How 3 LA Rams UDFAs overcame impossible odds to make the 53-man roster
The LA Rams have a good track record of finding gems among the prospects left after the draft. The odds of an undrafted player making it the active roster of any NFL team in 2020 was nearly impossible. So the fact that three undrafted rookies have probably made it to the 53-man roster is a cause for celebration for their accomplishments. After all, this was a season where every roadblock, hurdle, speedbump, and obstacle was thrown at them.
Despite the gauntlet in the place where the NFL preseason routine used to be, three Rams undrafted rookies overcame the tremendous odds to be here. They had no preseason games. They had no organized team activities.
They had a month to arrive, learn as much and as quickly as they could, and then demonstrate it more proficiently than veterans who have known much of the same information for a year.
RB Xavier Jones
While some may think that running back Xavier Jones landed a spot on the Rams roster only because Darrell Henderson suffered a minor hamstring injury, I’m not convinced that is the case. Both All-Pro DT Aaron Donald and Head Coach Sean McVay called out Jones for having an excellent camp
Even as the NFL leans further and further to the passing game, a player like Jones has all the right stuff to pull the Rams back to the running game.
WR Trishton Jackson
When Syracuse wide receiver Trishton Jackson entered the 2020 NFL Draft, he was expected to draw early interest. At 6-foot-1 and 197-pounds, the young wide receiver was given a draft projection of rounds two or three in the 2020 NFL Draft. He fell, due to so much talented competition in this year’s wide receiver class.
Jackson’s speed of 4.5-seconds for the 40-yard dash is slightly better than that of Rams WR Josh Reynolds. With Reynolds projected to test the NFL Free Agency market in 2021, Jackson could develop this year to take over in 2021. In the meantime, he will assist Nsimba Webster in a return role on special teams.
DL Eric Banks
The most curious undrafted rookie to make the 53-man roster is that of defensive lineman Eric Banks. That is until you know that Rams defensive line coach Eric Henderson coached banks at the University of Texas at San Antonio in 2016. It makes sense for his Henderson to see a bit more in Banks than most would. And it’s that previous connection that aided Banks onto the roster this year.
Banks is a versatile athlete who was a high school star quarterback, star basketball player, and defensive end. He has the type of background who can be a hybrid player for the Rams this year. If he learns how to stand up and survive in pass coverage, he will be an awesome player for the future.
That’s a quick round-the-horn discussion of three undrafted rookies who beat nearly impossible odds to make the Rams roster.