Rams ‘Would Immediately Start’ Exciting Edge Prospect: Analyst


Getty Aaron Donald and the Rams defense in the tunnel before their October 30, 2022 game in Inglewood.

There are draft analysts who aren’t convinced with the current edge rush options for the Los Angeles Rams.

Justin Melo of The Draft Network is one. But he believes one of the more exciting edge rush prospects expected to be available in day two can become a solution to this unit in question and start immediately: Kansas State pass rusher Felix Anudike-Uzomah, who’s drawn comparisons to former Rams pass rusher Dante Fowler. Melo mentioned the Rams as one of four fits for the towering and explosive edge rusher…and can provide a needed assist to Aaron Donald.

“The Rams are the one-man Aaron Donald show. General manager Les Snead should diversify his pass-rushing unit,” Melo began before his next blunt statement. “The Rams currently have the worst EDGE room in the league. Have you heard of Daniel Hardy, Michael Hoecht, Jonah Williams, or Keir Thomas? Last year’s two sack leaders were Bobby Wagner and Leonard Floyd, who were both cap casualties. Greg Gaines is another underrated departure.”

Melo added: “The outlook is grim in the wake of Wagner’s and Floyd’s departure. Snead should prioritize an immediate defensive contributor with the 37th overall selection.”

With the skill set at Anudike-Uzomah’s disposal, Melo already believes the 6-foot-4, 255-pounder won’t take long to become utilized by the Rams.

“Anudike-Uzomah would immediately claim a starting role on Los Angeles’ defensive line,” Melo predicted.

Melo is so convinced with Anudike-Uzomah’s athletic traits, that he believes he’s worth grabbing at the Rams’ first draft selection in the second round.

Melo Not the Only Analyst Who Believes the KSU Star Will End up With the Rams

Melo has a fellow backer in Anudike-Uzomah heading inside the “Rams House:” ESPN NFL Draft analyst Jordan Reid.

Like the TDN analyst, Reid has the Rams going edge rusher first in day two of the draft and nabbing the Big 12 Conference star. Reid is another draft expert who believes out of all the issues the Rams must address, it’s edge rusher that has to sit at the top of the draft board.

“With a roster headed toward a youth movement, edge rusher sits atop the Rams’ needs list,” Reid wrote in his mock draft released on Wednesday, March 29. “Anudike-Uzomah is a scheme-versatile prospect with a quick first step. He also has enough hand power to be a consistent edge setter against the run. He forced eight fumbles in his final two college seasons, including six in 2021.”

Reid doesn’t just have Anudike-Uzomah as the lone edge rush pickup for the Rams come April 29-30. He projects Nick Hampton of Appalachian State being added to the edge rush room, with L.A. swooping him up at No. 177 overall in round five.

Is the Wildcat Worth Getting if Available? Even in a Deep Edge Class?

This is one of the more intriguing edge groups in recent memory for the NFL Draft. Names like Derick Hall of Auburn, B.J. Ojulari of LSU, Adetomiwa Adebawore of Northwestern and Will McDonald IV of Arizona State are among the talents who could be available by the second day of the draft.

But is the Wildcat the one worth waiting on? Or even getting over these aforementioned rushers if available alongside them?

Anudike-Uzomah has the credentials that makes him an appealing draft target. He did share Conference Defensive Lineman of the Year honors with the heralded McDonald IV. He also came close to shattering an NCAA record in sacks with six against TCU in 2021.

But this answer from the 2023 NFL Scouting Combine could be what wins over teams like the Rams: He gives a detailed answer on his situational rush awareness in how he attacks offensive tackles before getting to the passer.

He’s more of a pre-snap rush creator before the ball is snapped and as the game goes on, knows which hand moves in his arsenal he can attack with. That trait should win over someone like Donald, who is masterful at weaponizing his hands on blockers with his array of hand rush moves.

He’s had his struggles, though, versus the run as he has a habit of showing inconsistent vision versus blockers. But for a team needing help for “A.D,” he’s got to be high on the draft list.

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