Los Angeles Rams Rookie Forecast 2024

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Solid Starter

Jared Verse, DE, Florida State – Round 1

After losing the likes of Aaron Donald, Von Miller, and Leonard Floyd over recent years, the Rams were in need of finding some young long-term starters to rebuild their defensive front. In the first round of the 2024 NFL Draft the Rams selected Verse, and Los Angeles was able to come away with a plug-and-play competitor that could be a quality run defender and pass rusher early in his pro career.

As a pass rusher Verse is a tough defender that has some natural ability to get after the quarterback. Verse plays hard and has a very good motor that allows him to generate some late pressures even after being initially blocked. While Verse is not elite speed demon off the edge, Verse has quickness to close and is a threat to turn the corner with enough speed to dart by offensive tackles. Along with his speed, Verse has functional strength to shed blocks using his hands well to break free of blocks and then having the quickness to dart away. Verse has powerful bull rush and shows some serious speed to power. Verse had some impressive rushes where he bursts off the line, slams into the chest of the offensive tackle, and rolls them back to the quarterback.

Verse’s strength translates as a run defender as he can stack offensive linemen at the line of scrimmage and keep them from pushing him back. With his active hands, Verse shows the ability to work off his blocks and make tackles out of his gap. With his steady motor, Verse plays hard and fights to get in on tackles in the ground game. You don’t see Verse taking plays off or loafing when the play goes away from him.

The 6-foot-4, 251-pound Verse should be a plug-and-play starter for the Rams that gives them quality run defense and some edge rush contribution next season. From there Verse has the upside to grow into an effective starter and be a core defender for Los Angeles for many years to come.

2023: Steve Avila, C
2022: Logan Bruss, G
2021: Tutu Atwell, WR
2020: Van Jefferson, WR
2019: Greg Gaines, DT
2018: Joseph Noteboom, OT
2017: Cooper Kupp, WR
2016: Pharoh Cooper, WR
2015: Jamon Brown, G
2014: Aaron Donald, DT
2013: Stedman Baily, WR

Most Likely To Bust

Brennan Jackson, DE, Washington State – Round 4

I typically don’t predict players for bust potential after day one or two because the odds of day three picks sticking on the roster are extremely small. I thought the Rams had the best draft of any team in the NFL in 2024 and I think they came away with four future quality starters on day one and two. Jackson was not a bad pick in the mid-rounds and I think he could be a decent backup. He had some sack production in college to go along with quality size. He has upside to develop, but of the Rams draft picks he looked like the player with the most risk.

2023: None
2022: None
2021: Bobby Brown, DT
2020: Terrell Lewis, DE
2019: Bobby Evans, G
2018: Brian Allen, C
2017: John Johnson, S
2016: Jared Goff, QB
2015: Rob Havenstein, OT
2014: Tre Mason, RB
2013: T.J. McDonald, S

Potential Boom Pick

Braden Fiske, DT, Florida State – Round 2

The Rams came away with a steal in Kobie Turner, but they still needed more tackle talent to help replace the retired Aaron Donald. Los Angeles traded up for Fiske in the second round and he is a great fit to rush with his college teammate Verse on one side and Turner on the other. It would not surprise me if Fiske ends up being a potential boom pick for Los Angeles.

What sets Fiske apart and makes him an intriguing player for the NFL is his interior pass rush ability. With a burst off the snap, Fiske can fire upfield to get penetration into the pocket and his relentless motor helps him to finish rushes by outfighting blockers to get to the quarterback. Fiske uses active hands to keep guards from getting a hold of him and his natural pad level keeps him low with good leverage. With good athleticism and agility, Fiske can contort his body to dip underneath blockers and keep gaining on the quarterback. Fiske’s speed and athleticism to contribute in the pass rush are his calling card to get drafted early and play a key role in the passing driven NFL.

In run defense, Fiske is going to need work for the NFL. lacks length, height, and weight to stand up blockers and keep them from getting a push. He can get knocked off the ball and power guards in the NFL are going to pose a problem for pushing Fiske out of his gap. He is going to have real issues defending downhill runs coming straight at him, and his lateral anchor needs to get much better. Bump blocks are going to be a problem and Fiske needs to do a lot of work on his run defense for the NFL. However he has the talent to get better and become a more steady run defender.

If Fiske can get better defending the run, he has real boom pick potential as he could be a dangerous interior pass rusher. That is a tough commodity to find, and Fiske is in a great position to excel as Turner’s success in 2023 should lead to Fiske getting single block opportunities. It would not surprise me if Fiske is a boom pick for Los Angeles.

2023: None
2022: None
2021: None
2020: Cam Akers, RB
2019: Taylor Rapp, S
2018: Micah Kiser, LB
2017: Gerald Everett, TE
2016: Mike Thomas, WR
2015: Todd Gurley, RB
2014: Greg Robinson, OT
2013: Tavon Austin, WR

Future Depth Player

Blake Corum, RB, Michigan – Round 3

I think Corum will start out as the backup to Kyren Williams and that would make Corum a nice depth player for Los Angeles. However, Corum has the skill set to be a starter with strength, quickness, and excellent running instincts. It would not surprise me if Corum is a rotational backup for a couple of seasons before emerging as a solid starter in the NFL. At the very worst, Corum should be a superb No. 2 back that helps his team in the ground game and as a receiver.

2023: Stetson Bennett, QB
2022: Kyren Williams, RB
2021: Robert Rochell, CB
2020: Terrell Burgess, S
2019: Darrell Henderson, RB
2018: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, LB
2017: Josh Reynolds, WR
2016: Josh Forrest, LB
2015: Sean Mannion, QB
2014: E.J. Gaines, CB
2013: Zac Stacy, RB