During the 2021 season, the Los Angeles Rams made a blockbuster mid-season trade to acquire EDGE rusher and perennial hall-of-famer Von Miller. The move proved to be extremely succesful as Miller made a huge impact in the postseason, helping lead the team to an eventual Super Bowl title.
However, Miller decided to leave the team this offseason, opting to sign a massive deal with the Buffalo Bills, leaving the Rams with a pretty substantial hole in terms of rushing the passer.
During the NFL draft back in April, the Rams used their first 7th round pick on EDGE rusher Daniel Hardy out of Montana State University. Although Montana State is a smaller school (FCS program), Hardy presents big time intangibles. At 6’3 240 lbs, Hardy is a physical specimen, as if he was put together in a lab of some sort. In 2021, Hardy was named 2nd-team All-American in the FCS, tallying 16.5 sacks to go along with 24.5 tackles for loss. Not only was he impactful on defense, but he was also on special teams, showing his willingness to get on the field by any means necessary.
With the depth at EDGE, outside of Leonard Floyd, being a question mark, Hardy will have a shot to get on the field early. The main issue with Hardy is he is super raw, relying far too much on his superior athleticism to win on the edge, something that will not fly against elite competition. However, playing alongside Aaron Donald, expect Hardy’s technical side of his pass rushing to get a ton of work, which could lead to Hardy exceeding all expectations.
What do you folks think? Can Daniel Hardy find his way onto the field, even as a late round pick? Let me know below!
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