The LA Rams have a few players in the last year of their contract. We know that there are five offensive linemen in that category, and five linebackers as well. But perhaps the one expiring contract that is the most troubling for the LA Rams defense is that of nose tackle Sebastian Joseph Day. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t, because SJD is one of the LA Rams’ most productive defensive linemen. So productive, that he was named to the NFL’s most underappreciated players’ list.
Sebastian Joseph-Day is playing on the last year of his rookie contract, and that makes him a tremendous bargain for the LA Rams defense right now. He has been one of the players who has elevated his game each year for the Rams defense, ensuring that the team’s production did not decline as veterans sought big paydays elsewhere, and younger developing players were promoted to a more prominent role.
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SJD is a 6-foot-4 310-pound powerhouse who was drafted by the LA Rams with the 195th pick of the 2018 NFL Draft. That is a fairly deep slot in the NFL Draft to become a true starter in his second NFL season.
While he didn’t see action in 2018, he was promoted to a starting position in 2019 to cover the vacated roster spot of veteran defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh. Since that time, he has never looked back.
In fact, he has started 31 games for the Rams on defense in the past two years and recorded 55 tackles and one quarterback sack in 2020. That in itself is fairly impressive, as he was given the nose tackle role in just his second NFL season, and he handled it well enough to be a returning starter to that spot in 2020.
He did so with just over 400 defensive snaps, and his individual production ranks as one of the best quality performers on the Rams defense, as well as the NFL at large. His Pro Football Focus grade for 2020 was 80.6, a significant improvement over his 2019 grade of 63.0.
Like many players who perform week-in-and-week-out, he is often overlooked because he is simply one of the most dependable defensive players on the team. That should change in 2021 because he has been improving each season. Now, playing for his next contract, the NFL will likely see the best season of his career.