Jared Verse

Rams Select DE Jared Verse At No. 19

The Rams’ first Day 1 selection in the Sean McVay era is in. Los Angeles has chosen Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse at the No. 19 spot. As pass rushers are starting to fly off the board, the Rams get their guy out of Tallahassee.

Rumored to be eyeing a move into the top 10, the Rams instead stood pat. This is their first Round 1 selection of the Sean McVay era, with the team having famously traded away its past seven first-round choices. With a major change taking place along Los Angeles’ defensive front this offseason, a move for a pass rusher makes sense.

Verse began his college career at FCS Albany as a zero-star recruit coming out of high school. He turned zero FBS offers into a transfer opportunity after leading the Great Danes in sacks with 10.5 and transferred to Florida State in 2022. In both years with the Seminoles, Verse led the team in sacks and finished with first-team All-ACC honors. When playing FBS opponents, Verse racked up 18.0 sacks and 29 tackles for loss in two years as a full-time starter.

The Rams lose a lot of sack production with the retirement of Aaron Donald. After defensive tackle Kobie Turner, who had nine sacks for Los Angeles last year, pass rushers Byron Young (8.0), Michael Hoecht (6.0), and linebacker Ernest Jones (4.5) followed for the sack lead. Verse looks to slot in as an immediate stater in LA. As a rookie, look for Verse to line up opposite Young on defense and compete for the sack lead in 2024.

Verse continues a tradition of professional pass rusher production out of Tallahassee. Though not always to stellar results, since 2013, the Seminoles have sent Bjorn Werner (24th overall in 2013), Mario Edwards (35th overall in 2015), DeMarcus Walker (51st overall in 2017), Josh Sweat (130th overall in 2018), Brian Burns (16th overall in 2019), Janarius Robinson (134th overall in 2021), Joshua Kaindoh (144th overall in 2021), and Jermaine Johnson (26th overall in 2022) to the NFL.

Ely Allen contributed to this post.

NFL Draft Rumors: Falcons, Jaguars, Browns

The Falcons top two sack-getters last year (Calais Campbell and Bud Dupree) are currently free agents. And while free safety Jessie Bates‘ first season in Atlanta went swimmingly with career highs in tackles (132), forced fumbles (3), and interceptions (6), as well as Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors, he seemed to be the only player showing up each Sunday for the Falcons.

With all this in mind, it’s no surprise to hear that adding draft prospects on the defensive side of the ball is expected to be a major focus for Atlanta come this week’s draft, according to Adam Caplan of Pro Football Network. In Caplan’s most recent mock draft, he slotted Alabama pass rusher Dallas Turner as the team’s first-round pick. Previous iterations of his mock draft saw Atlanta taking Clemson cornerback Nate Wiggins and Florida State pass rusher Jared Verse.

Going pass rusher seems to make more sense after losing Campbell and Dupree to free agency, but expect multiple picks throughout the three-day event to address both positions. Turner is likely the preferred option as most see him as the top pass rusher on the board, but Verse or even UCLA’s Laiatu Latu could be the selection if Turner is drafted before they have the chance to claim him.

Here are a few other draft rumors from around the NFL:

Jared Verse Drawing Interest From Seahawks, Bucs, Broncos, Bears

APRIL 12: Verse has found himself on Chicago’s radar as well. A ‘top-30’ visit with the Bears has been lined up, per Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz. Chicago owns pick No. 9, and the team is heavily scouting edge rush prospects for that slot. That process has included a pre-draft meeting with Dallas Turner, but Verse will also make a trip to the Windy City.

APRIL 9: One of the draft’s top pass rushers is generating interest around the NFL. Mike Garafolo of NFL Network reports that Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse is set to meet with the Seahawks tonight and tomorrow. Garafolo also passes along that Verse previously met with the Buccaneers and Broncos.

After spending his first three collegiate seasons at Albany, Verse put himself on the NFL map following two standout campaigns at Florida State. The edge rusher earned first-team All-ACC and first-team All-American nods in each of the past two seasons, compiling 18 sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss along the way.

Described as a “violent tempo setter” by NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah, Verse has earned high draft grades for his versatility. The prospect lined up both on the outside and inside of Florida State’s defensive line, excelling in both pass-rushing and run-stopping situations. At six-foot-four and 260 pounds, Verse should be able to carry over that positional versatility to the NFL.

Thanks to his impressive performance over the past two seasons, Verse will likely hear his name called during the first round of the 2024 draft. He’s competing with the likes of Alabama’s Dallas Turner and UCLA’s Laiatu Latu to be the first edge rusher off the board.

Both the Broncos (No. 12) and Seahawks (No. 16) pick towards the middle of the first round, putting them in prime position to score one of the draft’s top pass rushers. The Buccaneers, armed with the 26th pick, may need to make a trade if they hope to snag one of draft’s elite edge prospects.

Florida State DE Jared Verse Declares For NFL Draft

He took the long route to get here, but Florida State star pass rusher Jared Verse has officially announced that he will enter the 2024 NFL Draft, opting out of the Seminoles’ Orange Bowl matchup with the Georgia Bulldogs, per ESPN’s Andrea Adelson. Verse, a redshirt senior in Tallahassee, is widely considered to be a likely Day One pick as a consensus top-five pass rushing prospect.

Verse spent two seasons at the FCS level playing for Albany before he found his way to Florida State. Over 15 games with the Great Danes, Verse recorded 14.5 sacks, 21.5 tackles for loss, and 15 quarterback hurries while also being named an FCS Freshman All-American. His 10.5-sack sophomore year helped him navigate his way to Tallahassee through the transfer portal, where he would make an immediate impact.

Last year, Verse made nine starts in 12 game appearances for the Seminoles. He took the new opportunity against an increased level of competition to demonstrate his explosiveness and disruptiveness. He led a staunch FSU defense in both sacks (9.0) and tackles for loss (17.0). He gained national recognition for his performance, and his name even gained traction as a potential first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. He sat near the back of most first-round projections due to an inconsistency in playmaking and an occasional tendency to disappear.

Not content with where his Day One draft status sat, Verse returned for another year at Florida State in the hopes of pushing himself into the top 10 draft picks. Coming into the season, Dane Brugler of The Athletic ranked Verse as the nation’s top pass rushing draft prospect for the 2024 draft. While in many aspects, Verse continued to improve, there were still sections of the season that would see him fade from relevance just for him to explode with potential a week or two later.

Expected to improve on his numbers from 2022, Verse only matched his previous sack total (9.0) while failing to reach the tackles for loss total (12.5). He did deal with a knee injury that may have affected his output a bit, something NFL teams may note. Regardless, Verse has a rare combination of speed off the line and pure power. At the NFL level, his impressive get-off and bullrush won’t be enough to get the job done by themselves, meaning he’ll have to expand his arsenal of pass rushing moves in order to succeed at the next level.

With an offense-heavy top of the draft, Verse tends to project as an early, mid-round pick, as illustrated by Mel Kiper of ESPN’s Big Board . He’ll compete with fellow pass rushers Laiatu Latu from UCLA, Dallas Turner from Alabama, and Chop Robinson from Penn State for the honor of the draft’s best pass rusher. Latu, Turner, and Robinson have all functioned as outside linebackers, as opposed to Verse who has routinely worked with a hand in the dirt, so he’ll need to show in pre-draft testing that he’s as athletic as the rest of the field, if not more so.