Next Man Up: Can Rams Undrafted LB Sneak Onto 53-Man Roster?

Keir Thomas flashed for the Rams in the preseason finale against the Bengals, making quite a closing argument for a roster spot.

Now that the preseason is behind us, it is time for the Los Angeles Rams to assess the talent on their roster and then make tough decisions to dwindle their roster down to 53 players next week.

What a player does on the practice field during training camp or in live preseason game action obviously holds a ton of weight, but sometimes jobs can be won and lost based on last impressions.

Former South Carolina and Florida State Edge, Keir Thomas, did everything in his power to leave a lasting impression on the Rams coaching staff.

After a solid career with the Gamecocks, Thomas entered the portal but quickly made the decision to transfer closer to home and play his super senior season with FSU. He played in a total of 57 games, recording 184 tackles, 31.5 tackles for a loss, and 15 quarterback sacks. He showed improvement in each season.

At 6-2, 275lbs, Thomas surprisingly did not hear his name called out during the 2022 NFL Draft. Unfortunately, a nagging hamstring injury more than likely prevented him from getting drafted. Luckily for Thomas, that didn’t stop the Rams from signing the undrafted free agent.

In 2021, he played in all 12 games for the Seminoles, accumulating 42 tackles, including 12 tackles for loss, and 6.5 sacks. His dominant play allowed him to be named ACC Defensive Lineman of the week multiple times.

Thomas could either be a defensive end or an outside linebacker for the Rams. Although like most undrafted rookies, he is still raw and needs more coaching, such as adding additional pass rush moves to his repertoire.

Despite losing to the Cincinnati Bengals 16-7 in the Rams’ third and final preseason game, Thomas made a strong final push for the Rams roster. He showed flashes of being disruptive every time he played, producing three solo tackles, a sack for 16 yards, three tackles for loss, and a quarterback hurry. He played 33 defensive snaps and 12 snaps on special teams.

Of course, making the 53-man roster won’t be easy, but he could benefit from Daniel Hardy starting the season on IR after he suffered a high ankle sprain. At the very least, Thomas showed why he deserves a shot, even if it’s on the practice squad until an opportunity surfaces.

You can follow Kevin Tame Jr on Twitter @Kevin_Tame

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