Sean McVay On Los Angeles Rams 1st Round Defensive End: “Reactionary Rusher,” “Grown Man” Player

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In his recent appearance on the Green Light podcast with Chris Long, Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay shared his thoughts on the team’s 2024 first-round draft pick, Jared Verse.

Verse was picked 19th overall out of Florida State. He finished his last season with the Seminoles with 62 pressures, third most, and nine sacks, 24th. He will likely start along with sophomores, Byron Young and Kobie Turner and former FSU teammate and Rams 2024 second-rounder Braden Fiske.

What The Los Angeles Rams Saw In Jared Verse

NFL: Combine
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

“He’s a reactionary rusher,” McVay started, “like I always felt this way about you (Chris Long). You can see certain guys that predetermine what they’re going to do with their rush plan and then other guys that ‘All right they’re starting this way, but then I get an over set and I can naturally counter underneath,’ or ‘I can hit my spin.’ He’s a reactionary rusher. He’s a polished player for a young kid. The game makes sense to [him].

McVay didn’t shy away from the areas Verse will have to improve, but he also talked about the intangible qualities Verse brings to the table.

“We still need to have him really understand where those opportunities are, but, man, I mean you feel him. I always look at it from an offensive perspective. It’s like if I feel you defensively then I’m worried about you and we better have a plan for you. I thought he played a grown-man style of football. That was what I liked.”

From Theory To Reality

NFL: Combine
Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Verse was the first of four defensive linemen that the Rams selected in this year’s draft and one of nine added through the draft in the last two seasons. They now embark on doing the impossible, replacing the now-retired Aaron Donald.

While the Rams have invested heavily through the draft at the defensive line, this has left a huge experience gap across the entire depth chart. The Rams are betting heavily that the youth will take a huge leap forward under new positional coaches, Giff Smith and Joe Coniglio.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams-OTA
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports