Rams Roster: Fast 40+ LA Rams roster roundup P Ethan Evans (#12)

Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Ethan Evans
Los Angeles Rams Offseason Workout Ethan Evans / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages

When the LA Rams ended the 2022 NFL season, so too did the team end the relationship with all of the teams special team specialists. Kicker Matt Gay signed with the Indianapolis Colts. Punter Riley Dixon signed with the Denver Broncos. LS Matthew Orzech signed with the Green Bay Packers. And return specialist Brandon Powell signed with the Minnesota VIkings.

Whether deliberate or not, new Rams Special Teams Coordinator Chase Blackburn is certainly getting 'his guys,' this season, and that cannot be said about any player on the LA Rams roster than punter Ethan Evans.

A quick summary

Is it safe to go with a rookie punter, lond snapper, and kicker in the same season? Well, we're about to find out. The good thing is that the Rams certainly landed their guy at the punter position. Wingate punter Ethan Evans could be the prototype for future NFL kickers. He stands 6-foot-3, weighs 231 pounds, and he crushes the football. While he was the 12th rookie added to the roster, he certainly had plenty of interest in predraft meetings. But Chase Blackburn loves the guy, and with the start of preseason games, we are about to see why:

What I don't like about this pick

It's always a challenge to love a draft selection for a special teams player. There were/are so many positional needs on the Rams roster, and selecting a punter may divert the Rams from adding a player who could make a larger contribution to the team. Of course, this was a seventh-round selection, and not one made in Round 3, so there is that. But special team selections come with a bias of higher than normal risk.

What I like about this pick

I really like the strategy of investing a draft pick into a punter from the sense of the overall strategy. The LA Rams roster is set up to favor more veteran starters on the offensive side of the football. The Rams defense is therefore set up to weather the 2023 season with younger players, as the team tries to determine which young players can earn playing time and contributory roles on the Rams roster. The addition of a solid punter will help out by giving the Rams defense more field to defend, and hopefully improve their chances of making game changing plays.

What I love about this pick

Can a punter make a difference in the outcome of games? I think so, and so do others. So it's vital for the LA Rams to make every effort to secure the best players available at each position. And if you can believe early reports about untested Rams punter Ethan Evans, the Rams have a good one:

Punting in the NFL requires four key attributes to succeed in the NFL:

  1. Pace: A punter must be able to punt the ball quickly to avoid blocked punts
  2. Hang time: A punter must be able to punt the ball high to allow coverage to get into position.
  3. Distance: A punter who can routinely punt the football 50+ yards can be quite dangerous.
  4. Accuracy: A punter who can punt the ball out of bound inside the 20 yard line pins his opponent deep in their own territory

The only knock on Ethan Evans leading up to the draft was his pace, as he seemed to take longer than some punters in kicking the football. That does not seem to be the case now.

What are his chances of making the roster?

Rookie punter Zach Evans is the Rams starting punter. In fact, you will have the chance to see him work his magic in preseason games. The keys to look for from him are not just how far he punts the football, but how quickly he punts the ball, how well the Rams can cover his punts, how far he punts, and whether he can pin the opponent inside their own 20 yard line.

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I think he could be one of the Rams most important players this season.