Rams start rebuilding defense without Aaron Donald by picking Florida State star

The Rams opened the 2024 NFL draft by addressing their defensive line, selecting Florida State’s Jared Verse with the 19th pick of the first round.

Jared Verse — Edge

6 feet 4, 254 pounds, Florida State, Round 1, Pick 19

Notable: Verse played two seasons at Albany before transferring. He amassed 31½ sacks during his career, including 18 at Florida State. In 2023 he had at least two sacks in four games, including 2½ against Florida.

Last season: Verse had nine sacks and 1½ tackles for losses in 13 games for the Seminoles. He was an AFCA All-American.

Why the Rams drafted him: Future Hall of Fame defensive lineman Aaron Donald’s retirement left a gaping hole in a pass rush that already was in need of reinforcements. Tackle Kobie Turner and edge rusher Byron Young showed promise last season as rookies but, for the Rams to compete for a Super Bowl title, new defensive coordinator Chris Shula needs more players who can consistently pressure quarterbacks.

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