LA Rams claiming Takk McKinley off waivers can block Seahawks efforts

Mandatory Credit: Curtis Compton/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Curtis Compton/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams need roster depth at linebacker. Claiming OLB Takkarist McKinley off waivers helps defense and hurts Seahawks

The LA Rams have a chance to kill two birds with one stone. Well, to be more exact, the Rams have a chance to strengthen their own roster, while weakening the hope of a division rival to strengthen their own roster.  The player we are talking about is outside linebacker Takk McKinley, and the rival team we are talking about is the Seattle Seahawks.

This all started when the Atlanta Falcons announced their decision to waive DE/OLB Takk McKinley. He was a former first-rounder, selected with the 27th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft. While he has only started in 25 of the 49 games he’s played in, he had enough production early in his NFL career to warrant additional interest from a team capable of salvaging what may yet be an outstanding tenure in the NFL.

And he clears the waiver wire today, November 11, at 1:00 pm PT.

What hurts a rival helps the Rams

At the time, we are intrigued over the upside of bringing in a young talented pass rusher to play alongside Aaron Donald, and among the LA Rams defense. One wrinkle, however, is the fact that in order for the Rams to outright negotiate a deal to play for the Rams, he would need to clear waivers.  That means that many teams have a better place on the waiver wire to claim McKinley.

One such team that stands behind that of the LA Rams is the Seattle Seahawks. They too have been very interested in helping their pass rush, and may also be interested in Takk McKinley.

Takkarist McKinley is every bit the part of an NFL pass rusher. He is a 6-foot-2 265-pound powerhouse who is very similar in size, shape, and style to Philadelphia Eagles edge rusher Brandon Graham. In fact, his production is a bit ahead of Graham’s early years in Philadelphia.

A free first-rounder?

The trick is whether or not the LA Rams can envision more value in McKinley than a current player on the roster. Admittedly, I have not run countless projections comparing McKinley to each and every player currently on the LA Rams roster. So a portion of this assessment is subjective. But McKinley appears to have all the raw talent of a Dante Fowler Jr, and we know how that worked out for the Rams.  The difference? Fowler cost the Rams a third and a fifth-round draft pick.

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The Rams merely need to submit a claim. If they are the first team in the waiver claim order to name McKinley, he will join the LA Rams, who will then need to find a roster spot opening to sign McKinley. But the Rams have two such roster spots open currently.  So the Rams could claim Takkarist McKinley without tipping their hand in the process.


The Cincinnati Bengals claimed Takkarist McKinley off waivers.

While this means no new addition to the LA Rams defense, it does ensure that no NFC West team will improve with this mid-season addition. So the Rams defense may not be better off, but the Rams chances at winning games against NFC West opponents have not lessened either.