Who will step up on the LA Rams defensive line in 2022?
By Bret Stuter
III – Michael Hoecht
There is a great deal to like about defensive lineman Michael Hoecht. For starters, he is one of several players on the LA Rams roster who never heard his name called out during an NFL Draft. He signed on with the team after the 2020 NFL Draft, a draft class that was so bursting with NFL defensive linemen that the Rams signed four players after that draft, and two remain with the team to this day.
Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 310 pounds, he is a long and fast-moving defensive lineman, a player who showed up well in the 2021 preseason games, and who has the ability to slide across and compete well at all three defensive line positions for the Rams.
Hoecht is Canadian and is one of the few players to sign with an NFL team despite being undrafted while being drafted by the CFL Ottowa Redblacks. He formed a passion for football while cheering for the Oakwood High School Lumberjacks in Dayton Ohio, and set out to become the best football player he could possibly be.
That passion carried him into the offensive backfield until a growth spurt made him larger than his offensive linemen. That passion carried him to Brown University, an Ivy League school not known for producing NFL-caliber football players.
Finally, that passion has carried him to the LA Rams, despite the uncertainty of making the roster.
"“The goal for me is to play professional football in the best situation I can. Right now, that’s the Rams and I’m going to do everything I can to make that team. The goal isn’t necessarily what team I’m on, it’s just to play football at the highest level possible. Whatever team that ends up being, I’m going to be happy to keep on playing.” – Michael Hoecht as quoted by Ottawa Sun’s Tim Baines"
It’s safe to say that Hoecht has chosen wisely. He is entering the third season of his NFL career and already has a Super Bowl ring. But he’s not done yet. In fact, he’s just getting warmed up.