The 2023 NFL Draft represented a reset point for the Los Angeles Rams as they came away with 14 total rookies after maneuvering down the boards throughout the weekend.
The Rams needed to offload several contracts in order to get under the salary cap which predictably meant parting ways with several of their key veterans from the 2022 roster. Now, Los Angeles will be counting on the young returners and their draft haul to help them usher in the new era of football under Sean McVay.
With so many players to account for, the Rams have needed more time to sign each of them to their rookie deals. The team has made plenty of progress in recent weeks and were finally able to get Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson under contract, via Universal Sports Management:
— UniversalSportsMgmt (@UniSportsMgmt) June 30, 2023
With Hodges-Tomlinson finally putting pen to paper, the Rams have managed to sign 10 of their 14 draftees. The remaining players left unsigned are Byron Young, Kobie Turner, Zach Evans and Ochaun Mathis.
A sixth-round pick, Hodges-Tomlinson slipped down draft boards due to his size at 5’8″, 178 pounds but is a competitive player on the field with natural ball skills. College’s Jim Thorpe Award winner last season, Hodges-Tomlinson has the makings of a productive defensive back as he showcased during TCU’s run to the championship game.
At the NFL level, he will probably be pigeonholed into playing in the slot in nickel and dime packages, but that shouldn’t diminish his value. Fortunately for him, Los Angeles is fairly thin in the secondary so he should get a shot to prove himself early on and potentially earn a bigger role as the season progresses.
Although the Rams do not project to be very good in 2023, the makings are there for the team to build a new foundation and get back to their winning ways sooner rather than later. Hodges-Tomlinson is one small piece of the puzzle, though he could very well end up being a long-term fit if he plays well.
Rams sign Ahkello Witherspoon
Cornerback depth took a major hit in the offseason when the Rams elected to trade Jalen Ramsey and allow Troy Hill and David Long Jr. to walk away in free agency. In order to bolster their defensive back room, L.A. went out and signed Ahkello Witherspoon, who has split his six-year career between the San Francisco 49ers and the Pittsburgh Steelers.