The Los Angeles Rams are likely to lose DT Ndamukong Suh to free agency, opening up a hole on the defensive line at the nose tackle position. Luckily for the Rams, DT Michael Brockers is a versatile piece who offers flexibility along the defensive line for Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips.
When Phillips was hired in 2017, the Rams initially started with Brockers at the nose tackle spot for the first four games of the season. Brockers ended up moving to 5-technique (defensive end) in base defense eventually, which proved to be worthwhile as he excelled at the spot.
2018’s offseason rolled around and the Rams signed Suh to a free agent deal, establishing him as the nose tackle and Brockers the defensive end/5-technique. Now, fast forwarding to the offseason, the Rams are almost sure to lose Suh to free agency. Luckily for the Rams, the coaching staff views Brockers as a versatile piece who could end up back at nose tackle if all plays out that way the remainder of the offseason:
Here’s a quote from the article:
[W]e’ve talked a little bit about the flexibility that Michael Brockers does give you to play nose and five,” Snead said. “Then it gets into, do we add anybody else during free agency or the draft? And what his flexibility allows you to do is to pick the best player and not necessarily, ‘We’ve got to have a nose tackle,’ because, hey, maybe the best five technique will move down. So it does give you some flexibility and that’s what we are going to do there.
The Rams are clearly keeping their options open. Whether that means a move back to nose tackle for Brockers or for him to remain at defensive end. One thing is for certain, with Suh out of the picture, Brockers will be relied upon more than ever as he enters a contract year with the Rams.