4 things to know about Rams rookie OLB Ochaun Mathis
Needing pass-rush help, the Los Angeles Rams selected two outside linebackers in the first five rounds by drafting Byron Young and Nick Hampton. But they couldn’t pass up the opportunity to take a third in the sixth round when Ochaun Mathis was on the board at No. 189 overall.
The Rams took the Nebraska edge rusher, adding him to a young and inexperienced group of outside linebackers on the roster. As a sixth-round pick, he’ll need to earn his roster spot, but Mathis is a promising prospect.
Here are four things to know about the former Horned Frog and Cornhusker.
He played 4 seasons at TCU before transferring to Nebraska
Mathis is one of the players drafted by the Rams who have ties to TCU, along with Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson and Zach Evans. Before finishing his college career at Nebraska, Mathis actually played four seasons at TCU.
He had 12.5 sacks, 26 tackles for a loss and 133 total tackles during his time with the Horned Frogs, but he transferred after Gary Patterson re-signed in 2021. At Nebraska, Mathis only had 3.5 sacks and five tackles for a loss in one season.
He was second-team All-Big 12 twice at TCU
Mathis earned recognition from all-conference voters during his time at TCU. He was voted second-team All-Big 12 in both 2020 and 2021, totaling 13 sacks and 23 tackles for a loss in those two seasons. He also blocked a field goal in 2021, which helped his case as an all-conference pick.
He was ranked as the No. 1 edge rusher in the 2022 transfer portal
Mathis was a highly touted player when he entered the transfer portal before the 2022 season. According to 24/7 Sports, Mathis was ranked as the best edge rusher in the transfer portal, ahead of players such as Jared Verse, Landon Jackson and Jared Ivey.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic wrote in his draft guide that Mathis landed a six-figure NIL deal in his transfer to Nebraska after also drawing interest from Ole Miss, Penn State, Texas and USC.
He led TCU in sacks in 2020
There’s no doubt which of Mathis’ five college seasons was his best. In 2020, he recorded a career-best nine sacks, which led the team and was tied for the fifth-most in the FBS. He never had more than 3.5 sacks in another season but that nine-sack campaign really helped put him on the map with the Horned Frogs. That year, he had seven QB hits and 17 total hurries – which is actually eight fewer hurries than he had in 2022.