Snead’s Snacks: Who Could the Rams Draft at Edge Rusher?

by Blaine Grisak
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The Los Angeles Rams enter a crucial year when it comes to the NFL draft. With limited cap space (and limited draft capital for that matter), it’s going to be more important than ever to build depth through the draft and than means hitting on the majority of their picks.

Every year I do a series called “Snead’s Snacks”.  In other words, we’re going to find and look at common themes and traits of previous Les Snead draft picks and see which players in the upcoming NFL Draft fit the mold for the Rams. The focus for today’s edition of “Snead’s Snacks” will be on one of the Rams’ biggest positions of need, the cornerback position. Last season we correctly predicted Ernest Jones and Robert Rochell as fits for the Rams.

After losing Ogbonnia Okoronkwo and Von in free agency, the Rams need some depth at edge rusher to say the least. They need someone with an ability to start as well as add depth. Terrell Lewis has potential and Justin Hollins started the year well but dealt with injuries. Adding depth that can develop into starters is a must.

*Editor’s Note: Numbers taken from RAS and Mockdraftable

Notable Past Rams Drafted Players

Chris Garrett, LB, Concordia St. Paul – 7th Round

Height: 6’3 (77th)
Weight: 241-lbs (36th)
Arm Length: 33.125 inches (41st percentile)
40-yard dash: 4.88 (11th percentile)
Bench Press: 11 (5th percentile)
3-cone: 7.15 sec (74th percentile)
20-yard shuttle: 4.31 sec (74th percentile)
Vertical: 30-inches (17th percentile)
Broad Jump: 108 (6th percentile)

Size Grade: Great
Speed Grade: Good
Explosion Grade: Poor
Agility Grade: Good
RAS: 6.61 – Good


  • Good college production
  • Instinctual player
  • Explosive pass rusher

Terrell Lewis, LB, Alabma – 3rd Round

Height: 6’5 (97th percentile)
Weight: 262-lbs (97th percentile)
Arm Length: 33-3/4 (93rd percentile)
40-yard dash: NA
Bench Press: NA
3-cone: NA
20-yard shuttle: NA
Vertical: 37 inches (81st percentile)
Broad Jump: 124 inches (85th percentile)

Size Grade: Elite
Speed Grade: N/A
Explosion Grade: Elite
Agility Grade: N/A


  • Good awareness
  • Exciting physical traits
  • Strong potential

Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, LB, Oklahoma – 4th Round

Height: 6’2 (3rd percentile)
Weight: 253-lbs (17th percentile)
Arm Length: 33-3/4 (56th percentile)
40-yard dash: 4.77 sec (63rd percentile)
Bench Press: 27 reps (78th percentile)
3-cone: 7.09 sec (71st percentile)
20-yard shuttle: 4.34 (71st percentile)
Vertical: 38 inches (91st percentile)
Broad Jump: 121 inches (80th percentile)

Size Grade: Very Poor
Speed Grade: Good
Explosion Grade: Elite
Agility Grade: Great
RAS: 8.69 – Great


  • Good explosiveness and get-off
  • Excellent college production
  • Ideal athletic tools

Overview of Pick

Okoronkwo was seen as someone who lacked the physical traits but played with good aggression and a motor. Taken on day three, the hope was that the Rams could refine him and develop him into a productive edge rusher.

Trevon Young, DE, Louisville – 6th Round

Height: 6’4 (48th percentile)
Weight: 258-lbs (32nd percentile)
Arm Length: 33-3/4 (58th percentile)
40-yard dash: 4.78 sec (60th percentile)
Bench Press: 25 reps (65th percentile)
3-cone: 6.99 sec (85th percentile)
20-yard shuttle: 4.4 sec (53rd percentile)
Vertical: 33 inches (49th percentile)
Broad Jump: 114 inches (43rd percentile)

Size Grade: Okay
Speed Grade: Great
Explosion Grade: Good
Agility Grade: Good
RAS: 8.75 – Great


  • Good length
  • Impressive college production
  • Raw athleticism ready to be molded

Overview of Pick

Young was the second edge rusher that the Rams drafted in 2018. He played in a 4-3, but it was thought that a move to a standup role could benefit him. A player sho struggled with injuries, when healthy, Young was a guy with good physical traits, specifically when it came to arm length.

Justin Lawler, DE, SMU – 7th Round

Size: 6’4, 262

Arm Length: 32-1/2
40-yard dash: 5.03 sec
Bench Press: 22 reps
3-cone: 7.44 sec
20-yard shuttle: 4.46 sec
Vertical: 30.5 inches
Broad Jump: 106 inches

Size Grade: Good
Speed Grade: Very Poor
Explosion Grade: Poor
Agility Grade: Okay
RAS: 2.43 – Poor


  • High-motor athlete
  • Good initial quickness
  • Impressive college production

Overview of Pick

Lawler was a gym rat at SMU and someone with a high-motor. However, he lacked the size and athletic ability that many teams look for at the position.

