Here's why rookie Jared Verse can lead 2nd wave of Rams D dominance

After the Rams stunningly successful 2023 rookie performances, prepare for Jared Verse to lead a 2nd wave of Rams rookies. Here's why:
Los Angeles Rams OTA Offseason Workout, Jared Verse
Los Angeles Rams OTA Offseason Workout, Jared Verse / Ric Tapia/GettyImages
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III: A seasoned veteran spirit with rookie energy and passion

Rookies arrive to the NFL with almost limitless levels of energy and a passionate respect for the game that is unmatched by veterans. But veterans become more consistent because they grow their understanding of the game, and the scenarios, that warrant when to go all out and when to be more diagnostic and calculating.

Rookie OLB Jared Verse embodies the strengths of both. Even as he brings tremendous energy and passion to an already positively-charged and passionate defense, he also showcases the savvy wisdom of a seasoned NFL veteran. Verse is already digging out divots on the practice field with explosive powerful strides and instant turn-on-a-dime plays that will become virtually unstoppable when the pads go on.

Some do not fare well when elevating appreciation of rookies leads to lofty expectations. Keep in mind that the Rams rookies who led the NFL in quarterback sacks, Kobie Turner and Byron Young, put up 9.0 and 8.0 sacks in 2023 respectively. I'm not setting the goal for a successful rookie season for Jared Verse at that level. But I would not be the least bit surprised if he matches or surpasses those numbers this year.

II: Won't hesitate to sacrifice for his teammates

While some fans scoff at the need for NFL players to sacrifice themselves on some plays to free up teammates to make the stop, I believe this is the most important trait of all. Until some players on the roster dig in to block, to gobble up blockers, to run decoy routes, or to smother a receiver with blanket coverage that forces the quarterback to throw elsewhere, a team will struggle.

One of the most satisfying aspects of scouting OLB Jared Verse in the days and weeks leading up to the 2024 NFL Draft was the realization that he never hesitated in the least to take on two or three blockers if it meant freeing up his teammate defensive tackle Braden Fiske to make a play. Time and time again, Verse seemed to relish the chance to flip to an inside bull rush, knocking an offensive lineman into a teammate in a way that Aaron Donald did so well, as Fiske rushed to the outside to bring down the quarterback.

It was clear that on that play, a play in which Verse did not score a sack or even a tackle, that he was the engine that pulled that play off.

I cannot be the only fan who appreciates the willingness of a player to sacrifice himself for the good of the team, can I? In my estimation, it's that type of humility that truly launches a player from good to great. Much like Aaron Donald, a player who often faced multiple blockers to allow teammates to make plays, elite performers know how to help teams win.