When the 6-foot-5, 275-pound defensive end Jonah Williams arrived at the LA Rams out of Weber State in a rather unheralded fashion to start off the 2020 NFL season, few took, notice. He was an undrafted rookie free agent in that year, one of five players who signed with the LA Rams. He was joined by Michael Hoecht, Sam Renner, Eric Banks, and Greg Reaves.
Hoecht is still with the LA Rams as well (we’ll talk about him soon), and Banks has signed on with the LA Chargers. Sam Renner is a free agent after his release from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021 in their effort to get to the 53-man roster limit. Finally, Reaves has signed on with the Tampa Bay Bandits after a year with the USFL Bay Area Sea Lions.
And yet, here we are and Williams is still with the team. Perhaps more than just with, as he could be positioned to make a run at significant playing time this year. He played very well in the 2021 preseason, leading to his making the initial 53-man roster.
From there, he appeared in eight games for 96 defensive snaps and recorded five tackles. Not a great start, but one that absolutely lit a fire in the young man to do better this year. And he will. How can I be so sure? That’s the pattern for Williams.
The LA Rams, knowing that the pattern of draft classes has been to get ’em while they’re hot, supercharged their 2020 roster with defensive linemen because that draft class was so incredibly deep and gifted. Williams himself carried as high as an early Day 3 grade on his draft profile but fell out of the draft simply because NFL teams were satiated with talented defensive linemen that year.