Making the NFL roster as an undrafted free agent is a daunting task, but for Michael Dunn, the former Maryland offensive lineman is used to overcoming the odds. After joining the Terps as a walk-on, Dunn started 48 games during his collegiate career, primarily at left tackle.
Dunn signed with the team relatively late, offering experience and depth at the tackle spot. Dunn was praised as “an experienced player” that is a “decent technician”. Will the former Terp stand out enough to crack the roster as a UDFA with the Los Angeles Rams?
The Rams’ offensive line is in flux.
Over the past couple of years, the Rams have kept as many as 10 offensive linemen on the initial 53-man roster, however this is not the norm in the NFL and probably a indictment on the previous regime’s inability to find and develop talent along the offensive trenches.
The five starters (currently Andrew Whitworth, Rodger Saffold, John Sullivan, Rob Havenstein, and Jamon Brown) are essentially locks with plenty of battles likely to unfold for the depth spots (although Andrew Donnal and Cody Wichmann have starting experience).
One thing that bodes well for any UDFA is the fact that the current Rams players haven’t proven anything, even with their experience last year. The track record, although a new regime, has shown that a surprise player makes the roster as an UDFA (Pace Murphy in 2016, Darrell Williams in 2015).
The Rams have been raving about Jake Eldrenkamp (roster preview) but have been relatively quiet on the other UDFAs. While Dunn is a technician, he will have an uphill battle to serve as a depth player.
It would not surprise me to see Dunn or any of the UDFAs make it far into camp but ultimately, I believe the Rams are throwing darts to hopefully find gems. Dunn remains a long shot to make the final 53.
Chances of Making Final Roster (2/10)
Barring injury or some serious improvement, I just don’t see Dunn making a large enough impression to jump guys like Donnal, Eldrenkamp, or Wichmann which really isn’t saying much. I’m not impressed with many of the offensive line guys but Kromer has spun that there is talent within the group before the UDFAs came in.
Ultimately, this is just another example of how hard it is to make it to the league.