Elijah Garcia and Duron Lowe

Duron Lowe is a kick returner. He'd have to substantially improve just to be a backup CB in the NFL, so I see his best chance at making a roster as being a team's primary return specialist.

Elijah Garcia is a developmental 3-4 DE. He has long arms and a huge frame, but he's not very explosive. I think he has an uphill battle even to claim a PS spot. There are just too many other players ahead of him on the depth chart, he's going to have to show out to leapfrog players like Jonah Williams and Michael Hoecht.

Elijah Garcia

From San Antonio. Dad was in the Army. His mom died when he was 3 years old. Younger sister was a college basketball player. Chose Rice primarily for academic reasons.

Undergraduate degree in sport management and master's degree in accounting. 24 years old. Redshirted in 2016, was a 6th year bonus senior in 2021.

Made 27 consecutive starts, appeared in 49 consecutive games.

2021 (12 games): 67 tackles, 6.5 TFLs, 5 sacks.

Career 12.5 TFLs, 6.5 sacks, one FF.

6'5 3/8'' tall, 290 pounds 35'' arms, 10'' hands, 82.5'' wingspan. Was listed at 302 pounds in 2021, so I wonder if he dropped weight to do the draft testing.

5.01 sec (40 time), 1.76 sec (10 yard split), 30'' vert, 9'6'' broad, 4.55 sec (shuttle), 7.4 sec (3 cone), 25 bench reps

Displayed good feet doing on field drills at pro day, but lacked flexibility doing hoop drill. Violent hands against dummies.

Says he likes playing 3 tech. Also played 5/4i DE at Rice.

Tony Pauline (PFN): Athletic, bends knees and gets leverage, easily changes direction, effective hand usage. Makes plays in every direction, chases the action hard. Lacks great 1st step. Average strength at the POA.

Not ranked by Chad Reuter among 33 best UDFA interior defensive linemen.

Strengths: Excellent length, wide frame. Has upper body strength, can discard blockers and throw them to the side. Uses his hands to win leverage against the blocker. Played a high number of defensive snaps last year. Intelligent, personable. No known serious injuries.

Weaknesses: Not a dynamic player. Pad level is too high. Gets knocked sideways. Poor closing burst to get to the QB. Jumped offsides. Lacks quickness. Easily handled by lower level offensive linemen who aren't going to be in the NFL. Doesn't counter back to the RB quickly. Older than a normal draft prospect.

Rice had a defensive lineman named Christian Covington who was a 6th round pick in 2015 by the Houston Texans. Covington was a more explosive player and a better prospect. For the most part, Covington has been a journeyman backup in the NFL.

Rams Outlook: Garcia is a little different than Dion Novil, because Novil will likely play NT, while Garcia is better suited to be a DE. Garcia has NFL size and coaches typically like big dudes, but he needs additional development if he's going to be part of the rotation. He's not disruptive enough to play 3 tech and he doesn't have the desired play strength to play 5 tech.

Duron Lowe

Played 2 seasons at a junior college. It looked like there's a gap year in his college career, I wasn't able to find out what happened with him in 2018, but after initially verbally committing to Texas Tech he instead went to UTEP and enrolled there in the summer of 2019. He transferred to Liberty in 2021.

5'9 3/4'' tall, 186 pounds, 30'' arms, 8 1/8'' hands, 74'' wingspan

4.41 sec (40 time), 1.65 sec (10 yard split), 35'' vert, 10'1'' broad, 4.31 sec (shuttle), 7.15 sec (3 cone)

Had 4 INTs over a span of 31 games at UTEP and Liberty. One INT in 18 games at JUCO level.

Had 15 kick returns with a 21.6 yard average at JUCO. At FBS level, had 26.6 career KR average with 2 TDs on 27 attempts. No punt return experience.

Too many limitations as a CB. Short arms and lacks length to be an outside CB, sloppy jam, not fluid flipping his hips, gets lost at the LOS and allows WRs to cross his face, poor pedal, loses a step in his transition and can get beaten deep, dropped an INT, has small hands, doesn't have sufficient quickness to play as a slot CB, lacks play strength and tackling ability.

Rams Outlook: A kick returner isn't very valuable in today's NFL. Unless something happens to Brandon Powell, that role is already probably filled for the Rams. There are other players who could return kicks as well, so it is difficult to justify carrying Lowe even on the PS. He should get some opportunities in the preseason, so if he could make some plays, maybe he could beat out Powell and be the new returner. Powell only ran 4.59 seconds in the 40 at his pro day, but Powell has better burst and superior quickness.