Top 10 sleepers for LA Rams heading into 2023 NFL Draft
By Bret Stuter
Sleeper VIII: Brenton Cox Jr., EDGE, Florida
After the LA Rams cleared house at their outside linebacker position, it's tough to comprehend that the player with the most experience in the NFL for the Rams at edge rusher is former defensive lineman Michael Hoecht. The good news is that the 2023 NFL Draft is bursting at the seams with EDGE talent. But will the LA Rams take advantage of this bumper crop? I think so.
What I don't like about him: Cox is a hulking powerhouse who has struggled to adhere to some pretty big-name football programs: Both Georgia and Florida football programs dismissed him. He has a bit of a rebellious side, a potentially problematic individual who may make his way to LA Rams head coach Sean McVay's office to talk out how he thinks things should be run. Those McVay meetings have typically led to players ending up on the trade block. Because he has been dismissed from two college football programs, his draft stock will take a hit, and he will fall lower on the draft board than his talents and skillsets might otherwise command.
What I do like about him: Sometimes I wish that the LA Rams defense played 'pissed off,' and Brenton Cox certainly has the ability to deliver that even as a rotational player in his rookie season. At 6-foot-4 and 250-pounds, Cox is a very strong edge rusher who has the power and skillset to shed blockers, stuff runners, set an edge, and get after the quarterback. While raw, the power and production of his college football days provide a compelling 'the best is yet to come,' argument that aligns well with the LA Rams' future-focused objectives.
The LA Rams current coaching staff has the type of strong leadership necessary to work with Brenton Cox Jr., and ensure that his third-strike-and-you're-out simply does not happen. Cox is good, but he's raw, and that will be something that he must accept as he must be willing to take everything that the Rams coaching staff will give him in terms of instruction and mentorship. Brenton Cox Jr. is typically not the type of player who excites me, but I do like the thought of his passion and fire fueling a defensive stop on a fourth down and 1 yard to go.