When Stephen F. Austin’s John Franklin-Myers was drafted by the Rams, he knew he was coming onto a team with a stacked defensive line.
Not only will Franklin-Myers be joining a room that includes the reigning Defensive Player of the Year in Aaron Donald, but also other talented linemen like Ndamukong Suh and Michael Brockers.
Check out the jersey numbers that have been assigned to the Rams' draft picks and undrafted free agents.
However, the star-studded roster doesn't seem to phase the 2017 All-Southland Second Team selection.
“Obviously, they don’t need D-tackles right now,” Franklin admitted. “[But] I’m willing to go in there and do whatever it takes to win. Like I told [defensive line] coach Bill Johnson, I’ve played a little outside backer, dropped into coverage. I’ve played defensive end and I’ve played D-tackle."
And with that combination of versatility and talent, Franklin-Myers is poised to develop nicely under one of the top coordinators in the league in the Rams’ Wade Phillips. His impressive production last season — recording 13.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks — and standout measurables give Phillips two important aspects to look forward to.
“I like him because he’s 6-foot-4, 283 pounds and runs a 4.7 first,” Phillips said with a laugh. “But he’s a development guy, a develop-quickly guy it looked like to me.”
Phillips and the Rams staff got an up-close look at Franklin-Myers through the NFL Combine, where his overall performance and skill set impressed many. And with that in mind, Phillips was confident that the small school product would progress consistently throughout his first year in Los Angeles.
“We studied him a lot and he’s talented," Phillips said. “We think we can help him in the short term, but he’s got a ways to go to be at a level where he needs to be with his talents. So we’re looking forward to working with him.”