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2017 Rams Roster Preview: DE Ethan Westbrooks And The Adjustment

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How will the Rams’ primary backup DE adjust to Wade Phillip’s 3-4?

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at New England Patriots Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles Rams DE Ethan Westbrooks has been an interesting case in perseverance.

After going undrafted in 2014, he made the decision to join the then St. Louis Rams as a UDFA. The defensive line he joined was much hyped and was considered one of the best in the NFL at the time.

It was a curious decision, but Westbrooks made it clear that he wanted to learn from the best. His strategy seems to have paid off. The only defensive lineman to get more snaps last season were DT Aaron Donald and DE Eugene Sims.

Roster Battle

At this point, Westbrooks is firmly entrenched in the Rams’ DL rotation, and that isn’t likely to change under new Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips. The biggest battle Westbrooks will face this season is of his own doing.

In March, he was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. While it was later announced that he will not face charges in relation to the event, that doesn’t exonerate him from being punished under the NFL’s personal conduct policy.

Expectations

Westbrooks has grown into a reliable depth defensive lineman since joining the Rams. He needs to continue filling that role while proving reliable enough to make a spot start if needed.

Chances of Making Roster (8.5/10)

He’s a mainstay on the Rams’ DL and that isn’t likely to change in 2017. There have been no reports of him not fitting in with Wade Phillips’ scheme, so one has to believe that they expect him to play a similar role.