Yes, you read that right. For the second round in a row, the Rams spent two picks on a tight end with a funny name, and a project at defensive end. But this crop looks a lot more intriguing than the last — less ready to start, perhaps, but both have high ceilings.
Fendi Onobun (yes, he also played basketball): 6’7″ 249 lbs
Eugene Sims: 6’6″ 236lbs
The Rams lead the league in West Texas A&M players – Keith Null and now defensive end Eugene Sims.
The Rams got the bonus pick in this round by dealing down one of their two fifth rounders to Atlanta, so the Falcons could jump up and take CB Dominique Franks.
Devaney says he was getting an itchy trigger to pull a trade and team had a big pool of players it figured would be available, inc. Davis.
Perhaps feeling heady after finally pulling off some sort of draft day deal, Devaney reached into the “project” folder to take Onobun.
Fendi Onobun is a tight end whose college football career consisted of just two catches for 33 yards. But before playing one year of college football last season at Houston, Onubun played four years of college basketball at Arizona. And the athleticism he showed on the basketball court — as well as in private workouts this spring — makes him a potential pick in the NFL draft.
The Charlotte Observer reports that Onobun caught the eye of the Carolina Panthers with a workout that included a 4.48-second 40-yard dash, a 37.5-inch vertical jump and an 11-foot-1 standing broad jump. That’s an inch better than the best broad jump at the combine.
— Pro Football Talk: “Former basketball player Fendi Onobun an NFL hopeful“
Clearly, there’s a strong comparison here to the Chargers’ TE phenom, Antonio Gates. Both he and Tony Gonzalez have basketball pedigrees, and Gates arrived in the NFL as a very raw prospect. Gates didn’t play a snap of football during his college career, while Onobun was a walk-on during his senior year, and only tallied two catches on the stat sheet.
Onobun is a project, no doubt, but he has confidence and skills to spare. (He also has a Twitter account.)
St.Louis Ram BABY! Yeaaaaa We Did IT!!
Meanwhile, Eugene Sims was among a group of seniors that led a resurgent West Texas A&M team defense. Here are some insightful quotes from his coach and linemates.
[Defensive Line Coach Bobby] King: “He’s got a V8 motor. I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never coached anyone like that that goes 100 miles per hour every play.”
[Defensive End Broderick] Marshall: “Eugene is the tough man. He is a team captain, but we know how soft he can be underneath the pads.”
[Nose Tackle Marcus] Rowe: “Eugene is the tough guy. That is why he is a captain.”
Sims: “I’m the one that cleans up stuff. That’s me. I’m the woman of the house, I guess.”
Sims: “(Rowe and Marshall) taught me how to be a better person. They’ve been big brothers to me. It will be hard to say goodbye to them.”
— Amarillo.com: “3 senior roommates lead WT’s defensive revival“
Even more intriguing about his production — 56 tackles, 7 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss — is that he played DE in a 3-4 set, where traditionally the primary line crashing and pass rush duties fall to an outside linebacker. Lining up in a 4-3 as an edge rusher, Sims could feel unshackled.
Sims is just one of three new pass-rushing summer projects for Spagnuolo and Ken Flajole, with Hall Davis (5th round) and George Selvie (7th) joining the team after looking mostly offense at the start of the draft.
Lots of coaching up to do all over RT @RamsHerd: Spags has a whole toolshed worth of summer projects now.