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2018 Los Angeles Rams Roster Preview: DE John Franklin-Myers, 4th-round reach or hidden gem?

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Can the small school late-bloomer work his way into the Rams DE rotation?

If you knew DE John Franklin-Myers’ name when the Los Angeles Rams selected him with the 135th overall pick at the end of the 4th round in April’s 2018 NFL Draft, you probably need to get a life.

After going 0-40 in his high school career, Franklin-Meyers played his college ball at Stephen F. Austin, which, last time I checked, isn’t exactly Alabama. Alas, he’s a Lumberjack and he’s OK.

Once labeled undersized, he now projects as a bit of a ‘tweener as a 3-4 DE at a very stout 6-foot-4, 283 lbs. His steady improvement, combine measurables and strong showing at the NFLPA game earned him a shot at cracking the Rams roster. His tape shows explosive upper body strength and solid pursuit skills, but he played against inferior competition and will need to show he isn’t in over his head during training camp and preseason.

Roster Battle

With starters Aaron Donald, Michael Brockers and Ndamukong Suh in place, Franklin-Myers will compete against Dominique Easley and Ethan Westbrooks for reps along with the rookie depth like Sebastian Joseph-Day. He should get his chances as the Rams are going to need to develop some inexpensive depth. His draft status would suggest Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips sees potential here.

Expectations

Tough to peg. His size and speed (82” wingspan to go with a 4.75 40) are intriguing. Fluid athlete. His punch, albeit against questionable competition, really stands out. Though his college productivity was just OK with 3.5 sacks as a senior, he seems like a late-bloomer who might be coming on at the right time for the Rams.

Chances of making the final roster: (7/10)

I’m rooting for this kid. Maybe it’s the hyphen, but I’ve bought in. He’s a beast. He also credits his coaching when discussing his college career, and if he can learn from Wade and Co., he’s got an excellent shot to make this roster. Hopefully, the learning curve isn’t too steep.