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Will elite athletic skills translate into bigger team roles?

By Venie Randy Soares | Turf Show Times | Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

I make no secret of my interest in the Los Angeles Rams draft process and their training camp roster battles, putting together a draft board every season and follow the draftees and undrafted free agents throughout OTAs, camp, and the preseason.

One interesting tool to use in research when making draft and roster projections is the Relative Athletic Score (RAS) website. Athleticism isn’t the be-all, end-all when projecting whether a player will be drafted or make the team, but there is certainly a strong connection between success and elite speed, length, agility, and explosion.

With the Rams training camp set to start in less than two weeks, here’s a look at LA‘s top players according to their RAS score.

1. Tight end/wide receiver Jacob Harris – 9.89

It was a tale of two tapes in the 2021 preseason for the fourth round rookie (#141) from Central Florida. He showed on film that the NFL lights were not too bright for him, making some nice catches and flashing an ability to run after the catch. But, the same film showed poor ball protection on those plays. During the regular season, he he only received 15 snaps in mop up wins over the New York Giants and Houston Texans and recorded no stats before tearing up a knee in week 10.

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Harris was a latecomer to football and didn’t play the game until his senior season of high school. His collegiate numbers were modest, 49 catches for 987 yards and nine touch downs, but he proved to be dangerous down the field and averaged 20.1 yards per catch.

His measurables and athleticism show he certainly has the potential to stretch the field from either/both the tight end or wide receiver positions. His Pro Day numbers only add to the expectations. He measured in at 6’,5” and 219 lbs. with arms 34” long. His speed showed with a 4.39 forty, 6.51 3cone, and 4.31 shuttle. Harris was stellar in the explosion drills with a 40.5” vertical and 11’ 1” in the broad jump. He added 15 reps on bench.

Harris should be saddled with high expectations. He has the athletic ability and even with only five years of organized football, he has a good understanding of how to be a playmaker. He just needs some fine tuning.

2. Defensive tackle Bobby Brown – 9.82

Coming out of Texas A&M, Brown needed to work on technique and keeping a wider base. He was brought along slowly in his rookie season. He made the 53, but was only active in the last 10 regular season games and three playoff games. (29 total defensive snaps and 62 on special teams)

Brown’s game is built on power, he wins with good leverage and big hands, long arms and a heavy punch. To go along with his power game, he adds some stellar athleticism and showed it at his Pro Day. Standing 6’4” and weighing 321 lbs, he timed a 5.04 forty, 7.62 3cone, and a 4.58 shuttle. He was explosive with a 33” vertical and a 9’ 5” broad jump.

In college, he wasn’t known as a pass rush specialist, mostly a bull rushing, pocket pusher. But draft pundits think that he has the athleticism to play 3 technique in the future. Brown is still quite young and he’s getting a graduate student level of education with the AD effect. 2022 is a big training camp for Bobby Brown III.

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