Three LA Rams undrafted rookies have continued one of the team’s strongest legacies. The ability of the LA Rams to identify and coach up undrafted and oftentimes overlooked rookie talent seems to be unparalleled. Is this the chicken or the egg paradox?
Did the Rams develop the ability to create meaningful and qualified NFL players from the ranks of the undrafted first? Or did the fact that the Rams have traded away first-round draft picks force the team’s coaching staff to pay more attention to and invest more time in undrafted rookies than ever before? So who made the roster?
OLB Keir Thomas
The LA Rams have certainly needed reinforcements to the outside linebacker position, and Keir Thomas is the first rookie on the Rams roster to beat overwhelming odds and claim a roster spot. Overshadowed, but not outplayed, by his rookie teammate, OLB Daniel Hardy, Thomas really hustled to get noticed by the Rams coaching staff.
If one player earned a roster spot at the 11th hour, it was Keir Thomas, who put up three tackles, one quarterback sack, and three tackles for a loss in the Rams’ third and final preseason game against a motivated Cincinnati Bengals team.
We didn’t recognize Thomas’s improving chances at a roster spot until late in the process, but we immediately made note of the fact that he had crossed paths with LA Rams TE coach Thomas Brown at the University of South Carolina, a relationship that likely contributed to his ultimate ascension to the LA Rams initial 53-man roster.
ILB Jake Hummel
With the LA Rams loaded at the inside linebacker position with veteran Bobby Wagner and second-year Ernest Jones, the pressure is off Iowa State rookie inside linebacker Jake Hummel to produce instantly. So what does he do? He proceeds to go out and put up 21 tackles, a high water mark for the LA Rams players in preseason games.
Two months ago, we saw roster potential for this 6-foot-1, 235-pound rookie thumper and never changed our minds. He has an NFL linebacker career written all over him, and he will have the chance to fully develop under the mentorship of Bobby Wagner.
Our biggest concern was how the LA Rams might handle him. In fact, we were convinced that if the Rams cut him in hopes of landing Hummel on the practice squad, another NFL team would poach him, as has been the dismal tradition of the past three seasons.
WR Lance McCutcheon
There was no question about Lance McCutcheon’s ability to catch the football. In fact, the most serious questions raised were how many wide receivers were the LA Rams willing to carry on the 53-man roster. We now know that answer, and the answer is seven.
The 6-foot-3 202-pound wide receiver out of Montana State certainly put on a show over three preseason games, didn’t he?
Week 1: @ Chargers – 5/6, 87 yards, 2 TDs, 1 2Pt conversion
Week 2: Texans – 5/6 96 yards
Week 3: @ Cincinnati – 5/8 76 yards (pending outcome of the game)
Total: 15/19 255 yards, two touchdowns, and one two-point conversion
We recognized the potential of McCutcheon to make this roster months ago, and he warranted our confidence in him. By the time fans witnessed his production against the LA Chargers, his worthiness was undeniable.
Three LA Rams rookies have beaten all odds and have rightfully earned their place on the Rams roster. Not only do all three have promising futures in the NFL, but their claim to a roster spot serves as a shining example to future rookies who do not hear their names called out in the draft.
Stay Strong. You can do it too, especially if you sign on with the LA Rams.