LA Rams News: Edge rusher Terrell Lewis could be the next star in the NFL
When the LA Rams prepared to pass the torch from OLB Dante Fowler Jr. to OLB Samson Ebukam, the team had no foreknowledge of who could be available to help them rush the passer from the edge position. Of course, the talent was deep enough at the position that ensured the Rams would get someone with talent, but with each 2020 NFL Draft mock ran, simulations never had Alabama OLB Terrell Lewis falling to the Rams even to the second round, let alone the third round. So when the LA Rams used picks 52 and 57 to select offensive players, any hope of landing a premier edge rusher faded rapidly.
And then, at pick 84, Alabama edge rusher Terrell Lewis was there on the draft board. Not only was he there, but the LA Rams had actually named him as their selection. It was one of the best moments of elation I’d ever experienced through many years of the NFL Draft. A player whose positional role and talents excelled exactly in the ways the team needed. A perfect storm of the right rookie to the right team with the right need and the right coach to give this story a bit of Hollywood drama.
Hollywood script – complete with drama
The only thing missing? This is 2020 and the NFL, as well as most of the globe, is under siege due to the threat of COVID-19. That threat has compelled the NFL to adapt community guidelines of social distancing, self-quarantining, and the elimination of direct contact between coaches and players – both before and after the NFL Draft.
That means the tales of workouts, coach impressions, and training camp stories confirming the belief that the rookie is everything the team hoped he’d be and more are not arriving on schedule. Instead, slow-moving doubts have taken over. Doubts about medical flags, the “why did he fall so far?” question, and then the general concerns that an NFL rookie edge rusher will suffer from no on-field practice on schedule.