Advertisement

Sean McVay sees Jared Verse as more than just an edge rusher

Jared Verse looks the part of an NFL edge rusher, standing 6-foot-4 and 254 pounds with a rocked-up frame as a 23-year-old defender. He primarily played defensive end at Florida State the last two years and was highly productive, but he could be in for a more unique role with the Rams.

After the first round wrapped up on Thursday night, Sean McVay shared some of his thoughts on Verse, the team’s selection at No. 19 overall. He sees Verse as more than just an edge rusher, envisioning a role where he can move inside and rush against guards as a defensive tackle, as well as playing defensive end.

“He’s going to play on the edge. He’s got the ability to reduce down,” McVay said. “He’s got a lot of versatility. You watch the way that he plays. He’s got great hands, he’s violent, he’s got a versatile arsenal of moves that he can activate. But he plays the game the way we want it to be played. We’re looking for grown men on defense. … He was one of the guys that we had targeted and feel really good coming away with him. He’s going to make a big impact in the outside linebacker room.”

McVay said initially, Verse will play outside linebacker in the Rams’ 3-4 scheme, but the team is going to see how he adjusts once the pads come on and he adjusts to the NFL game.

“I think that’s to be determined,” McVay said of Verse’s role. “We are going to start him out on the edge. He’ll play outside linebacker in our base defense. He’ll play end. He does have some flexibility to be able to slide and reduce down and play over a guard but I think we’ll see. We’ll get him in here and see how he adjusts.”

The Rams could use help along the defensive line following Aaron Donald’s retirement, so if Verse is able to move inside on third down and rush from the interior, it will only open things up for the rest of the defense.

They also haven’t gotten much production from the 5-technique spot in terms of the pass rush, so Verse’s ability to play that spot could provide a spark in obvious passing situations, as well.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire