LA Rams need this roving pass-rusher to complete free agency haul

The LA Rams are one of the few teams who have won 2024 NFL free agency, but general manager Les Snead should sign this veteran, roving pass-rusher to complete the victory.

Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams
Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams / John McCoy/GettyImages

The LA Rams, more than most teams, have hauled off many very talented players from the 2024 NFL Free Agency market. Bringing back offensive linemen Alaric Jackson and Kevin Dotson, while adding IOL Jonah Jackson was a coup. Then there was the feat of adding one of the hottest safeties of free agency in Kamren Curl, as was adding cornerbacks Darious Williams and Tre'Davious White.

There's still work to be done, though, work general manager Les Snead can complete by signing roving pass-rusher Emmanuel Ogbah.

Ogbah is a good fit for a Rams' defense needing some juice for a pass rush depleted by the retirement of All-world defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Even before the 10-time Pro Bowler decided to hang up the cleats, the Rams needed some help, specifically on the edges of their front seven.

Edge-rusher got a boost last season when rookie Byron Young and holdover Michael Hoecht combined for 14 sacks. They can shoulder the load again, but a proven commodity like Ogbah would help on multiple levels.

His main attribute is versatility, with the 30-year-old able to line up on the edge or slide inside to defensive tackle. Ogbah does most of his best work outside, where he can operate as a traditional defensive end with his hand in the dirt or as a standup outside linebacker.

That level of flexibility suits the Rams, who will continue to run a hybrid 3-4 defensive front, even after Chris Shula replaced Raheem Morris as defensive coordinator. Shula ought to be impressed by how Ogbah can win with power on the outside.

It's what he did for this sack against right tackle Andrew Wylie and the Washington Commanders last season. The play was highlighted by journalist Omar Kelly, who noted how "Ogbah has been left for dead in Vic Fangio’s defense," but No. 91 still "has five sacks in less than 200 defensive snaps."

Ogbah's ability to maximize his production from limited snaps is perfect for the Rams. It makes him ideally suited to a situational role, supporting developing talents like Young and Hoecht.

The impact of Ogbah's signing wouldn't be limited to the edge. He's also adept at collapsing the pocket from the interior.

Emmanuel Ogbah can help Rams cope without Aaron Donald

Ogbah shifted between left tackle and guard to notch this pressure against the New England Patriots from Week 1 of the 2022 season, highlighted by Billy M.

Notice how Ogbah played inside while Melvin Ingram (No. 6) rushed the edge. The Rams could create the same dynamic by putting Ogbah next to 2023 breakout star NT Kobie Turner in obvious passing situations.

Turner dominated during a prolific rookie season, but he's sure to be a marked man with Donald no longer around to absorb double teams. Now it's the second-year nose tackle's turn to draw multiple blockers and create the kind of free rushing lanes Ogbah exploited on this play.

Signing Ogbah would add playmaking ability to both phases of the Rams' pass rush. That's worth Snead drawing up a team-friendly deal. He can certainly afford it with $15,388,021 worth of space still left under the salary cap, according to

Ogbah can't justify a bumper payday when he's never logged double-digit sacks in a single season. But he has at least recorded five or more quarterback takedowns in each of the last five campaigns, per Pro Football Reference.

Fortunately, the Rams wouldn't need Ogbah to be a prolific QB hunter. Instead, he'd be a valuable supporting piece for a burgeoning defense already improved by the arrivals of two quality cover men on the back end.

Creating relentless pressure up front will help the Rams make some noise in the NFC West and beyond this season.