Sean McVay Raves About 1 of the 2 Newest Roster Signings

Dont'e Deayon

Getty Dont'e Deayon of the Rams attempts the blocked field goal attempt on Arizona's Zane Gonzalez during a December 2019 regular season game.

The Los Angeles Rams have given a roster promotion to two practice squad members on Tuesday, October 19 — and one signing in particular was someone head coach Sean McVay raved about for stepping up against the New York Giants in Week 6.

Cornerback Dont’e Deayon and running back Buddy Howell were the latest active roster additions, with their elevation announced close to noon on Tuesday by the team.

Howell’s addition to the backfield comes off the heels of Jake Funk suffering a season ending hamstring tear that will likely need surgery. Deayon, however, gets his job ascension following the kind of performance that left McVay pleased.

McVay on ‘Double D’

Before the Giants’ game, the 27-year-old Deayon was elevated to the active roster following starter Darious Williams going down with an ankle injury from the 26-17 road win over Seattle on October 7 during Thursday Night Football.

How did Deayon respond? Producing four combined tackles through 66 defensive snaps and earning a 78.1 tackling grade by Pro Football Focus. McVay spoke highly of the former Boise State Bronco with the L.A. media on Monday during a video conference.

“Double D is a really smart, instinctual player, great competitor,” McVay said, which can be heard near the 22:20 mark of the presser video below. “He did a great job being able to play outside. He played some inside, played over 50 snaps for us and was a heavy contributor in a big way. I thought he did a great job. Definitely wasn’t too big for him, came up and made some tackles as an enforcer in some of the run fits. He did a really good job. I was really pleased with him.”

Deayon in Coverage

Deayon was one of the smallest players on the field at 5-foot-9, 159-pounds.

He was also the most targeted Rams defender in the passing game, as Giants quarterback Daniel Jones threw it to Deayon’s side a game-high 12 times.

Deayon may have surrendered half of those targets as receptions, but the total yardage was bottled to 37…meaning opposing wideouts only managed 6.2 yards a catch when covered by Deayon.

And “Double D” took on six different receivers on the MetLife Stadium field. Not one caught more than two passes on Deayon. Here’s how each opposing WR fared via PFF:

  • Dante Pettis: Only 2 catches for 16 yards and gained two first downs when matched with Deayon. But caught just half of his targets.
  • Evan Engram: One catch, 6 yards.
  • Collin Johnson: Zero catches on one targeted throw with Deayon locked on him.
  • Sterling Shepard: Three targets, but 2 receptions for 13 yards. One catch went for 1-yard versus Deayon.
  • Devontae Booker: One reception good for 2 yards.
  • John Ross: Two targets, zero catches.

And the longest reception Deayon surrendered? A 12-yarder to Shepard.

Deayon accomplished these moments against the team that gave him his first NFL opportunity as an undrafted free agent in May of 2016. Deayon, however, was waived in October 2018 to make room for wide receiver Bennie Fowler.

Deayon was part of a stellar day for the Rams pass defense that saw not one pass go for more than 18 yards and witnessed Jones get picked off three times — two by Taylor Rapp and one by rookie Robert Rochell.

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