Armed with only eight picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams did well to address positions with a lack of depth.
The Rams spent four picks on defensive backs but did take a swing on Montana State linebacker Daniel Hardy in the seventh round. Hardy started 15 games for the Bobcats, recording 24.5 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks.
Hardy’s success can be attributed to his move from linebacker to defensive end and he credited his defensive line coach for his development, via Stu Jackson of TheRams.com:
“Me and my coach, we were kind of just talking about it,” Hardy said. “When he had first come onto the staff in the spring, we had our little sit-down intro meeting. He asked me what my goals were, and I told him, ‘Coach, I want to play in the NFL. I want to get there,’ and I just asked what I had to do. And he told me. It was just crazy seeing us working together, working with the team, doing whatever it took to make sure I was in a position to be successful. And I just couldn’t be more grateful.”
Despite his collegiate production, Hardy will have an uphill climb to make the roster though he has the right mindset to get there:
“First and foremost, measurables aside, I think the one thing that I have going for me is that I’m just absolutely relentless,” Hardy said. “I’m humble and I don’t have a single issue playing special teams. I’m just ready to go in there and do whatever the coaches ask of me and just ball out.”
Special teams are certainly an area where Hardy can make an impact, but he will have to prove himself once training camp begins. The athletic profile and mentality are all there, so it will be interesting to see if he is able to prove his worth.