Let’s hear it for LA Rams UDFA LT AJ Jackson’s solid debut

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams News AJ Jackson
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

UDFA with all the right measurables

When the LA Rams signed AJ ‘Alaric’ Jackson after the 2021 NFL Draft, they signed a player with all of the right boxes checked for a potentially successful NFL career.  Per the team’s official roster, the young man stands a towering 6-foot-7 and weighs a svelte 285-pounds. We’ll chat about that weight in a bit.

Jackson is a football player who plays the offensive left tackle position and plays it well. And why not? After all, his 42 starts in college equate to a full college career plus a season at the NFL level. Some commented on his signing that there must have been good reasons why 32 NFL teams passed on him seven times. Well, sometimes NFL teams make mistakes. The NFL Draft is not a flawless selection process.

5 reasons why LA Rams signing UDFA OT Alaric Jackson is a big deal. light. Must Read

Teams draft for needs and then round out the roster to ensure sufficient roster depth. In 2021, NFL teams had a deep class of offensive linemen to choose from. With too many to sort through, NFL teams use several keys to investigate further on a prospect. First of all, teams focus upon players who perform well at the NFL Draft Combine. After that, teams key on competitive games like the East-West Shrine Bowl or the Senior Bowl.

Unfortunately, Jackson did not bury the needle in either set of events. The truth is that Jackson was a bit sluggish as he played offensive tackle, and as a result, decided to change his diet. While he would suffer in the short term, the decision would have long-term benefits for the young man.

He arrived with a huge body of quality work, was already making decisions to improve his NFL performance, and arrived with a bit of a chip on his shoulder. But there is more to this young man than hurt feelings. Let’s dig deeper.