Analyzing the financial impact of the LA Rams 2022 draft class

Mandatory Credit: John McCoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: John McCoy-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Draft Rams Roster Daniel Hardy
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) /

Defensive Edge

Perhaps one of the positions that have inflated in value more than any other position in the NFL is that of the outside linebacker or Edge pass rusher. Historically, offenses have evolved into valuing the quarterback, the blind side anchor to the offensive line, and the top wide receiver. On defense, the value has been invested in the pass rusher and the shutdown corner.

Despite running a 3-4 defense, with four of the base defense categorized as linebackers, the LA Rams remain a bit on the light side at the position. 50 percent of the team’s entire linebacker positional spending is in the wallets of OLB Leonard Floyd and ILB Bobby Wagner.

No. 235 – Montana State EDGE Daniel Hardy – $729,926

The Rams lost three outside linebackers this offseason. Veteran outside linebacker Von Miller signed a six-year $120 million deal with the Buffalo Bills, OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo signed a one-year deal with the Houston Texans worth $3.25 million, and OLB Justin Lawler signed a one-year deal with the Tennessee Titans for $895,000. While he was the 235th overall selection from the 2022 NFL Draft, the Rams likely expect Hardy to at least fill the role of emergency pass rusher vacated by Lawler.

While Hardy is a late drafted rookie, adding him to the LA Rams defense has the benefit of adding another potential defender to the roster, while ensuring that the organization has financial incentives to ensure that Hardy succeeds in his quest to fill a spot on an NFL roster. Despite standing 6-foot-2 and weighing just 239 pounds, Hardy is incredibly athletic and has the makings in the opinion of many draft analysts of becoming a late-round gem.