flexibility along the interior of the offensive line and draft status could lead to a solid payday.
Corbett’s play as the Rams’ starting right guard over the past two years has helped him shed the “bust” label that was prematurely placed on him after being drafted 33rd overall by the Browns in 2018. He’s a top-20 guard in PFF’s wins above replacement metric since 2020, and he can be plugged in as a capable starting guard for most NFL offenses.
DI SEBASTIAN JOSEPH-DAY, LOS ANGELES RAMS
The Los Angeles Rams run defense took a big hit for a few weeks following an unfortunate torn pectoral sustained by Joseph-Day in Week 7, but reports have indicated he may return for the playoffs. His ability to eat up space on the interior and free up other rushers will be valued across the league.
Joseph-Day hasn’t had the hardest job in the NFL, given that he’s been playing next to Aaron Donald, but he provides positive value to any run defense. If he’s blocked one-on-one, expect him to win most of those reps.
CB CARLTON DAVIS, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Carlton Davis is one of very few good, young cornerbacks set to hit the free agent market and among an even shorter list of cornerbacks with the ability to play man coverage and battle head-to-head with an opposing team’s No. 1 wide receiver. This more rare skill set always has a higher earning potential on the open market, but a franchise tag here for around $17 million-$17.5 million might be the most likely outcome.
Tampa Bay went the franchise tag route with wide receiver Chris Godwin this past offseason, and they may elect to go that route once more as Davis has missed some time to injury just like Godwin did in 2020.
Carlton Davis is a talented No. 1 corner in pretty much any scheme. He has the profile of a corner that should excel in man coverage, but he has actually been better in zone shells throughout his NFL career. He would be a fit for most cornerback needy teams.
S JORDAN WHITEHEAD, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Whitehead played in Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl victory last year with a torn labrum, demonstrating how tough a player he is, which is exactly what you need at the strong safety position. His 5-foot-11, 200-pound build and play style are somewhat reminiscent of Cincinnati Bengals strong safety Vonn Bell. Bell signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Bengals prior to the 2020 season that could serve as something of a blueprint here.
Whitehead is an enforcer type in an NFL that’s trending toward more coverage bodies at the safety position. When he’s at linebacker depth and moving toward the line of scrimmage, there are few safeties in the NFL better at making an impact.
G ALEX CAPPA, TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
Cappa was drafted in the third round of the 2018 NFL Draft out of Division II Humboldt State. And he’s gotten better each season as he made a huge adjustment to the speed of the NFL game, culminating in career highs as a pass-blocker (71.1) and run-blocker (71.4). The Buccaneers also have center Ryan Jensen hitting free agency and may not be able to retain both players, which could lead to a solid free agency for Cappa.
As the NFL becomes more spread out, interior offensive linemen will need to be powerful enough to win one-on-one blocks between the guards. Cappa fits that mold and should add value to teams struggling with its downhill runs.