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Rams edge rankings in NFC: Michael Hoecht leads group of unproven, undrafted

Will L.A. address edge with their first pick in the draft?

Seattle Seahawks v Los Angeles Rams Photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Get to know Michael Hoecht, he’s now the best edge player on the Los Angeles Rams defense. Where do he and his pass rushing teammates rank among all NFC players at the position?

Previously we’ve compared the Rams’ cornerbacks, safeties, and linebackers to the rest of the conference and thus far L.A. is not ranking high going into the 2023 draft. Let’s quickly review the potential STARTERS at this positions before talking about Hoecht and the edges:

CB - Cobie Durant, Derion Kendrick, Robert Rochell

S - Jordan Fuller, Russ Yeast

LB - Ernest Jones, Christian Rozeboom

Following the departures of names like Jalen Ramsey, Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, Bobby Wagner, and Troy Hill, the depth chart has changed considerably. On the edges, the Rams have also cut Leonard Floyd. Here is who remains and a look at who is starting around the rest of the NFC.

Some guides:

New Player in 2023


*2021 or 2022 Pro Bowl

I will list defensive coordinator in parentheses, then which first round pick(s) that team has this year


49ers (Steve Wilks) - Nick Bosa*, Clelin Ferrell, DRAKE JACKSON (First round pick: None)

Cowboys (Dan Quinn) - Micah Parsons*, DeMarcus Lawrence*, Dante Fowler, SAM WILLIAMS (First round pick: 26)

Eagles (Sean Desai) - Haason Reddick*, Josh Sweat*, Brandon Graham, Derek Barnett (First round picks: 10, 30)

Panthers (Ejiro Evero) - Brian Burns*, Yetur Gross-Matos, Marquis Haynes (First round pick: 1)

Vikings (Brian Flores) - Danielle Hunter*, Marcus Davenport, D.J. Wonnum, Za’Darius Smith* (First round pick: 23)

Packers (Joe Barry) - Rashan Gary, Preston Smith, Kingsley Enagbare, Justin Hollins (First round pick: 15)

Saints (Joe Woods) - Cameron Jordan*, PAYTON TURNER, Tanoh Kpassagnon, Carl Granderson (First round pick: 29)

Commanders (Jack Del Rio) - Montez Sweat, Chase Young, Efe Obada, Shaka Toney (First round pick: 16)

Bucs (Kacy Rodgers/Larry Foote) - JOE TRYON-SHOYINKA, LOGAN HALL, Shaquil Barrett* (First round pick: 19)

Giants (Wink Martindale) - AZEEZ OJULARI, KAYVON THIBODEAUX, Jihad Ward (First round pick: 25)

Seahawks (Clint Hurtt) - Uchenna Nwosu, Darrell Taylor, BOYE MAFE, Alton Robinson (First round picks: 5, 20)

Lions (Aaron Glenn) - AIDAN HUTCHINSON, James Houston, Charles Harris, JOSH PASCHAL (First round picks: 6, 18)

Falcons (Ryan Nielsen) - Calais Campbell, Kaden Elliss, ARNOLD EBIKETIE, Lorenzo Carter (First round pick: 8)

Bears (Alan Williams) - Rasheem Green, Dominique Robinson, Trevis Gipson, DeMarcus Walker (First round pick: 9)

Cardinals (Nick Rallis) - Myjai Sanders, Cameron Thomas, Dennis Gardeck (First round pick: 3)

Now without ranking them, let’s look at the Rams outside linebackers unit:

Rams (Raheem Morris) - Michael Hoecht, Keir Thomas, Daniel Hardy, Zach VanValkenburg (First round pick: None)


  • It’s easy to argue “Well, does Micah belong here?” etc. but for the purposes of what’s important—guys who sack the quarterback and screw up your Sundays—Micah belongs here. You could make that case for Aaron Donald of course, but defensive lineman/hand in the dirt guys will have their day.
  • It feels like there’s a clear top-3 (49ers, Cowboys, Eagles) just going off of last season, then there’s a group that has at least one big name (Saints, Vikings, Bucs, Panthers, Packers, Commanders) and then a group that’s investing in the position whether that’s the draft, free agency, or both. Then you have the Bears, Cardinals, and Rams.
  • It seems like with the third overall pick and ninth overall pick, Arizona and Chicago could get an edge rusher in the draft. The Rams do not pick until 36th. You have to think that Will Anderson and Tyree Wilson are options for the Cardinals and one of them could fall to the Bears at nine. Not at all shocking if both teams pick edge rushers. The Seahawks, Lions, Falcons, and Eagles also have top-10 picks and could go in that direction.
  • Hoecht played in 408 snaps last year and recorded 4.5 sacks. He is a former UDFA out of Brown. Keir Thomas went undrafted out of Florida State/South Carolina last year, he had zero sacks on 71 snaps. Daniel Hardy was a seventh round pick, he played 41 snaps. So, where do you think this group ranks?


How do Rams EDGE players rank in NFC?

This poll is closed

  • 2%
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    (2 votes)
  • 6%
    (10 votes)
  • 11%
    (17 votes)
  • 77%
    (111 votes)
144 votes total Vote Now