LA Rams News: Team signs DL Hoecht to reserve futures contract
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams have at least one bit of good news to share just one day after their season ended at the hands of the Green Bay Packers. Today, the Rams have reportedly signed a future/reserves contract with defensive lineman Michael Hoecht for 2021. The news was first reported by CFL inside analyst John Hodge, who has been a solid source of the latest developments and news for Canadien football players. He continues that reputation with his latest report.
As you recall, Hoecht was an undrafted free agent rookie who signed on with the Rams in 2020. The 6-foot-4 310-pound defensive lineman from Brown University played on the Rams practice squad for the duration of the 2020 NFL Season.
So what’s so good about it? Well, you may not know it yet, but Michael Hoecth has serious upside. The reason it has not yet shown up on the Rams football field is the fact that the Rams are quite deep at the defensive line position. Hoecht is raw. But the potential for great things in the NFL is there.
2020 was a ridiculously challenging season for all NFL rookies, but for undrafted rookies, the odds were nigh impossible. The NFL 2020 season did not allow for organized team activities and no direct contact between players and coaching staff. In fact, the only preseason activity authorized was a virtual meeting format that allowed coaches and players to meet to discuss NFL updates, team philosophies, playbooks, and procedures.
For a rookie who had not been a member of the NFL prior to 2020, that was nothing more than a virtual tour of the NFL. When teams finally were authorized to bring players in, the compacted time frames were such that there was almost little to no competition. Coaches had virtually prescribed starting roles before players ever arrived, and training camp was a mad-dash to ensure projected starters were fluent in their plays and responsibilities.
For players like Hoecht, who were bursting with potential and talent, their opportunity to play would not occur last year. So what is it that makes Hoecht so special? Well, for starters, he is one of the smartest players in the NFL. But he’s more than just a player possessing a great football IQ.
Hoecht is a former high school running back who now plays on the defensive line. His 25-repetitions of 225-pounds proves that he has enough power and strength for the job. But his speed of 4.6-seconds for a 40-yard dash opens the door to much much more. With that speed, he’ll surely be a good candidate for special teams’ play. But with his size and strength, he has the potential to be very versatile for the Rams.
If he stood up, he could be a devastating force off the edge as a defensive end/outside linebacker hybrid. If he worked hard to develop a pass defense, he could be a huge fireplug at any of the Rams’ four linebacker positions. And with his experience running the ball, he could even be a fullback option in much the same way as the Rams have used tight end, Johnny Mundt.
Yes, the Rams are signing Michael Hoecht to a reserve futures contract. There will likely be more players signed in the days ahead, most of whom were members of the team’s practice squad. But the future is now, folks. We are already deep into January 2021, and events for the team are happening at an ever-faster pace. Hang on, this will be a bumpy ride.