The last and final rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft, ended on Saturday with the Los Angeles Rams wheeling and dealing to their eight draft selections.
In the second round they surprised many by selecting Gerald Everett, tight-end out of South Alabama. Thirds round selections of wide-receiver Cooper Kupp of Eastern Washington, and another bizarre selection of Boston College safety, John Johnson. Fourth round selections were Texas A&M wide-receiver Josh Reynolds and Eastern Washington’s linebacker Samson Ebukam.
Trading away their fifth round selection, by receiving an additional third round pick, and waited until the sixth round. In that round, they selected Tulane’s defensive tackle, Tanzel Smart, and Virginia Tech’s fullback, Sam Rogers. The teams final selection of the seventh round, selected Pittsburg’s linebacker, Ejuan Price.
Immediately after the draft, the Rams started quickly contacting UDFA (un-drafted free agent) players. By the end of the draft evening, the Rams agreed to terms with eleven un-drafted free agents. I will cover each of the eleven and share my opinion on each of them and if they help the team with the pursuit of 53, or practice squad.
The first of the Rams UDFA’s, on the list, is University of Washington’s Jake Eldrenkamp, 6-foot-5-inch and 304 pound offensive lineman. Eldrenkamp, ranked 27th out of 181 guards, helped anchored an offensive line, help producing 2,200 yards by two running backs.
I viewed several of Eldrenkamp’s game film, and what impressed me the utmost of him, the fact that he’s a very active lineman. He has great mechanics, with a good sense of urgency in a high stress situation.
His play against PAC-12 rival Arizona Wildcats, I calculated at least eight pancaked blocks on the defenders, when his number was called to pull around and lead block for running backs Myles Gaskins and Lavar Coleman.
In the semi-final game of the BCS Championships, Eldrenkamp had his hands full with Alabama’s all-American defensive lineman Jonathan Allen. Allen, the 17th overall pick of the Washington Redskins, was contained for a portion of the night, as Eldrenkamp held his own. Late in the fourth quarter, Allen’s strength and power would take a toll on Eldrenkamp, requiring some late double-team blocking schemes.
In my opinion, Eldrenkamp is a good signing by the Rams, and is a project for offensive line coach Aaron Kromer. He would need to get stronger for the strong defensive linemen. However, he is a massive lineman, with great potential of breaking into the 53-man roster. Expect Kromer to work him in at center as well with his compact stationed stance.
I give a thumb up with this signing as I have admitted Rams may end up with a blessing from this kid. Very smart with a high football I.Q., which led to these accomplishments:
2016 Pac-12 Football Scholar-Athlete of the Year
2016 First-Team All-Pac-12
2016 Academic All-Pac-12 First Team
2016 CoSIDA Academic All-America All-District VIII
2015 Academic All-Pac-12 First Team
2014 Academic All-Pac-12 First Team