Skip to main content

Rams select Florida State DE Jared Verse with No. 19 pick in 2024 NFL Draft

The Rams' overdue re-entry into the first round saw them add a defender months after the retirement of Aaron Donald.

Los Angeles selected Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse with the 19th-overall pick Thursday night.

Verse is the first player selected by the Rams with a first-round pick since they chose quarterback Jared Goff first overall in the 2016 draft. Verse is also the first defensive player taken by the Rams in the first round since they chose Donald in 2014.

Verse will not, however, replace Donald. Instead of blowing through interior double teams like Donald, the bullish defender makes his living on the edge, where he became a wrecking ball for the Seminoles, racking up 29 sacks over his final two collegiate seasons spent in Tallahassee.

A twitchy athlete, the Florida State product combines power and quickness to win off the edge. A swift first step gives Verse an advantage on slower tackles, and his power can devastate blockers. He's also stout against the run, owning the strength to control blocks.

A developmental success story, Verse exited high school as a tight end and pass rusher who was a zero-star recruit. He landed at Albany, where he focused on defense. He played in 15 games over three years at Albany but displayed enough upside to be a coveted portal transfer in 2022. He selected FSU and took off.

In two years with the Seminoles, Verse generated 18 sacks, 29 tackles for loss, 88 tackles, three passes defended, and one forced fumble. He was twice named first-team All-ACC and a first-team All-American in 2023.

He might not have generated the massive final collegiate season many projected, but the talent should translate at the pro level.

Boasting an endless motor, Verse wins with a swift first step and can mash through tackles on the edge with power. He's as productive as any edge rusher in the 2024 class and still has room to grow, even at 24. The speed-to-power combo gives him a natural advantage on the edge, and he has enough short-area quickness to be disruptive if he shifts inside on passing downs.

Verse might be an average bender and lack some length, but his explosiveness and power should make him an immediate disruptor as a rookie. If he ends up producing immediately like the 2014 Defensive Rookie of the Year Donald did, Rams fans will be overjoyed with this selection.

Related Content