LA Rams: 3 edge players who could be picked up off waiver wire

Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports /

If you’ve followed the LA Rams, you will note that the front office has a pretty savvy way of playing the 53-man roster cuts in such a way that the team seems to emerge with a regular-season roster that is more talented than expected. The LA Rams strike like a python in tall grass whenever a high-ceiling prospect is abandoned on the waiver wire on his was to be signed to the practice squad.

The LA Rams picked up RB Raymond Calais and OLB Justin Hollins using this trick and ended up getting some kickoff returns from Calais, and some QB sacks from Hollins. It’s a riskless and sometimes very effective way to add depth to the roster’s shallow positions without the cost of a draft pick or player. Right now, the LA Rams defense seems a bit shallow at outside linebacker.

If the Rams suffer any injuries to either Terrell Lewis or Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, the team will need a lot of production from too few players. If ironman Leonard Floyd gets dinged up? That would put the Rams defense into a rapid tailspin. The only want to avoid those unpleasantries is to be ready to strike like a python in tall grass. So who might the LA Rams claim quickly?

Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams /

Los Angeles Rams

Charles Snowden, Virginia – undrafted signing by Chicago Bears. As much as I loved this young man, I was heartbroken when he signed on with the Chicago Bears where he is learning how to be an NFL defensive end. At 6-foot-6 and just 243-pounds, he will be working very hard to put on muscle mass as quickly as he can. He is raw, making him an ideal blank slate for a specific defensive coach to mold him like clay to fit their needs. Of course, he is deep in the Bears depth chart, and they will likely cut him to add him to their 2021 practice squad. The Rams could sign him to their 53-man roster if that happens. By that time, he will likely be in that 250-260 pound range and be ready to play some football

Patrick Johnson, Tulane –  seventh-round selection by Philadelphia Eagles. I was surprised when the Philadelphia Eagles grabbed Johson. While he is talented enough, he is the doppelganger of one other Eagles pass rusher, Derek Barnett,  At 6-foot-2 and 240-pounds, he will likely be deployed on defense at  outside linebacker, and will need to fight to a safer spot on the depth chart. He will also need to put on about 10+ pounds of muscle to have a chance at sticking on an NFL team’s roster. I expect that he will be looking at a 2021 practice squad role unless the Rams take a fancy to him.

Quincy Roche,  Miami – sixth-round selection by Pittsburgh Steelers. He is another prospect who fell surprisingly to a late-round, although he had a promising draft profile. At 6-foot-3 and 246-pounds, he is a good bet to need some time in the weight room, perhaps 5-10 additional pounds. And with the Pittsburgh Steeler just adding veteran Melvin Ingrams, Roche’s chances of making the Steelers roster just plummeted. If the Steelers try to sneak him over to their practice squad, the LA Rams could pick up another promising outside linebacker for the 2021 NFL season.

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Sometimes the best strategies are to let other teams do the heavy lifting. The Rams ability to assess players from waiver wires to develop is proven, and the team may need to go to the waiver wire well one more time to ensure adequate depth at the outside linebacker position in 2021