St. Louis Rams sign OLB Akeem Ayers

Akeem Ayers, a 2011 2nd round pick, graded out above average in each of his first 3 seasons in the league with the Titans, including 4th among 4-3 outside linebackers in 2013. He showed versatility as a base package run stopper and someone who could either cover in sub packages or rush the passer from the edge. However, the Titans’ incompetent new regime didn’t seem to be able to figure out how to use him for whatever reason and he played just 10 snaps for them before being traded to the Patriots for a swap of late round picks mid-season. In New England, they had no problem figuring out how to use him and he provided much needed depth as a 3-4 outside linebacker, grading out above average on 390 snaps. There’s a reason why the Patriots were Super Bowl winners this year and the Titans went 2-14 (well a lot of reasons, but still).

Ayers moves back to a 4-3 in St. Louis and will probably play a largely base package role as an outside linebacker next to James Laurinaitis and Alec Ogletree. Ayers probably won’t have a lot of edge rush opportunities in sub packages given that the Rams have Robert Quinn, Chris Long, and William Hayes. He also probably won’t be used in coverage much in sub packages because that’s not his strength and the Rams like both Laurinaitis and Ogletree in those sub package roles. However, 2 years, 6 million is still very reasonable for an above average two-down player and the added versatility definitely doesn’t hurt.

Grade: A

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