2023 Senior Bowl participants will dictate LA Rams future
By Bret Stuter
Round 3 pick 77 OLB Byron Young
The more I study and learn about Tennessee OLB Byron Young, the more I love this pick. I believe he is a Day 1 starter for the Rams on the edge. This young man is incredibly athletic, and hungry, and has the dips and pivots that genuinely can make a pass rusher enjoy an extraordinary career in the NFL. How many sacks will he put up? Perhaps not as many as fans may like. But he has four years with the Rams to develop into something special, and I am confident that he will.
Projection: Starting outside linebacker
Round 5 pick 161 OLB Nick Hampton
The LA Rams want to stockpile talent at the pass rusher position, and Nick Hampton becomes one more player competing for playing time and roster spots. That's a good thing because Hampton is the type of player who can make an immediate impact at outside linebacker, but who needs time to develop and earn a more significant role in the Rams' defense.
Hampton has been described as an undersized edge rusher, but has also been touted as an ideal "Tampa-2 Mike." It's that versatility that will get Hampton onto the football field sooner than later.
Projection: Contributing role at outside linebacker
Round 5 pick 174 OT Warren McClendon Jr.
I really love the Rams' selection at 174, as offensive tackle Warren McClendon Jr. could be ideally suited to take over for veteran right tackle Rob Havenstein. Offensive tackle was deep with talent in the 2023 NFL Draft and Warren McClendon is perfectly suited to learn and grow into a starting offensive tackle. He stands 6-foot-4 and weighs a burly 306 pounds, but he helped to protect Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett. He is a three-year starter in the SEC and has an incredible football IQ.
Three more Rams rookies from the Senior Bowl will be duking it out in the trenches. But there are three more in this draft class who will have a say at the future of the Rams as well.