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Why did everyone overlook Ethan Westbrooks?

The Rams may have scored with UDFA pass rusher Ethan Westbrooks, but his preseason dominance begs the question why nobody bothered drafting him in May.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Lampooning the NFL Draft media industrial complex is old hat for me. After all, we've seen in the past that these things are usually written by child-fearing, sorta racist, big brother, Shield loving wannabes ... and Nolan Nawrocki, the guy who famously read too much into Cam Newton's smile. That's fine. It gave the St. Louis Rams a steal on Janoris Jenkins in the 2012 Draft and again with UDFA Ethan Westbrooks, who's tearing up the field in camp and the preseason this year.

So how did a player as talented as Westbrooks not get drafted? HE'S GOT TATTOOS!

Well, there's that, and the fact that he played at a small school (West Texas A&M) and some scouts questioned his motor from snap to snap.


Here's the scouting report from Nawrocki himself. Among the highlights:

Talented, enigmatic Division II edge rusher who marches to the beat of his own drum, but has intriguing, raw, natural ability to harass quarterbacks. Wild-card prospect with diamond-in-the-rough characteristics if a defensive line coach is able to refine the technical aspects of his game and stoke his fire.

Okay, pretty tame, even sensible by Nawrocki standards. Rob Rang at CBS was having none of that.

Sports a heavily tattooed frame (including on his face) and that some will take as a character red-flag.


Also sporting a "heavily tattooed frame" are major character risks like Chris Long and James Laurinaitis. Beloved St. Louis sports hero Yadier Molina, the Cardinals catcher, has a neck tattoo.

You might recall Rang, he was the one who dropped Michael Sam from the 90th ranked player to the 160th ranked player within 12 hours of Sam revealing to the world that he was gay. He bumped Sam back up to No. 110 on his list later that day, because obviously draft rankings are a very serious thing that folks don't take lightly.

Odd that Sam and Westbrooks are competing against each other for a roster spot with the Rams, no?

Westbrooks' has shown that raw talent in the preseason and camp so far, and the Rams defensive line might be better off for it, face tattoo and all.

I'll have to say, after watching his Combine workout again, he might have a shot to make the roster at wide receiver. Look ...


Very effective on the short pass, the perfect Brian Schottenheimer receiver!