LA Rams UDFAs will be vital for Super Bowl season

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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Rams roster

So who are these undrafted players? And perhaps just as important, how many are on the LA Rams’ current roster?  Well, let’s go down the list. There are 12 players on the initial 53-man roster who were never drafted. Of that number,  Four are projected starters, one is projected as a primary player for specific offensive sub-packages, four are rotational contributors, and five are backups who could see action on special teams.

The four starters are punter Johnny Hekker, long snapper Matt Orzech, defensive back Darious Williams, and linebacker Troy Reeder. While it may not headline that the Rams have two undrafted players as starters for their special teams, it should not be discounted. Special teams’ play is very vital to the success of the team, and the play of a long snapper and punter seems to be only newsworthy if and when they fail to meet expectations rather than when they exceed them.

Undrafted players on 2021 initial 53-man roster (12):
Johnny Hekker  – 2012 – Oregon State
Darious Williams – 2018 – Alabama at Birmingham
Johnny Mundt – 2017 – Oregon
Troy Reeder – 2019 – Deleware
John Wolford – 2018 – Wake Forest
J.R. Reed – 2020 – Georgia
Matt Orzech – 2019 – Asuza Pacific
Juju Hughes – 2020 – Fresno State
Jonah Williams – 2020 – Weber State
Bryce Perkins – 2020 – Virginia
Michael Hoecht – 2020 – Brown
AJ Jackson -2021 – Iowa

Perhaps no statistic punctuates the sheer hit-or-miss nature of the NFL Draft than the fact that the Rams are carrying 12 players on their 2021 53-man roster. If the NFL draft process were as infallible as many believe it to be, there would simply be no room on the team for so many players who did not warrant hearing their name in a draft. Instead, the Rams have embraced the chance of failure in the draft process by investing significant effort to research, vet, and sign undrafted players.

I think the results speak for themselves.