LA Rams draft Nagy’s choices Creed and Cooper in latest mock

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Draft
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports /

At the edge of a new destiny

With the 103rd pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select outside linebacker Patrick Johnson, from the University of Tulane.

At 6-foot-2 and 255 pounds, Tulane edge rusher Patrick Johnson has a compact and feisty fierceness when he takes the field. In this scenario, the Rams’ second third-round pick adds a fierce defensive blue-chip player to the roster. He is absolute production, a player who starts fast and keeps on going: In 34 college games, he registered 120 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, 21 sacks, 11 pass breakups, and six forced fumbles.

He is not a tall and lanky edge guy. But the Rams have gone muscular and compact at defensive lineman before, with one Aaron Donald with no regrets. So why not expand the search to include a similar style of a player off the edge?

Pin Ball wizard

He is a thumper in run defense, able to shed blockers to bounce the ball carrier type. In pass-defense? He is solid in the zone defense that is a base for inside linebackers. As for man or more involved pass defense? He’ll need to keep working on it.

But he’s young and coachable. He has versatility, a solid understanding of NFL defenses, and would be a huge chip in facing the uncertainty of the 2022 NFL season and who will play inside linebacker then. But on the flip side, Johnson has the right body frame to slide inside. Why? Well, pair him with the next prospect…