OLB Jared Verse ends 7-year Day 1 draft drought for Rams in style

Jared Verse
Jared Verse / Todd Rosenberg/GettyImages

The LA Rams selected QB Jared Goff with the first-overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. Goff struggled in his rookie season, but he turned on the afterburners under the watch of HC Sean McVay and led the team to the NFL Playoffs in three of the next four seasons. But the Rams felt that Goff had a ceiling in his development in their offense, and traded him and multiple picks to the Detroit Lions to acquire veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford.

Ironically, two of those traded picks were picks in Round 1 in the 2022 and 2023 NFL Draft.

There is an entire array of reasons why the Rams have not used their Round 1 pick since 2016. I could run down the running list of game-changing players who were acquired with the help of picks, and who have all been traded away except for veteran QB Matthew Stafford. The only exception to that pattern was the 2019 NFL Draft, the lone draft where the Rams held a Round 1 pick as they entered the draft. But the front office traded back not just once but twice.

The net result of those trades was to extend the Rams Day 1 drought.

The Rams Day 1 drought is officially over

In the 2024 NFL Draft, the Rams did not trade up, nor did the team trade back. In spite of the mock draft projections and the abundance of NFL Rumors that named the Rams as a team seeking to trade up. But trading up was an unlikely scenario as it required a specific player falling to a spot that a corresponding trade partner was willing to trade back from.

Clearly, that did not happen. What did happen is the LA Rams stepped up to the podium armed with the 19th overall picked, and selected one of the top edge rushers of the 2023 NFL Draft class.

The young man is one of the top pass rushers in the 2024 NFL Draft. But he also exhibited solid pass coverage skills as an outside linebackers in this class.

He has been described as a team leader who is a refined outside linebacker who possesses a nearly unstoppable bull rush, violent hands, good footwork, and a non-stop motor. He is a passionate player who loves to play defense.

It's fitting that in the year when All-Pro DT Aaron Donald retired, Jared Verse joins the team. Per FOX Spots NFL correspondent Eric Williams, Verse met with Donald via Zoom. That meeting clearly left a very positive impression, as he now joins the Rams in Donald's wake.

If you had your heart set on a specific player in this draft, you may be disapppointed with this pick. But as is the case with any NFL Draft, don't be in a rush to judge. We know that the Rams landed multiple starters in Rounds 2-7 in the 2023 NFL Draft. ,

The Rams get a good one here. As the dust settles, we will revisit this pick. But you can pencil in Jared Verse as the starter opposite Byron Young, and that could free up OLB/DL Michael Hoecht to play multiple positions for the team.

The team reloads with three picks on Day 2. So far, I love the way the team ended the drought. Stay tuned for a lot more action.