LA Rams discover Michael Hoecht is no gimmick, he is a true pass rusher

Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams have not gotten much help from their outside linebackers in the 2020 NFL season beyond veteran OLB Leonard Floyd. The situation has gotten so bad, that the team has outright cut three outside linebackers this season: OLB Chris Garrett (now on Minnesota Vikings practice squad), OLB Terrell Lewis (now on Chicago Bears practice squad), and OLB Justin Hollins (now on Green Bay Packers roster).

Of the group who have been released, the LA Rams lost 24 tackles and two quarterback sacks, combined.

So far this season, the LA Rams’ newest outside linebacker, Michael Hoecht, has recorded 24 tackles and 3.5 quarterback sacks. So why isn’t anyone taking his potential as a bonafide pass rusher seriously? I really don’t know.

Some believe that Hoecht is ‘too big’ to play the position. I’m not so sure that’s true. If the guy can learn a new position to help out the defense on the fly, and rack up quarterback sacks at his current pace, why must he change anything? After all, this is a guy who played as a fullback in his past, before flipping to the defense. And this is a guy who has returned a kickoff and even played two snaps on the Rams’ offense.

This LA Rams roster welcomes any versatile and productive Michael Hoecht

Hoecht is a versatile and extremely athletic NFL player who the Rams have finally found a home for. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 310 pounds, he may not have all of the spit and polish of a seasoned Edge rusher, but he more than makes up for that with his athleticism and unbridled energy. The Rams’ pass rush has blossomed with a late-season resurgence of getting to the quarterback, sans All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald, and the uncanny abilities of Michael Hoecht are certainly a contributing factor.

In the month of December 2022, the LA Rams defense has recorded 13 quarterback sacks in just four games, a pace that is far better than it had been generating earlier in the season. Does that eliminate outside linebackers from the team’s needs in the 2023 NFL Draft? Not likely. But it does mean that the Rams have a player who could return next season with an expectation to start at the position and play well.

That gives this Rams organization plenty of leeway as to how to best handle the upcoming draft.

Trending. Broncos HC Hackett got worse than coal after Rams drubbing. light