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Rams Continue to Retool Defense With DT Braden Fiske

Braden Fiske
© Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL is an interesting league. We often see teams pair quarterbacks with receivers that they played with in college. We have seen the trend have success with the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins and Philadelphia Eagles to name a few.

The Los Angeles Rams chose to follow suit but instead of offense, they chose to apply it to the defensive side of the ball. In the first round, they selected Florida State edge Jared Verse. With their pick in the second round (No. 39 overall), the Rams doubled up and selected his former teammate defensive tackle Braden Fiske.

Filling the Defensive Void

There is no question that the Rams needed to address the defense with the void created by future Hall of Famer Aaron Donald's retirement. With the selection of Fiske, the Rams have retooled their defensive line with a dynamic playmaker who plays through the whistle and with high energy.

While some saw the effort and play during his season at Florida State, many took notice as he took advantage of every opportunity in the pre-draft process, from an outstanding week in Mobile, Alabama at the Senior Bowl to a great performance at the NFL Combine, he came with the effort that Florida State fans had seen throughout the season.

Braden Fiske's Versatility

While he played on the interior of the defensive line, Fiske has the tools and versatility to play as a defensive end and with the Rams' scheme, will be an immediate starter at defensive end in the 3-4 defensive scheme. Adding two quality pieces that are familiar with each other on defense to offset the departure of Donald, is a unique approach that should pay dividends for coach Sean McVay and the Rams.

For Fiske, who is 6-foot-4 and 295 pounds, he plays with a physicality in his hands and has the speed to win at the line of scrimmage and make plays in the backfield. He finished his lone season at Florida State with 6 sacks, 9 tackles for loss and 43 total tackles.

Braden Fiske
© Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Pick Grade: A

The saying is you never want to replace a legend. With Fiske and Verse selected in the first round, the Rams have two starters who will make an immediate impact and are familiar with each other as they successfully give the defense a new identity.


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