The Los Angeles Rams have had a connection with the Dartmouth Big Green ever since Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Football Operations Kevin Demoff joined the team in 2009.
First, Demoff hired his special assistant, Vice President of Football and Business Administration Tony Pastoors, a year later out of Dartmouth after playing safety. Since then, the Rams have regularly brought in Dartmouth’s best to beef up the 90-man roster.
In 2012, it was RB Nick Schweiger who arrived amid the Rams’ best undrafted free agent crop of the 21st century.
Now it’s OT Matt Kaskey, perhaps the best offensive lineman in the Ivy League from the last two seasons (though Harvard OL Larry Allen, Jr., the son of former Dallas Cowboys great Larry Allen, might want a word...).
Can Kaskey be the Big Green player to finally stick into the regular season?
We talked about the deep offensive line roster battle recently when we looked at OL Brandon Hitner (roster preview). Whereas Hitner might have to vacillate between guard and tackle work to find his spot, Kaskey’s likely set at tackle and perhaps even more specifically at left tackle.
Part of the question here then might be the Rams’ plans for the two offensive linemen they selected in the 2019 NFL Draft: OL Bobby Evans and OL David Edwards. If Kaskey is slot-limited just at left tackle, he might be battling either of them at LT while fending off depth that offers position versatility at left tackle in guys like Hitner or fellow undrafted rookie OL Chandler Brewer.
Not necessarily as a rookie UDFA, but there was this article from the Athletic’s Kevin Fishbain looking at Chicago-area products in which Kaskey said, well, the right things:
“You put in so much work, it’s kind of a release, getting on the field and being able to go all out and kind of be an asshole out there. It’s a competitive advantage,” he said. “They don’t play as hard when they’re worried that you’re a huge douchebag out there. It’s the best way to play offensive line and the most fun way.”
That “rage” began as a kid, when he was ejected from several games in junior high, but “kind of calmed down after that.” Still, it took him a while to get on the field at New Trier, which is not a football powerhouse.
“My mentality was not the same as it is now,” he said. “I was playing afraid. I was nervous I was going to make mistakes. Wasn’t really confident out there. That was my whole junior year, I was a soft offensive lineman, which is not a good combination. I don’t know what happened but senior year I turned into a totally different guy mentally on the field. I was having fun out there and playing confident.”
Not necessarily expectations then, but damn.
That sounds like an offensive lineman.
Chances of making the final roster (2/10)
Coming out of the Ivy League, the practice squad beckons if Kaskey offers legitimacy at this level.
But I’ll bump him up from a 1 to a 2 on the Dartmouth connection alone.