3 draft picks the LA Rams gave up on far too soon

Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams
Sean McVay, Los Angeles Rams / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
4 of 4

I: With the 125th pick of the 2017 NFL Draft . . .

the LA Rams added OLB Samsun Ebukam out of Eastern Washington. Ebukam joined former teammate Cooper Kupp by making the trek south to Los Angeles, California. Once there, he became one of several rotational players who learned to rush the quarterback for DC Wade Phillips.

Ebukam was a Steady-Freddy producer off the edge. He was consistent in all phases of his role. While never standing out with highlight-reel plays, he also did not show up in post-game recaps as a player who made mental mistakes. He was good for 3.0-5.0 quarterback sacks, 30-40 tackles, and a catch rate of 60-70 percent from his receivers in any given season.

But by the end of the 2020 NFL season, the team allowed him to peddle his services with the divisional rival San Francisco 49ers. Curiously, after playing in a similar style with the 49ers, he signed a contract to play for the Indianapolis Colts, and that is when things became quite interesting.

In 2023, Samson Ebukam recorded 57 tackles, 9.5 quarterback sacks, 10 tackles for a loss, 17 quarterback hits, and 21 pressures. All were career highs in six NFL seasons. Wouldn't it be wonderful to have that type of production on the Rams' defense for the 2024 NFL season?

While everything has worked out for the team in terms of winning Super Bowl LVI, did the team leave some wins on the table? After all, it's pretty clear that not all players who moved on after competing for the team fell flat on their faces with their next team or teams. It just goes to show that the Rams' front office may have been more adept at finding natural NFL contributors in the draft that we give them credit for.

In the end, fans have more reasons to be optimistic about the 2024 NFL Draft than ever. Even after looking back on the team's success in the draft without a first-round pick, the team continues to showcase the ability to find late-round gems.

As always, thanks for reading.