Rams Are a Fit for ‘Cut Candidate’ & Former Top 5 Pick

Greg Gaines Aaron Donald

Getty Greg Gaines and Aaron Donald after a June 8, 2022 Rams minicamp practice.

When NFL teams like the Los Angeles Rams kickoff their training camp, they’ll be carrying as many as 90 players. But eventually, that number goes to 85, then 80 and then all the way down to 53 players by preseason’s end to meet the league roster standards.

Yet, the training camp weeks are also a period where if a team like the Rams need to make one more upgrade, they can dip into the waiver wire and look into who’s been cut to add to their roster — especially if it’s for the sake of a positional upgrade.

And there are fans out there who still believe the Rams can use an extra edge rusher post Von Miller.

Names like Montez Sweat and Robert Quinn have been mentioned by analysts as potential fits inside the “Rams House” should they become available. Unfortunately for those fans wanting to see both or one or the other, they may have to accept the reality of Sweat returning to Washington following his restructured deal, plus the former Ram and current disgruntled Chicago Bears rusher Quinn perhaps becoming too pricey for the Rams to lure in via trade.

There is, however, one player mentioned as a “cut candidate” by ESPN’s NFL Nation who could not only benefit as a fit for the Rams, but seek career rejuvenation if he were to become available. And this 25-year-old edge rusher who was once a top five draft pick is starting to witness his own nebulous future — hence how one ESPN reporter believes that this former first rounder is on the roster bubble.

No. 4 Overall Pick Could Roam Free

Clelin Ferrell was mentioned as the one member of the Las Vegas Raiders who is now considered on the bubble.

Paul Gutierrez, who covers the Raiders for ESPN, placed the man who once was drafted ahead of the Raiders’ best pass rusher Maxx Crosby in the “cut candidate” ringer due to his lack of sack production.

“The No. 4 overall pick of the 2019 draft hasn’t lived up to his lofty draft standing, after registering 4.5 sacks as a rookie but 3.5 sacks since and six quarterback hits last season,” Gutierrez wrote.

To piggyback off Gutierrez’s sack point, the 6-foot-4, 265-pounder has only produced one game of multiple sacks — which was the two he snatched on December 6, 2020 against the New York Jets. Since then, he’s only delivered two games of getting on the sacks stat page which is through a span of 13 games played.

There’s more: The Raiders made a splashy free agent move not named Davante Adams…which could signal the beginning of the end for the Clemson Tigers standout.

“And with the Raiders having signed vet Chandler Jones (a year after they brought in Yannick Ngakoue) to pair with Maxx Crosby, Ferrell did not have his fifth-year option picked up and might be on high alert,” Gutierrez said. “Unless, of course, he is a better fit in new defensive coordinator Patrick Graham’s scheme.”

Why Ferrell Can Fit Inside the ‘Rams House’

Ferrell would still likely draw plenty of attention if he were to be released by the Silver and Black. Someone may believe that they can better maximize his potential and intangibles.

And that’s where the Rams can come in as that stronger fit for him.

For starters, Ferrell never played with a dominant interior force in Sin City who comes close to Aaron Donald. Having Donald next to Ferrell leads to more one-on-ones in the trenches. We’ve seen the effect “A.D” has on defense with as many as three blockers on him — which only freed up Miller, Leonard Floyd and even Greg Gaines to wreck havoc and get to the passer.

Speaking of Floyd, pairing Ferrell on the other side gives each other an advantage too. Both are long defenders and can attack the passer, with Floyd producing 20 sacks in his first two seasons as a Ram.

But let’s also remember another edge rusher who witnessed a career spark while lining up next to Donald: Dante Fowler. The former third overall pick experienced his first career double digit sack season while playing with Donald and the Rams. Ferrell can be a Fowler-type.

Unless Ferrell benefits from the new regime under Josh McDaniels, he may need a more structured defense to get out of the slow start he’s on. He’s someone worth monitoring on the Rams’ side.

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