Which LA Rams rookies should be on your radar against the Texans?

Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports /
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Defensive front

Daniel Hardy – Jersey #44 – Daniel Hardy is another rookie who is expected to make the Rams’ 53-man roster with almost no difficulty. While that may be true, the devil is in the details at the outside linebacker position. Does he take proper pursuit angles on plays going the other direction? Does he keep his eyes trained on the football as he rushes? Does he set the edge before closing on the ball carrier? Sometimes the best edge rusher is best judged by what he does on all plays, not just how many QB sacks he generates.

Jake Hummel – Jersey #59 – While the LA Rams appear to be solid at the inside linebacker position depth-wise, undrafted rookie inside linebacker Jake Hummel is making a very persuasive case to remain with the team. While he may not have a shot at cracking the Rams’ starting lineup or even landing a roster spot on the 53-man roster, he deserves to be tracked against the Texans. He tied for the most tackles against the LA Chargers and should be in the running to do so once again. He should make the Rams practice squad. He’s a fundamentally sound thumper.

Elijah Garcia – Jersey #69 – Rookie defensive lineman Elijah Garcia may not have shown up in the preseason stats just yet, but he is a high-effort, nose-to-the-grindstone type of defender who can show up in the stats on any given play. With the injury to defensive lineman Bobby Brown III, I’m looking for an opportunity for Garcia to step in and step up for the Rams’ defensive line.

Defensive secondary

Dan Isom – Jersey #41 – While rookie safety Dan Isom may be buried on the LA Rams depth chart, he has already jumped out to lead the preseason defense in interceptions. While the team appears to be set at the safety position with four veterans, the roster is always possible for a player who can contribute both on defense and on special teams. Isom may not make the 53-man roster, but he is making a strong case for the practice squad. He’s worth keeping an eye on against the Texans.

Cobie Durant – Jersey #14 – Decobie Durant was the first defensive back chosen by the LA Rams in the 2022 NFL Draft, and as such is another player likely destined to make the Rams’ 53-man roster. While he is not a sure thing, he certainly seems to have confirmed the team’s choice as he has been getting plenty of praise throughout training camp into the preseason. He was even a top performer against the LA Chargers. Now, he’ll need to follow up on that debut in Game 2.

Russ Yeast II – Jersey #43 – The Rams drafted Russ Yeast to compete in 2022, but the numbers game may force that competition for a roster spot to take multiple years. Although he was drafted late, with the 253rd overall pick, he has been one of several pleasant surprises for the team so far. He also put up some solid numbers against the Chargers. Now, he will need to show up once more against the Texans.

Derion Kendrick – Jersey #6 – Derion Kendrick is a potential 53-man roster player for the LA Rams in 2022. Much like the 2020 NFL defensive back Jordan Fuller, Kendrick put up good video and production in college football, but his draft profile cited less than optimal speed as cause to discount his NFL potential. If you keep your eye on him in Game 2, you may see a different story taking shape. Kendrick is a savvy defensive back who loves to use the resources available to him in coverage. He leverages the sidelines, takes optimal angles, and times his arrival to that of the football.

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