It's hard to dislike any moves the Los Angeles Rams have made this offseason. Many teams coming off of a Super Bowl win struggle to retain and add talent, but that hasn't been the case in LA. General manager Les Snead did a great job keeping his championship team mostly intact while adding valuable players at key positions throughout free agency.
The Rams continued their success during the 2022 NFL Draft, despite not making a pick until the third round. Snead and head coach Sean McVay have an excellent track record of success in the late rounds of the draft and in the undrafted free agent pool. There are several undrafted free agents that could make an impact for the Rams, but former Iowa State University Jake Hummel has the chance to make the regular-season roster and earn himself a legitimate role on the team.
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Rams Undrafted Free Agent To Make 2022 Roster
It wasn't all that surprising to see Hummel go undrafted, but that doesn't mean he's a bad player. He was a key part of an elite Iowa State defense, particularly against the run. Hummel is a solid tackler that plays fundamentally sound football. He won't wow anyone with explosiveness or athleticism, but that doesn't take away from how technically sound he is.
The former Cyclone had 80 tackles in each of his last two seasons in college, while also racking up multiple tackles for loss in each campaign. Hummel certainly has a low ceiling, but his solid college play on one of the best defenses in the nation should translate immediately to the NFL level.
The Rams' lack of depth at linebacker will help Hummel hold on to a roster spot. It was easily the weakest part of their defense in 2021, as they started Troy Reeder and Ernest Jones at the position. Jones was a rookie third-round selection that was asked to start on a Super Bowl defense. Typically that doesn't work out all that well, but Jones performed surprisingly well throughout his rookie year.
The newly signed Bobby Wagner will obviously occupy the other starting spot. Behind those two, there isn't much on the depth chart. Travin Howard played a little bit last year as an undrafted free agent, but Hummel could easily push him for a roster spot. The Rams desperately need to add more depth at the position before the regular season begins, and that should make a roster spot fairly easy to come by for Hummel.
Hummel is surprisingly versatile as well. His main position is obviously inside linebacker, but he should be able to turn into a key special teams contributor. His strong open-field tackling will come up huge in that phase of play. Hummel isn't particularly fast, but his strong tackling and nose for the football should be enough to earn him a starting role on special teams.
Last year's starting linebacker, Troy Reeder, filled a huge role on special teams. He played 61% of the snaps on every single coverage team, and now he's playing for the Los Angeles Chargers. Ernest Jones also played 30% of the special teams snaps, a number the Rams will likely look to reduce in 2022. That means there are a ton of snaps up for grabs in every phase of special teams. Hummel plays linebacker like those guys, so he should be first in line for those snaps.