Samson Ebukam, LB, Eastern Washington – 4th Round

Height: 6’3 (43rd percentile)
Weight: 240-lbs (54th percentile)
Arm Length: 32-3/8
40-yard dash: 4.50 sec (93rd percentile)
Bench Press: 24 reps (65th percentile)
3-cone: 7.07 sec (64th percentile)
20-yard shuttle: 4.34 sec (38th percentile)
Vertical: 39 inches (88th percentile)
Broad Jump: 122 inches (95th percentile)

Size Grade: Good
Speed Grade: Elite
Explosion Grade: Elite
Agility Grade: Good
RAS: 9.8 – Elite


  • High-motor player
  • Elite athlete
  • Explosive pass rusher

Overview of Pick

Ebukam was an explosive athlete with significant physical traits. He was seen as a guy with speed, explosiveness, and a high motor. Had he gone to the combine his 39-inch vertical would have ranked 10th overall – two inches shy of Myles Garrett – and his 4.50-40 yard dash would have been the best among any defensive end or linebacker.

Notable Past Rams Undrafted Players

Morgan Fox, DE, Colorado State-Pueblo – 2016 UDFA

Height: 6’3
Weight 263
Arm Length: N/A
40-yard dash: 4.89 sec
Bench Press: 23
3-cone: 7.44 sec
20-yard shuttle: 4.36 sec
Vertical: 35 inches
Broad Jump: 118 inches

Size Grade: Poor
Speed Grade: N/A
Explosion Grade: Good
Agility Grade: Okay
RAS: 6.11 – Good

Matt Longacre, DE, Northwest Missouri State – 2015 UDFA

Height: 6’3
Weight 260
Arm Length: N/A
40-yard dash: 4.75 sec
Bench Press: 22
3-cone: 7.07 sec
20-yard shuttle: 4.26 sec
Vertical: 33 inches
Broad Jump: 117 inches

Size Grade: Poor
Speed Grade: Great
Explosion Grade: Good
Agility Grade: Great
RAS: 8.44 – Great

Common Traits Rams Look For

Here are the common traits that can help us build a rough mold of what Snead might look for in rookie edge rushers:

  • Snead values a player with a smart player with a high-motor. While that sounds like a cliché, because quite frankly it is, it simply means Snead looks for guys that play hard and have a high football IQ.
  • Snead looks at physical traits and measurables when it comes to the edge rusher position. Ebukam was an elite physical specimen when it came to testing and Trevon Young had elite arm length. All of these players outside of Lawler had good to elite RAS scores.
  • The Rams seem to value explosiveness at the edge rusher position. Lewis, Ebukam, and Okorokwo were all in the 80th percentile or higher in the broad jump and vertical jump and had elite explosive RAS grades. Explosiveness and a quick get-off were also common traits.
  • Developmental guys. Of the Rams draft selections on the edge, only Terrell Lewis was taken before day three. That’s two fourth rounders, zero fifth-rounders, one sixth-rounder, and five seventh-round selections. Rams took one of these players last year in Chris Garrett.
  • Size doesn’t seem to matter for the Rams as much as explosiveness and overall athleticism. Outside of Lewis, every notable edge the Rams have drafted has had average size. The Rams look at production and how you get to the quarterback instead of size measurables like height, weight, and arm length.

2022 Players who fit the Rams

1. Josh Paschal – Kentucky

One thing that makes a player like Paschal so attractive is his versatility. He can do so many different things and line up in different places that it makes him like a swiss-army knife for defensive coordinators. As far as his measurables go, he’s  what the Rams tend to look for at edge.

His explosiveness is elite with broad and vertical jump scores in the 85th+ percentile. He has a good football IQ and plays with a high motor which the Rams also value. With a RAS score of 9.49, he’s an elite athlete. If the Rams can find a spot for him from a schematic standpoint, he may be just what they’re looking for at EDGE as an Okoronkwo replacement.

Draft Grade: 3rd Round

2. DeAngelo Malone – Western Kentucky

Malone was extremely productive as a key part of Western Kentucky’s defense, totaling eight sacks last season. He has the first-step quickness and initial “get-off” that the Rams have looked for in past edge players that they’ve drafted. Pair that with great explosiveness, his football IQ, and high motor and he’s a great fit for the Rams.

Draft Grade: 3rd-4th Round

3. Jeffrey Gunter – Coastal Carolina

Gunter makes a lot of sense for someone who can learn behind Leonard Floyd. Gunter has a high motor and defends the run very well much like Floyd. The Coastal Carolina edge rusher scored in the 80th percentile in both the broad and vertical jumps and put up a great explosiveness RAS score. Like the other guys on this list, Gunter plays with a high motor and shows a good football IQ.

Draft Grade: 5th-6th Round

4. Kyron Johnson – Kansas

Johnson is an explosive but undersized edge rusher who’s extremely fast and could be a good rotational pass rusher at the next level. The Rams love to take edge rushers who are athletes late. Johnson fits that bill. Johnson ran a 4.36 40 at his pro day. He scored a great explosiveness RAS grade and is the moldable player that the Rams like at this position.

Draft Grade: 7th Round-UDFA

Honorable Mentions

Dominique Robinson – Miami (OH)

  • Good explosiveness
  • Raw athlete
  • High motor

Christopher Allen – Alabama

  • High motor with high football IQ
  • Good athlete with premium physical traits
  • Moldable upside as a pass rusher.

Ali Fayad – Western Michigan

  • Low RAS
  • Highly productive with 12 sacks in 2021
  • High motor and good initial burst.
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