The Los Angeles Rams have a void to fill at outside linebacker! Did they find that answer for 2020 and beyond? Here’s who it is and why they will roll with the rookie!
It’s that time of year when rookies are all the rage. The NFL draft is complete, we know where everyone landed and fantasy owners are consumed with rookie drafts. We all want how each rookie fits with their new team and what role they will have. While every team looks ahead to the future, some of them roll with the rookies right away. We continue our roll with the rookie series by taking a closer look at the Los Angles Rams, to see which rookie they may roll with as a day one starter.
The Los Angeles Rams lost Donte Fowler in free agency and now have a void to fill at the outside linebacker position. They also let veteran Clay Matthews Jr test free agency. The Rams have a couple of options that they could use if they had too. Those options are Samson Ebukam, Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, or Jachai Polite, none of whom are anything more than average. Quality, not quantity is what wins you games, so it was imperative that the Rams addressed this need in this year’s NFL draft. Let’s take a closer look at who and why they should roll with the rookie.
The Los Angeles Rams drafted linebacker Terrell Lewis from Alabama, in the 3rd round with the 84th overall pick of the 2020 NFL Draft. In what was a fairly deep draft class at the linebacker position, the Rams got a great value getting Lewis that late in the draft. The Rams got just what they needed in Lewis and they won’t be disappointed with the impact he will have for them. As I mentioned above there is no real threat for him to worry about. Lewis was a key piece for the Crimson Tide and could have stayed for one more season in Tuscaloosa, but decided it was the right time to move to the NFL.
What the Rams get is a player that has good size and length, with good first step quickness. Lewis has a wide tackle radius and very good athleticism, which allows him to set the edge at a bigger range than most. As a pass rusher, he displays good power, speed, and bend to win edge battles on a routine basis. Lewis is a fighter when at the point of attack. He does a great job of stacking and shedding blocks and rarely loses leverage. Lewis has the prototypical size and pass rush tools that the NFL loves. The only two things that work against him at this point of his career is that he is still a raw prospect and injuries.
Senior stats: 10 games, 31 tackles, 11½ tackles for a loss, 6 sacks, 1 fumble recovery, and 2 pass breakups
Why do I think the Rams will roll with the rookie?
With no real viable option to plug into the void left open by Donte Fowler’s departure, it would be wise of the Rams to get their youngster on the field as quickly as possible and work out any flaws he may have. The overall talent outshines any deficiencies he has. Even the best of rookies have a learning curve of some sort, but the ones that get on the field earlier seem to have the most success. Yes, Lewis has had some injuries issues, but keep him healthy and there is no doubt about the impact he can have for the Rams. The Rams need that impact player to help alleviate the constant attention given to superstar Aaron Donald. The Rams don’t have much choice but to roll with the rookie.
What does this mean in the fantasy football world? Lewis will be given every opportunity to be the starter on opening week. With all this Covid-19 mess, it has really hindered the development of rookies. Even if he doesn’t start week one, it won’t be long until he does start with his talent. Lewis will be your dreaded EDGE position player, meaning his value will take a hit due to him being listed as a linebacker. He’s not going to give you a lot of tackles, so his fantasy value will be tied directly to his sack production. Any other impact scoring plays should be considered a bonus. With that said, his potential fantasy value is very good, especially given what he will cost you in draft capital.
In rookie drafts, Lewis will cost you roughly a 5th round pick if you intend on drafting him. In my current IDP rookie draft database, he is being selected at an average of 63rd overall. That places his draft value somewhere in the 5th round of most rookie drafts. This is great value for a rookie with a potentially high return. With this type of value, it makes him a low-risk option that won’t hurt your team short or long term. Even if you’re a bit unsure, at this price he will be a great taxi squad stash. Take a chance and roll with the rookie.