If there is such as thing as a gut feeling, then the LA Rams rookie outside linebacker Daniel Hardy is both the cause and the beneficiary this year. There is a bias toward uncovering the positive intrigue about a rookie class at the conclusion of the NFL Draft, and we can be as guilty as anyone for looking for the silver linings with each and every newly selected rookie.
But some rookies have more than ‘on paper,’ positives. Call it a hunch, a gut feeling, a swagger. Whatever you are comfortable with naming that set of unquantifiable qualities that make you feel especially optimistic about a player’s chances. After evaluating his draft profile, we were sold on the young man. And the more we learn about this young man at camp, the more we are convinced that he will break the tradition of redshirting rookies.
He is such a positively charged player, so much so that it’s fun tracking his training camp progress:
He gives his all each day, every day, at practice. He is the outside linebacker whose pads popped loudly enough against TE Kendall Blanton that the sound was heard all over the football field.
Why all the fuss about a late drafted rookie? Well, it’s tough to root against a guy who promised his father that he would take care of his mother and sister before his father passed away. Seriously, how can you NOT cheer for a guy with that on his plate?
I have a soft spot for young men who embrace the grind, embody a solid work ethic, and who are not looking for spotlights or headlines
Perhaps it’s that stubborn and relentless attitude that triggers that gut feeling. After plenty of years on this planet, I’ve learned never to discount anyone who won’t surrender. There are some people in life who get tougher as the competition stiffens, who seem to find a way to always come out on top.
Daniel Hardy seems to be that type of player. At 6-foot-3 and 248-pounds, he is neither the biggest nor the most powerful edge rusher. But from what we are learning so far, he may be the most determined. He is one of the hardest hitters in training camp, appears to be a lock to make coverage units on special teams.
Will he earn defensive snaps? He is determined to do exactly that.