With the offseason program complete and training camp on the horizon, it's time to look ahead. As part of the preparation for training camp, theRams.com will be spotlighting a handful of players new to the Rams' roster. The series continues with a look at rookie running back Jake Funk.
How He Got Here: The 5-foot-10, 205-pound Funk was drafted in the seventh round (233rd overall) by the Rams, using the second of the two selections acquired in a draft-day trade with the Texans for the 170th pick. Prior to arriving in Los Angeles, he tallied 135 carries for 968 rushing yards and 10 touchdowns in 35 games across five seasons at Maryland (two of those seasons cut short due to injury), also adding 23 receptions for 134 yards and three touchdowns in the passing game.
What's Next: Like others in the Rams running back room, veteran Malcolm Brown's departure opens up 101 of the 384 attempts recorded by that group last year to be filled and competed for in that third running back role. Funk will also have an opportunity to earn a special teams role – Rams general manager Les Snead said after Day 3 of the draft that Funk was one of their highly-rated special teams coverage players and also has the ability to return kicks.
Bet You Didn't Know: At Maryland, Funk over the course of his career shared a backfield with future NFL running backs Trey Edmunds (Steelers), Anthony McFarland (Steelers), Ty Johnson (Jets) and Javon Leake (undrafted free agent signee of the Giants in 2020).
Quotable: "He's a mature rookie. I think he's really taken to (running backs coach) Thomas Brown. What a great job Thomas does as a coach really helping these guys grow. And because you get a little bit of extra time with rookies with some of the meetings and some of the things we added over the months these guys have been with us, you've really seen his growth, his comfort level (increase)." – Rams head coach Sean McVay on June 10