Michael Hoecht, Earnest Brown, and Marquise Copeland hope to earn a roster spot
The Los Angeles Rams will be without one of their more promising second-year players for the first six games next season: defensive tackle Bobby Brown has been suspended for violating the NFL’s PED policy.
Brown was drafted by LA in the fourth round in 2021, and he’s considered one of the more athletic players on the Rams’ roster. After flashing his potential last preseason, Brown mostly redshirted the regular season and was hoping to take a step forward in 2022.
While Brown will be eligible to play in the preseason, he won’t be on the regular season roster for the first six weeks. With Aaron Donald, Greg Gaines, and A’Shawn Robinson considered one of the best starting defensive lines in the NFL, barring injury Brown was hoping to contribute on a rotational basis this season.
Which reserve defensive linemen could step up during his absence?
Hoecht is entering his third year with Los Angeles. After going undrafted by the NFL (but not the Canadian Football League) in 2020, he spent his first season on the Rams’ practice squad. Hoecht was primarily a special teams contributor in 2021 – participating in 65% of those snaps. He also managed to notch 110 snaps on defense (10%).
There’s a reason why the Rams have kept Hoecht around for the past three years. While he might lack the high-end athleticism of Brown, his familiarity with LA could give him the inside track as the primary backup to Gaines and Robinson.