Josh Uche leads 10 LA Rams Big-10 2020 NFL Draft targets

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams Josh Uche
(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /

Michigan Edge rusher Uche

The LA Rams need a dominant edge rusher in the 2020 NFL Draft and find one quickly with the University of Michigan’s edge rusher Josh Uche. With the likely departure of the productive but very expensive outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr., the Rams need instant production from the edge.  NFL free agents at Fowler’s level will be far too expensive, and anyone in the Rams price range is likely not worth the price.

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Uche is a 6-foot-1 241-pound Wolverine who turned a lot of heads at the Senior Bowl with his natural and dominating pass rush on some of the 2020 NFL Draft’s best offensive tackles. Think OLB James Harrison or DE Brandon Graham as NFL players with a similar play style. He can turn on a dime, lowering the inside shoulder and pivoting like rack-and-pinion steering. He was a bench player for the Wolverines until 2018 when he saw action in nine games and recorded 8.0 sacks. In 2019, he was a starter and chalked up 33 tackles, 7.5 sacks, and 10 tackles for losses.

Uche may be a pass-rush specialist, but he defends the run nearly as effectively. He translates pass rush moves on running plays to shed blockers while maintaining the edge. The downside is that he had only one full season with the Michigan Wolverines  His first three seasons of college football was rotational play and spot duty.

He dominates when he zeroes in on the quarterback, but needs additional work to grade competently at pass coverage. He did record one pass defense in 2019, but that will most certainly be an area for coaching in the NFL. With a four-year starter portfolio, Uche projects as a top-10. But there is not enough film on him to give nervous GM’s the confidence to pick him. The Rams do not hesitate. Uche will participate in the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine as an outside linebacker, Group 3, which is scheduled to arrive Tuesday, February 25.

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