The Los Angeles Rams finalized their undrafted free agent signings just over a week ago. Now the question is, who will work their way onto the Rams’ active roster? Last year, the Rams’ sole UDFA on the active roster was KhaDarel Hodge. It’s important to note that Hodge wasn’t part of the first initial wave of UDFA signings. Hodge did not get a call from the Rams until well after the OTA’s, on July 24, 2018. Hodge is back with the Rams, but still must earn a roster spot yet again.
Currently, there are 22 players trying to live out their dreams of playing for an NFL team. They will try to walk a similar path as Hodge did. Here are my top five UDFA signings that have a chance to make the Rams’ active roster.
4b. Matt Kaskey, Offensive Tackle, Dartmouth
If any UDFA offensive linemen makes this Rams squad, the best chances are with Matt Kaskey and Chandler Brewer. Kaskey made a name for himself beginning his freshman year at Dartmouth. He earned the starting left tackle position the following year and did not give it up for the duration at Dartmouth. Kaskey finished his senior campaign helping Dartmouth achieve a 9-1 record and the second highest scoring offense in the Ivy League.
4a. Chandler Brewer, Offensive Guard, Middle Tennessee
Chandler Brewer became a starter at Middle Tennessee his freshman year. Starting in 11 of 13 games as a freshman, he did remain the starter the next three seasons. Getting snaps in across multiple positions on the offensive line. In Brewer’s senior year, he only allowed two sacks in 450 pass attempts.
Both Kaskey and Brewer were anchors for their respective teams. They both have a chance to battle for a spot on the depth chart. The Rams will likely move Joseph Noteboom and Brian Allen up in the depth chart due to the departures of Rodger Saffold and John Sullivan. Going into OTAs, the Rams only have signed three guys with NFL experience other than the projected starters. Brewer and Kaskey, along with two other UDFAs and two 2019 NFL Draft selections have a chance to make a name for themselves.
3. Keenan Brown, Tight End, Texas State
Keenan Brown led the Texas State Bobcats in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns. This totals to 51 receptions for 577 yards and 5 touchdowns, as a graduate transfer from Oklahoma State. While Brown only played in five games in across two years, for the Cowboys, he played in all 11 games for Texas State this past season. Brown was also graded as PFF’s top tight end in the All-American Conference.
Brown has a good chance to make the Rams’ active roster being that the Rams currently have five tight ends signed. Sean McVay led Rams squads have began each regular season with at least five tight ends on the active roster. This gives Brown hope, but has a long way to go to earn his spot on the roster.
2. Landis Durham, EDGE, Texas A&M
Durham did see top talent during his collegiate career. During his sophomore year, Durham transitioned from playing linebacker to edge rusher. He instantly saw success in his junior and senior seasons. In his final two years at Texas A&M, Durham posted the highest sack total on his team with 17 sacks, and also forced 3 fumbles. Durham did produce more than most of the 22 UDFAs.
Although Durham saw some success, he did not receive an NFL Combine invitation. This may speak more to the draft class at the edge position than his abilities. I find it difficult to believe him not making it to at least one practice squad if he doesn’t make the Rams’ final cut. Durham can find success as a situational player in the NFL.
1. Natrez Patrick, ILB, Georgia
Patrick is an interesting story because of his troubled past. Patrick played on great Georgia teams the past two years, but was absent during Georgia’s College Football Playoff run during the 2017-18 season. He was away from the team attending rehab, as a result of his addiction and multiple arrests involving marijuana. He was able to turn things around and joined the team again for the 2018-19 season, where he started in eight games and played in all 14. Patrick played in 44 games and started in 26 and tallied 160 total tackles (79 solo), in his entire career at Georgia.
The Rams opened up their 2018 campaign with seven inside linebackers on the active roster. Looking at the roster currently, the Rams only have six total inside linebackers on the roster. Cory Littleton, along with the addition of Clay Matthews, are the only veteran presence this defense has on the interior linebacking group. There are plenty of questions surrounding the development of second-year pro, Micah Kiser. Behind those three guys, are two undrafted free agents (Patrick being one & Troy Reeder is the other) and the Rams final pick in this year’s NFL Draft, Dakota Allen.
The depth at the inside linebacker position, alone, makes Patrick my favorite to make the Rams active roster. Georgia’s Pro Day was the only opportunity for Patrick to showcase his athleticism for scouts since he was not invited to the NFL Combine. The Rams were the only team to speak with Patrick directly after his workout. There is clearly someone in the Rams organization who believes Patrick has what it takes.