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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LA Rams News Rams Roster Michael Hoecht
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Players developing for future roles

Yes, the LA Rams get results with their undrafted players. But, well, the results don’t happen overnight. Nor do they occur without a lot of effort and instruction by positional coaches. It’s their effort to work with players, sometimes over several years, to get these types of impressive results.

That shouldn’t be overlooked. This is a results-oriented industry, and odds favor those players who get a thumbs up from 32 other NFL teams and hundreds of analysts who tout the top 100 or so players from each year’s draft. But those players seldom arrive en masse to the Rams training camp.

Rams coaches work primarily to develop those players who, for one reason or another, have the right talents and attitude, but did not get enough or the right type of coaching advice to polish their football skills. They are a bit on the raw side and quite hungry for more knowledge when they arrive. And they find the Rams coaching staff and players to be warm and inviting, and just as eager to help get them everything they need to find NFL success. In fact, the team’s streak of four winning seasons under head coach Sean McVay depends on developing the necessary talent internally. So who is on the practice squad now to develop for a greater role in the future?

Undrafted players on 2021 initial 16-man practice squad (12+1):
Landon Akers -2021 -Iowa State
Otis Anderson Jr. – 2021 – UCF
Kendall Blanton -2019 – Missouri
Chandler Brewer – 2019 – Middle Tennessee
Marquise Copeland – 2019 – Cincinnatti
Dont’e Deayon – 2016 – Boise State
Tyler Hall – 2020 – Wyoming
Jeremiah Kolone – 2018 – San Jose State
J.J. Koski – 2020 – Cal Poly
Kareem Orr – 2019 – Chatanooga
Jared Hocker – 2021 – Texas A&M
Buddy Howell – 2018 – Florida Atlantic
Max Pircher – 2021 – International Pathway Program

The LA Rams have linked their future to 25 players who have never been drafted, or 36 percent of the roster. That is out of the 69 possible players currently linked to the organization. While other teams may have similar UDFAs as a component of their overall roster, few teams, if any, can boast this level of undrafted players while boasting about the level of success that the Rams have enjoyed over the past four seasons.

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The Rams hope to compete in Super Bowl LVI as the NFC champion. That’s a very high bar for expectation. To achieve that goal, the team will need incredible play from everyone.