He's a bargain at this price
There is no shortage of critics among LA Rams fans for the play of OLB Michael Hoecht, but I'm not sure why. After all, Hoecht is only now competing at the position after actually learning the tricks of the trade through OTAs and training camp. By every measure, that makes him less experienced than any of the rookies who compete at the position.
So far in 2023, Hoecht has recorded 50 tackles, 3.5 quarterback sacks, one pass defense, one forced fumble, five tackles for a loss, and seven quarterback hits on 573 defensive snaps. Compare those numbers to Carolina Panthers OLB Brian Burns, a player whom the Rams were willing to trade a king's ransom, who has 28 tackles, 6.0 quarterback sacks, 0 passes defensed, one forced fumble, 10 tackles for a loss, and 13 quarterback hits in 457 defensive snaps.
Great value means low cost and solid production
Now here is the part that fans almost always overlook. Hoecht costs the LA Rams $940,000 this season. Brian Burns costs the Carolina Panthers $16,012,000 this year. Salary wise, that is more than 17 times more than what Hoecht is earning. For that to translate into on-field production, Burns would need 851 tackles and 60 quarterback sacks to be the same return on investment as Hoecht.
Not every player on the LA Rams roster needs to perform at an All-Pro level. Nor can every player do so. The Rams scheme both offense and defense in such a way that some players are tasked with the grunt work while other players gain yards, rush the passer, or make plays with or on the football.