OLB depth is better than expected
After the 2021 NFL Draft, the LA Rams outside linebacker room held a number of questions about the quality of the rather young players. After all, the only certainty at first glance appeared to be returning veteran Leonard Floyd. After that? Question mark after question mark.
The Rams held to their plan, and soon Justin Hollins emerged as the bookend starter to pair with Floyd. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo showed a much quicker and elusive pass rush this year. At that point, the Rams had a base trio who could handle the workload if they stay healthy. While the health of second-year outside linebacker Terrell Lewis has not yet been resolved, when he does step onto the football field, he can play.
That all felt a bit light until preseason games began. In the first contest, it was Justin Lawler who was all over the field, proving that he must be considered in the rotation off the edge. At that point, the roster appeared to be taking shape, and that allowed the Rams to waive undrafted rookie Max Roberts.
Getting the hint, rookie Chris Garrett put on an incredible of successive plays off the edge that seemed to feature everything the coaches could ask of an outside linebacker. He tipped a pass leading to an interception. He followed that up by tackling a good running back for a six-yard loss. Then he recorded a quarterback sack, followed by another pass deflection. He finished it up with a devastating strip-sack.
Suddenly, the position appears to be quite deep as the Rams complete their second wave of cutting five players.