5 free agents Rams can sign to replace Aaron Donald

NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald
NFC Wild Card Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams Aaron Donald / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages
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A traveling edge rusher

It's amazing to realize that DE Yannick Ngakoue's eight NFL seasons have been spent with six NFL teams. His first four seasons were spent terrorizing quarterbacks on the Jacksonville Jaguars defense. Since then, he has played no more than one season for five other NFL teams.

Ngakoue is a pure pass rusher, plain and simple. Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 246 pounds, he is likely an outside linebacker in the Rams front seven. Still he could put his hand down in the dirt in a Morgan Fox-like role. His most recent role, with the Chicago Bears, was 592 defensive snaps. He recorded 22 tackles, 4.0 quarterback sacks, six tackles for a loss, and seven quarterback hits.

He is not going to offer much in terms of pass coverage. He is a player who pins his ears back and rushes. That is a bit of a challenge for a role that must also stop the run, set the edge, cover the flat, and contain mobile quarterbacks.

If the Rams want pressure on the quarterback, he's your guy. He averages 25.5 quarterback pressures per season for eight NFL seasons.


No magic djinn can wave a new elite pass rusher onto the Rams roster. Either the team must try to grow one from the 2024 NFL Draft, or the team must try to help a former rising NFL star reclaim the luster of his career. In either case, the risks may be substantial.

But the team cannot simply shrug shoulders and not make any effort. This is a team that entered the 2024 NFL season knowing that the pass rush needed help. It's needs even more help now. Aaron Donald is no longer part of the solution for the team's pass rush challenge.

The team must find that answer without him. And we have just explored six options. Stay tuned . . .