Rams rookies will astound fans with competitiveness in mini-camp

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Stetson Bennett, Matthew Stafford, Dresser Winn
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout, Stetson Bennett, Matthew Stafford, Dresser Winn / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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Outside linebackers (2)

  • Outside linebacker Jared Verse (19th overall)
  • Outside linebacker Brennan Jackson (154th overall)

The LA Rams had plenty of depth at the outside linebacker position. Where the team struggled was in the quality of defensive snaps of those young outside linebackers. If not OLB Byron Young (8.0 quarterback sacks) or Michael Hoecht (6.0 quarterback sacks), the outside linebacker room struggled to put pressure on the quarterback.

As of right now, I see the team's rotation at the outside linebacker position consisting of Byron Young, Jared Verse, Michael Hoecht, and Brennan Jackson. And from that group, I can see the team putting up 25.0+ quarterback sacks in 2024. That is a huge spike in production, and does not include the impact of DL Kobie Turner in the upcoming season.

Inside linebackers (2)

  • Elias Neal (UDFA)
  • Omar Speights (UDFA)

While the LA Rams love what veteran ILB Ernest Jones brings to the defense, they certainly steered clear of adding any true competition or succession plan for his role in 2024. But the same cannot be said for his partner on the defense, the other ILB position. While the team seemed content to toggle between either Troy Reeder and Christian Rozeboom in 2023, the addition of Elias Neal and Omar Speights to the team's inside linebacker room elevates the level of competition.

Keep in mind that the team also love Reserve/Future contracted ILB Olakunle Fatukasi, so there could be a surprise or two when the team makes the decisions for the initial 53-man active roster.

Defensive backs (6)

  • Defensive back Kamren Kinchens (99th overall)
  • DB Cam Lampkin (UDFA)
  • DB Kenny Logan Jr. (UDFA)
  • DB Jaylen McCullough (UDFA)
  • DB Josh Wallace (UDFA)
  • DB Charles Woods (UDFA)

Even as the team paid the least for their 2023 season secondary, yet still got impressive results, the front office has invested heavily into the secondary for new DC Chris Shula's inaugural season of calling defensive plays. The team wasted no time in signing free agent veterans Darious Williams, Tre'Various White, and Kamren Curl to upgrade the defensive back room. The makeover was completed with the selection of ball-hawking defensive back Kamren Kinchens at the end of Round 3 in this draft.

While Kinchens is the crown jewel of the secondary's rookie class of 2024, he is not the only gem. This team added a half dozen new competitors for training camp, and you can bet that some of the other players will compete hard enough to land a roster spot on the practice squad at a minimum.