7 underdog LA Rams UDFAs who have real shot to earn roster spot

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Defensive end Sam Renner

Minnesota defensive lineman Sam Renner is a player competing in a crowded field of the Rams defensive lineman. But he’s a bit special. How so? Well, at 6-foot-4 and 275-pounds, he has plenty of height and weight to bulk up for an interior role on the defensive line or remain sleek for a defensive end role. In his senior year, he racked up 43 tackles, five sacks, and four defended passes. In a defense looking to confuse the quarterback, imagine the defensive ending bouncing up to take a role in defending the pass?

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Renner has an uphill battle steeper than any other player on this list. Not only are the LA Rams set with six quality defensive linemen, but the team truly signed on some quality competition after the 2020 NFL Draft as well. Still, Renner should be up for the challenge. He’s good, very good. And if the Rams had a preseason, he would be filling Rams’ highlight reels with solid play up front. In fact, he was interviewed after signing with the Rams, and he is excited at the chance.

Work ethic counts most this year

Renner is a blue-collar type who puts in the work and lets his play do his talking for him. He’s already gotten a bit of buzz from Pro Football Focus, who had ranked him in terms of interior defensive lineman in the draft. They graded him second on tackling, eleventh on the pass rush, and 22nd on sacks. That’s pretty special for an interior defensive lineman, particularly one who falls out of the draft.

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Renner is one of the undervalued players who helped buoy the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ success in recent years. One of the characteristics about him is that he arrives polished. While all players benefit from the weight room, coaching, and training camp, Renner has a good understanding of tackling and leveraging. Even if he lands on special teams as a tackler specialist, that is enough to get his foot in the door.  After that, opportunities will come. When they do, he will make the most of them.