5 rookies could step up and be the LA Rams draft star in 2021?

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Draft Ernest Jones
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

A field general

Inside linebacker Ernest Jones is a 6-foot-2 230-pound rookie out of the South Carolina Gamecocks who is already projected as solid competition for a starting role for 2021. How can someone who has yet to take a snap in a football game be counted upon to maneuver and outflank NFL offenses? Because that’s what he does.

Ernest Jones gets by with a little help from his friends. His friends, of course, are the other 10 defensive players on the field alongside him. And he gets by because he has the instinctive qualities of a good football strategist. That’s something we’ll continue to discuss throughout the offseason.

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Just as head coaches who are newly hired seek to bring on their franchise quarterback, defensive coordinators like to get ‘their guy’ calling the plays on defense, and defensive coordinator Raheem Morris has an excellent opportunity to do exactly that with the selection of Jones. There may be a mix and match process throughout training camp, but the upside of Jones combined with his natural longevity of signing on with a rookie contract could be the difference in landing Jones in a starting role for the Rams.

Of course, the team has a logjam of linebackers for the 2021 season, but the returning veterans face expiring contracts this year.  That could serve the hopes of Ernest Jones well, as he makes the most sense to land a starting role from the continuity that he brings for the next four seasons. But he will need to earn that role. Look for him to show up large and in charge through the three pre-season games, and that will launch him into a solid 2021 season.