FanPost

Maximilian Roberts UDFA profile

It's a Long Way to the Top

The databank know my number, says I gotta pay, cause I made the grade last year." AC/DC, Who Made Who, soundtrack to Maximum Overdrive

Lance Zierlein had Rams UDFA and former Boston College edge rusher, Max Roberts, graded higher than Hamilcar Rashed Jr., giving Roberts a 5.57 grade and Rashed a 5.50 grade. On TDN's draft board, they had Rashed ranked 103rd, the same late 3rd round slot where the Rams picked Ernest Jones. On ESPN's board, they had Rashed ranked 149th, not far behind the compensatory 4th round slot where the Rams picked Jacob Harris. Sports Illustrated had a 4th round grade on Rashed. Like Roberts, Rashed wasn't drafted, signing with the Jets. Rashed had 14 sacks in 2019 for Oregon State and was at the Senior Bowl. Gil Brandt named Rashed the best UDFA edge rusher. LZ also had Roberts graded almost the same as Chris Garrett (5.60 grade), who the Rams drafted in the 7th round. If LZ has it right and Robert is better than Rashed, did the Rams sign the best 3-4 OLB UDFA available after the draft?

I don't see much potential with Roberts. Natrez Patrick and who was that other guy (I can't remember his name) looked like better players. If the Rams didn't want to keep Patrick around, I don't see what Roberts adds to the team, other than a warm body for depth.

Background

6'1'' tall, 256 pounds, 32 1/8'' arms, 78 3/8'' wingspan, 11 1/8'' hands.

He has huge hands, but limited arm length. Obo has 33 3/4'' arms.

4.87 sec (40 time), 1.64 sec (10 yard split), 36.5'' vert, 10'3'' broad, 4.50 sec (shuttle), 7.56 sec (3 cone), 28 bench reps.

Not athletic enough to make up for his lack of size. His numbers wouldn't be as big a deal if he were about 6'5'', 280 pounds, with 35'' arms (see e.g. AJ Epenesa and Kony Ealy), but he's both small, slow and stiff.

Already has been a Ram, playing for the Fordham Rams. He played 2 seasons as a LB and 1 as a DE for Fordham. In 2016, he had 4.5 sacks playing LB. In 2018, he injured his meniscus, had surgery on his knee, then returned after 2 weeks. Later in the season, he injured his knee again, ending his 2018 season and had another surgery. Fordham didn't have a good team, so he transferred to Maine in 2019 to play for a better program. Playing at DE, he had 19 tackles and 4 sacks in 2019, then had his knee scoped after the 2019 season, his 3rd knee surgery.

His conference cancelled the 2020 season due to the pandemic, so to get playing time he transferred to Boston College. He joined the team so late, the transfer was announced just hours prior to team's 2nd game of the season. He played in that game and had 5 tackles. He had 22 tackles, 4.5 sacks, 6 TFLs and a FF in 8 games in 2020.

Masters student in leadership administration at BC. Degree in information science. Says he's an IT nerd and likes to tinker with computers. Father is Ghanian, mother is Niberian. Has a younger brother who has cerebral palsy.

Says he likes chop dip and stab club pass rush moves.

Bleacher Report gave him a 7th round draft grade.

Was the lowest ranked 3-4 OLB on board for Sports Illustrated. Ranked so low, SI had him behind a player who played NAIA football.

Not ranked on TDN board.

PFN 556th overall (UDFA). This is so low that you could have 2 entire drafts and he'd still be an UDFA after the 2nd draft.

Lance Zierlein 5.57 grade (priority UDFA projection). Short, heavy hands, huge hands, upper body power, tight lower body, not enough knee bend.

Strengths

Versatile. Sometimes played with hand in the dirt as DE on 4 man front. Other times rushed standing up like an OLB. Occasionally used like an ILB spying the QB on 3rd down or rushing standing up from the inside.

Got a sack with effort, long arm power move, pushing the LT backwards.

Plays hard, good effort. Pursues RB from backside. Doesn't quit if first pass rush move doesn't work, continues to battle.

Weaknesses

Part time player, BC rotated DEs.

Not explosive or fast as a looper, whether as OLB or from ILB position looping around the DT.

Too small, not enough length. Narrow build, tight hips, lacking balance and agility. Gets pushed off the LOS, struggles to anchor. Thrown off balance trying to set edge. Pushed off LOS both at POA and on wide runs. Not enough bulk to hold line on short yardage run.

Not a strong run defender. Poor reaction to counter run. Fooled on read option, chasing RB as QB runs by him.

Not dangerous or explosive enough as pass rusher. Can't get to edge of OTs, easily gets completely smothered. Runs down the middle of the blocker and they engulf him and swallow him up. Gets locked up and controlled by LTs.

Meniscus issue in knee, concerning medical history.

I don't see much upside with this player.

Pro Comparison

Ejuan Price (7th round 2017, Rams, Pitt)

Price overall was a better prospect compared to Roberts. Price appeared in one NFL regular season game, which is one game more than many other 7th round picks and UDFAs.

5'11'' tall, 241 pounds, 32 3/4'' arms, 77 1/8'' wingspan, 10'' hands.

4.84 (40 time, 4.75 sec at pro day), 1.66 sec (10 yard split, 1.62 sec at pro day), 31.5'' vert (34.5'' at pro day), 9'9'' broad, 4.31 sec (shuttle), 6.98 sec (3 cone), 20 bench reps.

Roberts has a shot at making the roster, because the Rams have limited depth at OLB. Seems like someone has to make the cut and all the candidates are UDFA type players. If we go by LZ's draft grades, it is a coin flip between Chris Garrett and Max Roberts.

Doesn't feel like a very impressive group of UDFAs for the Rams this year. Not surprising, given what KA pointed out about the draft pool being so shallow, but still disappointing. Some of the "other" players the Rams have, like Chandler Brewer, Jake Gervase, JJ Koski, JR Reed, Justin Lawler and John Daka, one of those guys might have a better shot at making the team that the new UDFAs.