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Byron Young can already tell Jared Verse is ‘going to be really special’

When Jared Verse was drafted 19th overall by the Rams in April, he became their first pick in Round 1 since Jared Goff in 2016. Needless to say, expectations are high for the rookie pass rusher out of Florida State and fans can’t wait to see him on the field this season.

Verse is currently going through OTAs before training camp opens in July and he’s already impressing at least one of his teammates. Byron Young, a standout defender as a rookie last season, can see the potential Verse possesses.

Young told J.B. Long and Maurice Jones-Drew last week that Verse is “doing way better” than he was this time last year, raving about his professionalism and talent on the practice field.

“Watching him, the way he’s doing right now, doing way better than me last year,” Young said. “Coming through OTAs, he’s handling it like a pro so I can already see he’s going to be really special. That’s what I like about him.”

Young was asked to name a teammate who’s stood out in OTAs thus far and he immediately went back to Verse.

“I’m going to start with Jared Verse. No lie, if you’ve been here so far, he’s just handling it like a pro,” Young said. “His get-off is insane, rushing the passer, every day just showing up, listening, being accountable. Me being a vet and him being younger, he’s listening. He’s just a guy that wants to learn. Every day I talk to him and that’s what I love about him. He’s a guy that’s hungry. He’s definitely hungry.”

Verse might only be a rookie, but he’s making his voice known in practice. Young says Verse is vocal on the field, which provides some extra juice for the defense – something he loves to see from the first-year edge rusher.

“I love it. I was telling coach about that the other day. He definitely brings the dog out of me,” Young said. “His aggression, his love for the game. Every day he comes out there, you’re going to hear him and that’s what we need. We need that spark, man. It’ll be some days, I feel like we’re starting slow but you will hear him and he will spark up the team. when they drafted him, I already knew he was like that, so I was just happy. I was like, I’ve got to come out of my shell more so he’s definitely going to have me do that.”

Young and Verse are projected to be the starting outside linebackers for the Rams this season, with Michael Hoecht also in the mix. Young and Verse bring an abundance of speed and power on the outside, especially with Young bulking up and adding 10 pounds of muscle to his frame this offseason.

The loss of Aaron Donald is immeasurable but the tandem of Young and Verse should pay dividends for Los Angeles in 2024.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire