3 LA Rams draft day trades to rock the NFL

Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports /
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Edge rusher

Another star of the practice squad is the young promising pass rusher from Minnesota Vikings named Hercules Mata’afa. He showed plenty of promise in limited defensive snaps in 2020 and could play a much larger role if the LA Rams seek him out via trade. He was undrafted and signed on with the Vikings after the 2018 NFL Draft.

He was relegated to the Vikings practice squad in 2020, and he may land there again in 2021. But he has the makings of a standout defensive player with the right combination of coaching and patience. A former defensive end for Washington State, he gave a nice video interview talking about his return to the practice squad.

He’s very versatile, and at 6-foot-2 and 254-pounds, is enough of a tweener size to line up with a hand in the dirt or in a two-point stance. I know him from his college days at Washington State and recall that he is a relentless pass rusher and defensive force. While blessed with significant power, his best moves involve tremendous agility and getting the upper hand in leverage with his quickness. He could slide in for the LA Rams in a role vacated by DE Morgan Fox if the team is uncertain about their own defensive line prospects

The Rams can afford to part with a 2022 fifth-round draft pick, and the Vikings would be wise to get a valuable pick for a player who could end up on the practice squad in 2021 and signed away for nothing.