The seventh round vs. undrafted free agency, it's kind of a lottery with players acquired through those routes, subject to the vastly different opinions of how a team grades talent and how they set up their draft board. The St. Louis Rams announced their "eighth round" picks this week. As usual, there are some intriguing prospects among the group.
University of Louisiana Monroe linebacker Cardia Jackson has been on the Rams' radar for some time. LB coach Paul Ferraro has been communicating with the LB prospect after seeing film and pro day results. Here's what the ULM linebacker told Ferraro:
I told him you get me in and I’ll do the rest and make you proud.
Jackson led his team with 117 tackles last season. His 381 career tackles give him sole proprietorship of the Sun Belt Conference record. Outside linebackers in a 4-3 defense are a little different than the pass rushers in a 3-4 and they certainly don't get drafted the way the pass rushing specialist do. Hopefully the Rams can find some talent at LB among their UDFAs.
Minnesota LB Simoni Lawrence is another UDFA to keep an eye on as rookie camp gets underway. He's a former safety who ran a 4.55 in the 40 this year. You can read his scouting report here.
Here's a complete list of the Rams UDFAs.