LA Rams 2023 NFL Draft strategy will continue well beyond draft day

Cameron Dicker
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LA Rams Roster Rams Draft Eric henderson
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Coaching makes a huge difference

Let's revisit that 22 UDFA rookie group signed to the Rams roster in 2020. Three players from that group actually earned a spot on the team's active roster. While none of those rostered players remain on the LA Rams' current roster (few players from the 2020 rookie class do), some players who are still on the roster as 2020 undrafted rookies include OLB Michael Hoecht, ILB Christian Rozeboom, and DL Jonah Williams. That leads us to a significant discussion point about the LA Rams coaching staff.

Two of the three remaining undrafted rookies from the class of 2020 are defensive linemen who have been coached up by Defensive Line Coach Eric Henderson. Why is that so significant? The basic template for defensive line prospects has not changed since then.

#DAWGWORK is the LA Rams defensive line mantra, an anacronym that stands for:


And it's the same standard that applies to All-Pro veteran defensive lineman Aaron Donald as the latest undrafted rookie to be added to the team. It's that standardized method that opens the door to all on the roster. And that opportunity is what incentivizes this team, this roster, these talented young players.

Drafting is like furniture shopping

Let's look at the NFL Draft process like you would look at shopping for furniture. That first-round group not only arrives to your home assembled, but it is delivered to your door and your former piece or appliance is hauled away. The Day 2 selections come fully assembled, but you must drive your pickup (or a friend's pickup) to the store and deliver the appliance or furniture yourself. On Day 3, you are looking at 'some assembly required' pieces of furniture or appliances. With UDFAs, you are in the realm of boxed furniture that is heavy, difficult to assemble, but may suit your needs perfectly at a fraction of the cost.

Insisting upon trading up in the draft guarantees no better certainty of 'hitting' on that selection. Rather, the presumption is that the rookie is truly a plug-and-play prospect that arrives almost ready to go. Sometimes, the better fit is the player who has better potential, but needs more investment to get him there. Coach Henny loves to do the heavy lifting, because by working with players he knows who they are and how hard they work.

I believe that the LA Rams have added a lot of "Coach Henny's," to their coaching staff this year.