There is no doubt that Los Angeles Rams LB Ketner Kupp is going to be a focus of attention as the younger brother of standout WR Cooper Kupp.
While it’s not usually the case that just because one sibling is elite in his or her sport that the other will be similarly elite, it can happen (see Venus/Serena Williams, Phil/Tony Esposito, Nick/Nate Holley). The younger Kupp also plays on the opposite side of the football making it near impossible to compare the two. Coming out of college with 267 total tackles, 3 sacks for a loss of 21 yards and 2 interceptions returning one all the way to the house.
He has plenty of potential which will have to be on full display during training camp and the preseason to make it in the crowded LB depth chart.
The question here is whether Ketner is better suited inside or out.
Last season, the Rams carried five inside linebackers on the initial 53-man roster. LB Clay Matthews and ILB Corey Littleton are locks. ILB Micah Kiser might be as well. And while the Rams re-signed ILB Bryce Hager to a one-year deal for his special teams acumen, he’ll fill a spot on the inside depth chart. That doesn’t leave much room for guys like 2018 NFL Draft seventh-round pick Travin Howard, 2019 NFL Draft seventh-round pick Dakota Allen or Kupp or fellow undrafted rookies in Troy Reeder (roster preview) and Natrez Patrick (roster preview).
If the staff views him as more of an outside run-stopping linebacker, he has to compete with the edge rushers. The starting duo of Dante Fowler, Jr., and Samson Ebukam are already locked. There’s a big group of unknowns here though in Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Justin Lawler, Trevon Young, Josh Carraway and rookie UDFA Landis Durham.
It’s going to be an uphill climb for Kupp.
Ketner Kupp seems to have a good eye for where the ball is going and can read QBs well. I think he’ll be solid during the preseason and in practices, but will it be enough to stand out from the crowd? I have my doubts. Not because he’s bad, but just because of the sheer number of linebackers at the position.
Perhaps he could surprise and turn out to be an underestimated player like his older brother.
Chances of making the final roster (3.5/10)
I’m going to be honest. I want Kupp the Younger to make it, but the Rams have really given themselves some options at linebacker. Kupp could make it, but it’s going to be a rough go. And all this is assuming Ketner is as adept at making the transition from college to NFL as his brother was.