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3 takeaways from Les Snead and Sean McVay's press conference following Day 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft: Jared Verse's role, keeping interest in him under radar, how way drafted unfolded helped land him

HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. – Rams general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay met with reporters after the team selected a player in the first round of the NFL Draft for the first time in eight years by selecting Florida State defensive end Jared Verse 19th overall Thursday night.

Here are 3 key takeaways from that conversation:

Verse will start out in OLB room

McVay said Verse will start out with the outside linebackers. Verse can reduce down and play defensive end and also line up cover a guard, but edge is where he'll begin.

"He's got a lot of versatility," McVay said. "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 that we want it to be played."

Record-setting on offensive players helped Rams land Verse

A record streak of 14 consecutive offensive players to open this year's draft – including six quarterbacks taken among the first 12 picks – helped push down lots of defensive players, which ultimately benefitted the Rams in getting Verse at No. 19 overall.

"Definitely pushed defense our way," Snead said of the way the draft unfolded. "We always felt like Jared had a chance to get there, but there was definitely a chance for him to go right before us, depending on how that whole thing shook out."

Intentional about keeping interest in Verse under wraps

According to Snead, the Rams did not conduct any private workouts with Verse during the pre-draft process – by design so that the team's interest in him did not become public knowledge.

"We tried to go stealth with it," Snead said. "But like Sean mentioned, from the vetting process, it's all subjective, but one of our higher-rated guys in terms of intangibles off the field. And also, it transcends to when you rate some things that are not necessarily physical talent, but competitiveness, urgency on the field – he rated very, very high."

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