Latest allegations over SDSU P Matt Araiza may explain why LA Rams passed

Sd 081122 Bills Camp 17 Spts
Sd 081122 Bills Camp 17 Spts /

The LA Rams were certainly in the market for a new punter for the 2022 NFL season, and of the nine reported predraft meetings held before the 2022 NFL Draft, the Rams met with two punters. The first punter was Nevada’s punter Julian Diaz. The second punter was San Diego State’s punter Matt Araiza.

From the fans’ perspective, the LA Rams entered the NFL Draft with a need for a solid punter, despite the fact that the team had signed veteran punter Riley Dixon. The team emerged without a punter, promptly signing Texas punter/kicker Cameron Dicker to compete for a roster spot.

But after losing out on a solid offensive talent Creed Humphrey to the Chiefs in the 2021 NFL Draft, the Rams fanbase was a bit jumpy over the team’s inaction to address what was perceived as a strong roster need. But NFL teams have a significant number of areas used to determine the projected fit of a prospect to the team. Talent, character, coachability, medical history, college production, athleticism, and even legacy.

Allegations and Rams decisions

With the news about allegations made against Matt Araiza and two of his San Diego State football teammates, it is quite likely that the Rams determined the matter as too volatile to determine the facts in the case. Now, serious allegations are coming to light.

Allegations do not define guilt, merely the need to establish pertinent facts. But the matter is reportedly an ongoing investigation by the San Diego police department. The most recent news about the incident is due to the fact that a lawsuit has been filed by the plaintiff.

Our purpose in identifying allegations is neither an attempt to accuse Araiza of any guilt nor to diminish or disregard the seriousness of the accusations made by the victim. If anything, this is simply an attempt to illustrate just how difficult it can be for an NFL team to assess the character of any prospect. For the Rams, the uncertainty was enough for the team to seek a punter elsewhere.

However the matter is resolved, there is one thing that is clear. The LA Rams do their due diligence in determining which rookie prospects will be a good fit on the Rams roster. In many cases, we cite the success stories of undrafted players who flourish by working with the Rams’ coaching staff. But perhaps more should be said about the players who are enmeshed in uncertainty or character concerns who the Rams pass on as well.

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