What roles can 10 remaining UDFAs fill with LA Rams in 2021?
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams knew that the team was in need of interior linebacker help, and the team eventually signed four undrafted rookies to compete for the role. It should be noted that South Dakota State’s Christian Rozeboom survived the odd and remained with the team all year. He’s big, a daunting 6-foot-2 230-pound competitor who first appeared on the radar as the rookie who had a better understanding of the defense over seventh-round drafted rookie Clay Johnston.
With a strong linebacker presence, the player oftentimes plays either the run or the pass better. But Rozeboom does a good job at both, and he possesses the size and power needed to truly play a full NFL season. The challenge for 2020 was simply that the inside linebacker role is one of the most difficult positions to pick up because the position sets the defensive front seven. In short, the linebacker must not only know how to play his position, but how to read offensive formations to set the defensive formation for the best response.
And the Rams had too little time to do anything more than to prepare their starters for the job. Now that Rozeboom has a year under his belt, he is already fast at work preparing to compete for a role on the 2021 defense. And he may have a good shot at that effort. You see, we featured his arrival to the Rams roster in 2020, and were quickly impressed by the way he not only plays the position but how he leads by example.
It is plain that the Rams need a boost in competition at the inside linebacker position. While Travin Howard is returning from a season-ending injury, Rozeboom is attacking the competition for playing time from a different angle. He’s been the ‘other guy’ for the past year, the practice squad rookie who has had a year to watch, learn, train, practice and absorb everything around him. He passed Clay Johnston in 2020’s makeshift training camp. I expect that he could be a surprise competitor to start for the Rams in 2021.