Nsimba Webster: Biggest Steal Of Rams Offseason?

Rams 2018 Training Camp. Photo Credit | Ryan Dyrud | The LAFB Network
Rams 2018 Training Camp. Photo Credit | Ryan Dyrud | The LAFB Network

For many Rams fans, running back Darrell Henderson seems to be the pick with the best value. Many would argue that Henderson, being a third-round pick and one of the top prospects in his position, would be hard to beat. However, while Henderson is likely a good-value pick, he is not the best-valued pick because of expectations. Most would argue that a third-round pick is an expected starter, at some point. At best, Henderson is a star at the price of an average starter. Thus, while possibly a great value, Henderson’s cost-production ratio is limited.

The true gems are undrafted free agents that turn into starters or stars. Undrafted free agents have no expectations, do not cost draft capital, and are generally paid pennies compared to other rookies. Assuming they work out, undrafted free agents are the best value in the NFL. This year, wide receiver Nsimba Webster out of Eastern Washington University could be that diamond in the rough for the Rams.

Nsimba Webster: Biggest Steal Of Rams Offseason?

The Pros

Nsimba Webster was signed out of Eastern Washington University, the same school that provided wide receiver Cooper Kupp and linebacker Samson Ebukam in 2017. Webster played four years in college, his strongest season occurring in 2018. In his final year, Webster compiled 84 catches for 1,379 yards in 15 games. Impressively, he was able to do this while dealing with a nagging foot injury and a quarterback switch halfway through the season (Gage Gubrud to Eric Barriere).

Webster comes with some added perks that many other rookies do not have. For instance, he played quarterback in high school so Head Coach Sean McVay could potentially use him for some trick plays that will catch the defense off guard. Additionally, in his last season in college, Webster played in the “Super Bowl” of the FCS.

For those who do not know, the playoffs in the FCS is much more like that of the NFL as opposed to the FBS, with 24 qualifying teams, byes for the top eight teams, and a multi-week break between the games that takes place before the championship and the actual championship. Webster’s experience with having to deal with the added stress and mental fatigue that comes with lengthy playoff runs is an added bonus, especially considering the Rams’ current position as a Super Bowl contender.

The Cons

The big catch with Webster is the fact that he played in the FCS, one level below the FBS. This is seen as a major turnoff for most. However, the FCS is actually pretty capable of churning out quality players who have produced quality football in the NFL: Cooper Kupp, Samson Ebukam, Carson Wentz, Jimmy Garoppolo, Tarik Cohen, David Johnson, and Jerick McKinnon all played in the FCS. Put simply, just because Webster comes from the FCS does not mean that he cannot produce in the NFL.


The Bottom Line

Overall, Nsimba Webster could have a ceiling approaching the level of Cooper Kupp if he can stay healthy. In fact, he could push Josh Reynolds for the fourth spot on the depth chart if he has a great training camp and preseason performance.  

If Nsimba Webster were to be able to live up to his potential and work his way into Reynolds’ spot, he could prove to be a mismatch against opposing fourth-level cornerbacks. Webster could be the piece that unlocks defensive powerhouses and could also be the straw that breaks the backs of defenses later in the year when defenses have caught up to Sean McVay’s scheme and the battle between the offense and defense becomes more of a “player-versus-player” dynamic instead of “scheme-versus-scheme.”

For the price of an undrafted free agent, the possibility of getting the final piece that could make the Rams’ offense truly unstoppable makes Webster possibly the biggest steal of the offseason in Los Angeles.