Now that the 2017 NFL Draft has concluded for the Los Angeles Rams, we can look back and slowly evaluate the players that we didn’t have a chance to, or the players that we never really expected to land with a certain team. Luckily for me, I have evaluated the Rams’ 7th-round pick: Pitt OLB Ejuan Price. Now, it’s time for all you guys to learn a bit about the man that many probably don’t know too much about.
Drafted in the 7th-round, as pick #234 overall, you typically wouldn’t care much about the guy and would likely shrug him off. But it’d be a mistake to do so with Ejuan Price. Though he may be short on height, his game doesn’t have too many shortcomings. There were a couple of reasons why he fell that far in the draft, and none really have to do with his ability to play. First, he’s only 5’10. That’s really short for an EDGE, and that hurt. Secondly, he’s already a 24 year old, and that’s another “red flag”. Lastly, he’s had serious injuries in the past. Hopefully he can stay healthy in the future, because, like they say, “availability is the best ability”.
In 4 years at Pitt, Price racked up 53 tackles for loss, and 29.5 sacks. That’s the same number of sacks as a certain PITT and already Ram great, Aaron Donald. He also had 4 forced fumbles. Now that all that stuff is out of the way, let’s break him down.
Here Ejuan Price is lined up at LE. Look at his ability to penetrate and swim the OT to create an easy path to the RB. He also secures the tackle.
Here Ejuan Price shows off his versatility and is lined up at RE. He doesn’t allow contact with the LT, and read the zone/read-option effectively to make the tackle on the RB as well as a forced fumble.
Here he’s lined up at LE, and shows his refined hand usage to slap the OT’s hands away and create an easy lane to the QB which results in a pressure.
Price lines up at LE on this play in a 3 man front. He splits the RT/RG and hits the lineman with a counter spin to once again create a pressure.
Lined up at LE on a 3 man front, Ejuan Price shows his versatility on a stunt. He’s smart enough to occupy the RG and earns a free lane for his OLB to secure the sack.
Lined up at LE, Price uses a simple speed rush and bend around the edge and has an easy sack on the QB.
Lastly, you’ve got Price lining up at LE. The defensive call was a stunt, and Price was smart enough to set up the OT, and effectively stunt inside for a pressure.
The reason I showed all these different situations is because Rams Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips is known to run exotic schemes up front. He will bring any of his front-7 defenders on any play, and no-one know’s who and when. He also likes to stunt pass rushers to help get certain guys mismatches and to move guys around. With that being said, Price has showed the football IQ, versatility, and pass rushing refinement to be able to not only make this roster, but to out-play his draft value and provide the Rams with a valuable contributor from day 1.