Who will step up on the LA Rams defensive line in 2022?

Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams roster Marquise Copeland
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

I – Marquise Copeland

LA Rams defensive lineman Marquise Copeland has never heard his name called out at an NFL Draft. But that is the magic of Coach Eric Henderson and his #DAWGWORK philosophy. He finds diamonds in the rough, coaches them up to an NFL level of play, and forces analysts and pundits to ask “Where did this guy come from?” in the process.

Well, for starters, Copeland was another undrafted rookie signed by the LA Rams, after he failed to hear his name called in the 2019 NFL Draft.  So what did his draft profile look like?  Let’s revisit some of those past NFL draft profiles:

FA. Down the Drive. DL. Cincinnati. MarquiseCopeland. player. 830. Draft Profile

Modest projections do not define a player’s true potential

Copeland is one more undrafted gem for the LA Rams

Copeland had two common themes. On the minus side, he was described as too small, too weak, and simply too outgunned to be an effective NFL defensive lineman. On the plus side, Copeland was described as a willing and hard-working teammate who was solid at being the point of the attack on the defensive front, as well as helping out his teammates. He was praised frequently for his tackling ability, and he was touted as being a player who is constantly working to make plays.

At 6-foot-2 and 287-pounds, Copeland is nearly at the playing size of Rams All-Pro Aaron Donald, who was also assessed in his draft profile as too small, too weak, and simply too outgunned. Donald has exceeded those draft projections, and Copeland is well on his way to doing the same.

Marquise Copeland is an incredibly hard worker on the LA Rams defensive line. In a modest rotational role, he was good for a tackle on every ten defensive snaps. That is pretty impressive, particularly as it’s his first taste of playing time.

I love the progress Copeland is making, and he continues the tradition of undrafted players finding unparalleled success on the LA Rams roster.

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