The Los Angeles Rams make a seldom-seen move by choosing defensive end Jared Verse with the 19th pick in the first round of the NFL draft

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Jared Verse

The Los Angeles Rams went seven years without picking in the first round of the NFL draft. This was partly because they wanted to maximize Aaron Donald’s incredible talent.

Now, with the 19th overall pick, they chose Florida State defensive end Jared Verse. They hope he can step up and contribute, especially as Donald’s presence is hard to replace.

“Replacing him is tough,” Verse said. “He’s an incredible player, one of the best ever. But I’m ready to take on the challenge.”

Verse had two good seasons at Florida State, with 18 sacks and nearly 30 tackles for loss in 25 games. Last season, he was named second-team All-American after helping his team win the Atlantic Coast Conference title.

“Last year, he could’ve been picked around the same spot, but he chose to stay,” Rams general manager Les Snead noted.

“He’s the kind of player you want to keep watching because he loves the game. He enjoys it, and he’s disruptive, aggressive.”

Jared Verse

At 23, Verse began his college career at Albany, a school in the FCS division. To support his studies, he worked delivery jobs.

His coach at Albany, Greg Gattuso, also coached Donald at Pittsburgh. Verse had the chance to ask Donald about pass rushing during a video call amid the COVID-19 pandemic. This conversation proved pivotal in Verse’s college journey.

“I asked him some questions that helped me improve,” Verse said. “He emphasized that you don’t need many moves. Just execute a few well, and you’ll dominate.”

Donald retired in March, leaving a big gap in the Rams’ defense. He had been the team’s defensive anchor since they moved back to Los Angeles in 2016.

Last year, the Rams started revamping their defensive line, drafting outside linebacker Byron Young and defensive tackle Kobie Turner in the third round.

As rookies, Young and Turner combined for 17 sacks and 16 tackles for loss. Turner even ranked third in Defensive Rookie of the Year voting. But their success was aided by Donald’s presence, who recorded eight sacks and 16 tackles for loss in his final season.


By Ritik

Ritik Katiyar is pursuing a post-graduate degree in Pharmaceutics. Currently, he lives in Srinagar, Uttarakhand, India. You can find him writing about all sorts of listicle topics. A pharmaceutical postgrad by day, and a content writer by night. You can write to him at [email protected]

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