Can the LA Rams unlock this edge rusher's potential?

Nebraska Ochaun Mathis
Nebraska Ochaun Mathis / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

The LA Rams are a frugal NFL organization. By saying that, I don't mean to infer that dining with someone from the Rams front office guarantees that you will be picking up the tab. Rather, I am referring to the fact that the Rams always seem to find a way to load up at a position that is particularly deep.

One such position of significant depth was the edge rusher. That all worked out to be perfect timing for an LA Rams roster whose most experienced and capable pass rusher still with the team is an undrafted defensive lineman who cross-trained to pass rusher in the middle of the 2022 NFL season and discovered that he had a knack for it. Of course, I'm talking about DL/OLB Michael Hoecht.

The LA Rams were not idle in the 2023 NFL Draft. The Rams used the 77th overall pick to select Tennessee OLB Byron Young, and then the 161st overall pick to add Appalachian St. OLB Nick Hampton. But the Rams shed veteran OLB Leonard Floyd, OLB Terrell Lewis, OLB Justin Hollins, and OLB Chris Garrett. With that many players exiting the team, the Rams felt that it would be prudent to pick up one more pass rusher, if for nothing else than good measure.

And so the Rams called out the name of Nebraska outside linebacker Ochaun Mathis with the 189th overall pick of the 2023 NFL Draft

NFL Draft Buzz. Outside linebacker. 189. player. NFL Draft Profile. Nebraska. Ochaun Mathis. 51

Now here is why we believe that, even as the 189th overall rookie selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, Ochaun Mathis has a legitimate shot to earn some playing time on the LA Rams roster.

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He possesses all of the intangibles for the position, with a 6-foot-5 height that packs 250 pounds of muscular power. The only drawback is the quite familiar blemish in this area of the 2023 NFL Draft, he is still a bit raw. That is something that the LA Rams coaches are confident that they can address, and they should be able to do so. Mathis has a lot of NFL career to unlock. The LA Rams should be able to crack that safe pretty quickly/