LA Rams 2020 NFL Draft rookie floor and ceiling: Terrell Lewis

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

The LA Rams needed a dangerous pass rusher who could start from the 2020 NFL Draft, and Terrell Burgess is the ideal addition

With the 84th pick of the 2020 NFL Draft, the LA Rams selected Terrell Lewis, outside linebacker, form the University of Alabama. Lewis is a 6-foot-5, 262-pound outside linebacker who was projected as early as late in the first round.  Unfortunately, he suffered injuries in college, which contributed to his availability for the LA Rams in round three.

He was a key contributor to Alabama head coach Nick Saban’s defense when on the field and contributed to their winning the BCS National Title in 2018. He is the most exciting player drafted by the Rams this year, and most definitely could be a third-round steal. What makes him the most exciting is his ceiling. out of all the rookies drafted Lewis’s is the highest.

By watching Lewis’s play we can see what players who played in the NFL resemble him his style of play the most. Next, we can use that information to project to see what he can become. First, let’s look at his basic attributes. Then looking at we know we can use it to project a comp for both their floor and ceiling.

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Basic Attributes

-Quick off the snap when in obvious pass-rush situations

-Extensive injury history

-Some coverage skills

-Great at slapping a tackles hands to finesse by

-Sometimes allows defenders to get their hands upon his pads and struggles to get off his block

Ceiling-Justin Houston

Indianapolis Colts outside linebacker Justin Houston was another player out of the SEC who fell to the third round who possessed a first-round talent. While Houston fell due to a failed drug test, Lewis fell because of his injury history. Houston in his pro career averaged 9.9 sacks a season (another half-sack would’ve made it a perfect 10 per season) 4 pro bowls and a first-team All-Pro. He also was the sack leader in 2014 with 22 sacks being half a sack away from Michael Strahan’s record. If Lewis can find a way to be healthy he has the ability to be just as effective.  Imagine the potential of Lewis lined up next to All-Pro Aaron Donald? More than one offensive coordinator will lose sleep over it.

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Floor-Nick Perry

Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Nick Perry is what Lewis’s career will turn into if he is plagued by the injury bug. Maybe he will manage to have one good season should he remain healthy. When that happens, he could pile up double-digit sacks. But injuries derail careers one season at a time. If he cannot stay on the field, his career average will plummet to 4.5 sacks per season. The potential to become an elite pass-rushing football player will vanish to simple mediocrity because he may never see the football field. Missing time, this early, also ruins a player’s development. There is a saying in the NFL after all “the best ability is availability.”

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Final Projection

With a clean bill-of-heath, injury-plagued Terrell Lewis should play like Justin Houston minus the 2014 season. Lewis will develop into a wrecking ball from the outside and alongside Aaron Donald. He will have Justin Houston-like quarterback sack numbers on the LA Rams defense. An average of 8.5 sacks a season is solid for a player taken in the third round. All of the necessary skillset and talents are there for a huge impact in the NFL.  Add to that the fact that he will be playing next to Aaron Donald, and it’s easy to project him among the best NFL careers from the class of 2020. I do think he will have a slow rookie season but should see a massive jump in production year two.