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William Hayes - Moissanite in the Rough?

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DE William Hayes showed skillful flashes during his four-year stint with the Tennessee Titans. Can he do the same this year with the Rams?  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
DE William Hayes showed skillful flashes during his four-year stint with the Tennessee Titans. Can he do the same this year with the Rams? (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
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Ah, moissanite. Providing husbands with a better looking diamond alternative than cubic zirconia for more than a century.*

Yes, I used the lesser-known diamond knockoff here, because William Hayes likely won't be a diamond in the rough. He may not be a flourishing starter-caliber player, but every team needs rotational guys to come in and not be entirely deficient for whatever stretch of time they're on the field. William Hayes could well fall in that category.

Over at Pro Football Focus, Ben Stockwell identified Hayes, who the Rams signed back in early April, as a "secret superstar."

Diving into the case for Hayes as a breakout player after the jump.

One of the things helping the case for Hayes as a breakout candidate is that he's always played behind very, very talented ends - Jevon Kearse, Kyle Vanden Bosch, Derrick Morgan and Jason Babin. It's hard to criticize a player for not developing when they can't get enough time. There are plenty of other teams who likely would have pressed him into service more frequently than the Titans did.

Now with the Rams, Hayes is in a similar situation with Chris Long and Robert Quinn the week 1 starters. There likely aren't huge expectations being placed on his shoulders, so there's no reason he shouldn't feel entirely comfortable both in terms of depth chart position and role:

From his days in Tennessee he is well used to playing opposite rush-first, up-the-field defensive ends and his ability to set the edge while still applying a steady flow of pressure would be a perfect fit for the Rams.

With the defensive line already loaded four across, if the Rams get any level of satisfactory play out of Hayes, it will be an added bonus to an established strength. Kind of like the icing on the moissanite.

* - Don't buy your wife moissanite. Or cubic zirconia. If you can't afford real jewelry, don't buy jewelry.