‘I Love the Way He’s Playing:’ Rams’ Ernest Jones Raves About Late Draft Pick

Ernest Jones

Getty Ernest Jones on January 8, 2023 in Seattle

Ernest Jones is now in a situation with the Los Angeles Rams where on breaks from the field, he can sit back and watch the talent around him get an early jump on their development at UC Irvine.

The now third-year linebacker, who delivered his first career 100-tackle season in 2022, was especially fond of one late draft pick the Rams swooped up: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson.

“You got Tomlinson, the cornerback. I love the way he’s playing,” Jones said to Inside Rams Camp.

Is Hodges-Tomlinson a Potential Starter?

While it’s still too be determined and a long way to go in determining who the official 2023 starters will be on the Rams, there are national analysts believing Hodges-Tomlinson has a chance to crack the starting lineup.

Doug Farrar of USA Today’s Touchdown Wire on July 25 wrote down the TCU star’s name as one with great potential to start for the Rams’ defense this fall.

“I’d also like to mention one of My Guys in this draft class – former TCU cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, selected by the Rams with the 182nd pick in the sixth round. Hodges-Tomlinson lasted so long due to size concerns (5-foot-8, 178), but the Rams are rebuilding at just about every position,” Farrar began.

The national analyst then detailed the traits Hodges-Tomlinson brings to the Rams which point to potentially being first in the two-deep depth chart lineup.

“Hodges-Tomlinson can be a legitimate outside cornerback who can roll deep, and the Rams have experience with a guy like this,” Farrar said.

He even compared the Horned Frog standout to one past Rams star who once led the team in interceptions in 2020.

“They turned UAB’s Darious Williams from an undrafted free agent who was floating around the league to a starting-level defender, and WIlliams is 5-foot-9 and 187 pounds,” Farrar said. “Hodges-Tomlinson will prove the skeptics wrong if given a chance, and with this Rams team, there will be opportunities.”

Jones Raves About 1 More Prominent Rams Rookie

The slot cornerback/nickelback Hodges-Tomlinson isn’t the only one who’s caught the attention of the 2021 third rounder Jones.

Expected to be right next to him or right in front of him in the trenches is Bryon Young out of Tennessee, who was drafted to bolster the Rams’ edge rush room especially in attacking the passer. That element was largely missing last season.

While Jones is intrigued by the entire 2023 Rams defensive line, he still singled out Young as an impact performer so far during practices at Crawford Field.

“That entire D-line – like, they couldn’t have drafted or picked a bunch of undrafted guys that could truly come in and step in and help you right off the bat. All these guys are showing me sparks. Byron Young is really impressive. Love watching him play, so I’m excited about all of them,” Jones said.

Young has been seen getting involved in the early rotation at edge with the Rams in front of fans. Kyle Madson of USA Today ended up choosing the Volunteers star as his rookie who could emerge as a starter.

“Young is an exciting athlete at the position and he joins a defense that tallied 38 sacks last year, but lost 15 of them with Leonard Floyd and Bobby Wagner both exiting this offseason. There’s certainly some rawness to Young’s game, but getting to play a lot and on a defensive front that features Aaron Donald should give him a chance to grow into a significant role really quickly,” Madson wrote.

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