LA Rams: Hollins to IR, best free agent OLBs to keep an eye on

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News Rams Free Agency Mark Nzeocha
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

III: Cowboy

A third option worth kicking the tires on is 6-foot-3 240-pound former Wyoming Cowboy outside linebacker Mark Nzeocha. Nzeocha has played in the NFL for six seasons, both with the San Francisco 49ers as well as the Dallas Cowboys.

Primarily a special team player, he did earn a solid rotational role with the 49ers in 2018, the season where he played in 16 games and started in three. Over his career, he has recorded 40 tackles, one interception, one quarterback sack, one forced fumble, two passes defended, and one quarterback hit.

He may not jump off the page as a superstar, but he is quite familiar with the 49ers’ defense and has played a rotational role on defense his entire career. A bonus with him is his strong special teams’ play.

He was selected by the Cowboys with the 236th selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, and slowly developed over time, both with the Cowboys and with the 49ers. In September 2020, he suffered a quadriceps injury that forced him to IR until being recalled in December.

Before he was injured, Nzeocha showed steady development. But in the year he would have claimed a larger role on defense, he was forced to rehab and is not hopeful for another opportunity.

The LA Rams could be a nice landing spot, on a roster where he could earn defensive snaps, could play on special teams, and work his way back onto the radar of NFL general managers by filling an imminent and perhaps urgent need for the Rams.