Rams Roster: Fast 40+ Rams roster roundup: ILB Kelechi Anyalebechi (#36)

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

The LA Rams were willing to add so many undrafted free agents to the roster in 2023 out of necessity. But to the rookies who never heard their names called out during the draft, the opportunity to play for the Rams is truly exemplary. It's a win-win, assuming that there are at least 69 competent NFL players ready to go by the end of this summer's training camp, that is. If not, then the 2023 NFL offseason is one big fiasco. It's a risk that the LA Rams were willing to take.

A quick summary

The LA Rams did not draft an inside linebacker in the 2023 NFL Draft, but the team may have gotten a true NFL caliber player in kit form. The Rams signed 6-foot-0 240-pound Kelechi Anyalebechi out of Incarnate Word as a developmental rookie prospect who could make this roster. He was very productive in his college career statistics, despite being lightly scouted for the NFL. In fact, he played 48 games and recorded 285 tackles, 28 tackles for a loss, 9.5 quarterback sacks, 12 pass defenses, four interceptions, six forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries.

What I don't like about this signing

The LA Rams roster needs depth at every position. But the question is, do the LA Rams coaching staff have the band width necessary to not only prepare young players to play the position in the NFL, but to coach up young and raw players at the same time? No NFL team drafted Anyalebechi, which is not a show-stopper, but does indicate that most NFL scouts were unable to make a convincing pitch to their team to take a chance on this young man.

What I like about this signing

There are no sure things in any rookie prospect signed to an NFL roster. Sure, if you select a player with the first overall pick, chances are very good that you will have a starter. The further out from that top pick, chances decrease slightly over the chance of landing an NFL starting player.

Anyalebechi may not be a rookie who was heavily scouted or highly projected, but he is a young man who clearly made the most of his talents, and worked very hard every step of the way.

The LA Rams need depth, and players who are able to contribute both on defense and on special teams. Anyalebechi can do both, and do that well.

What I love about this signing

The LA Rams roster is more about winning now. This roster is also about taking chances on those players who have a real shot of being more than a warm body at the bottom rung of the roster, and that could make a huge difference for the Rams in 2024 and beyond.

Kalechi Anyalebechi was incredibly productive in his final two seasons playing for UIW, in virtually every category. It's that versatility and smash-mouth football that he brings to the position that has him already cheering for him. While he likely will not make the LA Rams 53-man roster, he could be a player who does return to the Rams 16-man practice squad.

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Projection: He has a shot of earning a spot on the Rams practice squad.