“They Get Guys That Are Gritty”: Los Angeles Rams 2024 Draft Philosophy of Toughness

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The Los Angeles Rams lost one of the grittiest, hardest-working, toughest football players in NFL history when Aaron Donald retired earlier this year. So it should come as no surprise that they targeted players that fit those descriptors to one extent or another. They, of course, had to replace what they lost, but grit may be the most important attribute for successful football players.

An anonymous NFL executive told Mike Sando the following about the type of player the Rams draft,

“They get guys that are usually gritty, some of them are older, four-year type players, team captain types, high character, rugged,” the exec said. “You might give up some of the size and the athletic traits, so that the potential for development could be less. Verse doesn’t have the best agility; he’s a tighter-wound dude, but a good football player. (Kamren) Kinchens is a good football player who does not have excellent traits.”

A look through Dane Brugler’s “The Beast” Draft Guide, on The Athletic reveals that nearly every one of the Rams draft picks has a long track record of overcoming obstacles and striving for greatness. It wasn’t all he had to say, but here is how Brugler describes the toughness of the Rams draft class.

How Gritty is the Incoming Los Angeles Rams Draft Class?

Jared Verse: 23 years old, competitive football temperament, punches above his weight class, fierce play personality, blue-collar background, great teammate.

Braden Fiske: 24 years old, plays with a worker-bee attitude and his motor doesn’t have an off switch … teammates rave about his competitive nature and the way he maxes out his ability during the week and in games.

Los Angeles Rams Draft Pick
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Blake Corum: 23, maniacal worker, and the coaches forced him to rest and develop more moderation to his workout routines, Worked for his father’s landscaping business during the pandemic to complement his workout routine. Jim Harbaugh puts Corum in the same conversation as Frank Gore as the best running backs he ever coached.

Kamren Kinchens: Miami defensive coordinator Lance Guidry: “I think he’d be a great coach if he decided to do that.” Emerged as a key leader for the Hurricanes defense.

Brennan Jackson: 23, team captain, Plays with tremendous energy, his coaches describe him as a “relentless worker” and “very personable,” but he doesn’t take himself too seriously. (NFL scout: “One of my favorite guys in my area to talk to. Ball and life.”)

Tyler Davis: 23, two-time team captain of Clemson, a top school in the ACC. Set the Clemson record for most career starts (52) by a defensive player. Lists “screen hunter” on his resume under specialized skills.

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Jordan Whittington: 23, college career was one of perseverance, a team captain as one of the more respected “program” guys on campus, head coach Steve Sarkisian: “I don’t know if there’s
another guy in our locker room who’s more respected than Jordan Whittington.

Beaux Limmer: 23, developed a competitive edge as a blocker and has ironman toughness, rarely coming off the field (led Arkansas in snaps played in 2022 and 2023.)

KT Leveston: 25, went from almost getting kicked off the team in his first few years at Kansas State for an inconsistent effort to maturing into a respected team leader in his final two seasons.

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