9 LA Rams players from FCS Schools may be difference makers

(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /
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LA Rams roster
(Photo by Josh Lefkowitz/Getty Images) /

Thank you, Eastern Washington!

The LA Rams should send an annual thank you card to Eastern Washington University because their football program has proven to be a great incubator for future Rams’ players.  Just take outside linebacker Samson Ebukam, for example. The 6-foot-3 245-pound outside linebacker for the LA Rams is entering his fourth season with the team. Each year, his production improves, and he is now considered to be the favorite to start opposite veteran free agent signing Leonard Floyd. How long he gets to keep that starting role will depend on how well he plays. So you can be sure he won’t give up defensive snaps easily.

He can set the edge in run defense, rush the quarterback and generate pressure, quarterback hits, and even sacks, or drop back into pass coverage and hold receivers to a 60 percent completion rate. Even in a rotational role in 2019, he saw the field for over 50 percent of the defensive snaps. Part of the reason the Rams did not scramble to re-sign OLB Dante Fowler Jr. is the fact that Ebukam was waiting in the on-deck circle. Of course, the team drafted Terrell Lewis to play on the edge. Don’t be surprised if Lewis subs out Floyd instead.

Taking the Coupe out for a spin!

Last but most certainly not least, the Rams have wide receiver Cooper Kupp, another impact player out of Eastern Washington  Kupp is a gifted wide receiver who fell to a devastating ACL injury in 2018. Rather than make excuses, Kupp came out in 2019 and just made plays. In fact, his resurgence to over 1,000 yards placed him alongside teammate Robert Woods for that achievement. The LA Rams were only one of three NFL teams to boast two receivers over the thousand-yard mark.

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Kupp has improved dramatically each season and is projected to compete as the top-ranked receiver in the NFL this year. Lofty goals? Not for a player in the last year of his contract, seeking to get a huge contract to play next year. Kupp is the top-rated receiver on the Rams offense for good reason. For the Rams to reclaim the NFC West crown, or even to return to the NFL playoffs, Kupp must deliver a career-high season. Not only can he do so, but he will also do so.