LA Rams: 3 veteran free agents still available at a position of need

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /
2 of 4
LA Rams News Rams Free Agency Nick Bawden
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /


The Detroit Lions added fullback Nick Bawden in the seventh round of the 2018 NFL Draft and finally got him onto the field during the 2020 NFL season. He is 6-foot-2 and weighs in at 245 pounds. He never carried the ball for the Lions’ offense on a running play, and he was targeted just six times, catching four of those passes for 17 yards and one first down. So now you are wondering why bother, right?

Well, consider Bawden to be a personal bodyguard for the LA Rams’ new quarterback Matthew Stafford. He can take the place of a plug-and-play blocker to negate blitzing defenders, as well as offer the Rams offense the flexibility to set up a passer pocket anywhere behind the offensive line, not just immediately behind the center position.

Hot. LA Rams Rumors: Were Rams ‘sticking with that MFer’ over Tom Brady?. light

The Rams relied heavily upon the ability of veteran running back Malcolm Brown to neutralize defenders who were closing in on the quarterback. That role doesn’t jump out from the Rams’ current roster, and it is even more important to lock down because the Rams have an even more urgent need to protect Stafford and certainly more questions bout the integrity of the offensive line this year. And, of course, Bawden can be an outlet for Stafford if he cannot find an open man.

Bawden has a solid history with quarterback Matthew Stafford, so he would be the ideal safety valve for the veteran quarterback who will need to make instantaneous decisions for one of the most complex offenses in the NFL. Sure, the Rams can repurpose a tight end like Johnny Mundt for the role, but the Rams have used a backfield role for a tight end more to disguise a passing route than to ensure the safety of the quarterback. Bawden played alongside Stafford in 2020, and would instantly become a solid bouncer for the Rams backfield this season.