LA Rams Edge rusher at 77 gettng better all the time
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams entered the 2023 NFL Draft Round 2 with some pretty ambitious objectives. The Rams held just 11 draft picks, three of them occurring on Day 2 of the draft. But the Rams wanted to do more than just make three picks. That would have been the beginner's level, and that is not how the Rams do things when they have their mind set on so much more.
The LA Rams had far more ambitious goals for Day 2. The LA Rams ultimately wanted to draft three starters, add more picks to their draft arsenal, and close the gap between the 77th overall pick and the 167th overall pick.
Of course, the first and foremast matter is the fact that the Rams needed to get some production in their pass rush. That was one of the areas of extreme disappointment throughout the 2022 NFL season. So disappointing, in fact, that the Rams cleared house of any veterans who had played at the position for more than one season for the team.
Clean slate but high marks
Edge rusher was one of the more robust positions in the 2023 NFL Draft. As such, there are simply so many options that agreeing upon one or two prospects was darn near impossible. But when the LA Rams selected outside linebacker Byron Young, there was an almost sigh of relief. So who is Byron Young from Tennessee?
If you are the type who loves to do your own research, use caution. There was a Byron Young from Alabama chosen at 70th overall by the Las Vegas Raiders. Curiously, the more highly regarded Byron Young was chosen at 77ther overall by the LA Rams.
What of his athleticism? While that may or may not be a significant factor in his overall NFL career, I believe that athleticism does reveal the optimal upside for someone who truly applies himself.
And there is more good news folks. Chris Simms goes on tne line and states that in a couple of years, Rams OLB Byron Young could be one of the best pass rushers from the 2023 NFL Draft.
And there is even more good news. One of the better analysis was a bit found on CBS Sports draft tracker:
"Byron Young is one of the most dynamic, effortless athletes at the edge-rusher position in the class. He has serious juice around the corner. His outside speed rush is magnificent, and his burst and sustained speed jump off the film. He has flexibility around the corner., His arm over and swipe are there, but he leans on the outside speed rush and it's a real weapon. He doesn't have ultra-advanced hand work and must get stronger, but there's some speed-to-power conversion now. He's slippery when climbing past OTs and even worked well inside. Not much of an impactful, run defender, but he's plenty fast to the football and hustles. He's a fun, pass-rushing specialist with sky-high upside (though he is an older prospect)". - per CBS Sports Draft Tracker
If the goal for the LA Rams is to find a starting outside linebacker for the next four seasons, then I truly believe that the Rams have met that objective. Yes there will be a learning curve. Yes, there will need to be time allowed for the Rams defense to learn how to gel. But this young man can get after the quarterback.
And I for one am pretty excited to see him do that.