Originally published by RamsNewswire.com
With the very last pick of the 2023 NFL Draft — known as Mr. Irrelevant — the Los Angeles Rams selected defensive end Desjuan Johnson, a 23-year-old fifth year senior out of Toledo.
Johnson was first team All-MAC in 2022 and was a two-time second team All-MAC in 2020 and 2021. While the draft pick carries the irrelevant namesake, Johnson has certainly had a strong playing career up to this point. And now, he gets to play on the same defensive line as one of the greatest players of all time in Aaron Donald.
The 6-foot 2-inch, 285-pound edge rusher had 10 total sacks and 29 tackles for loss between his last two seasons as Toledo, and he is ready for the boost that will come with playing alongside Donald, according to Stu Jackson of theRams.com:
“Now I get to sit next to him and just take notes,” Johnson said after being selected. “I’m going to be like a newborn, trying to take as much in, as much skill, as much learning, just try to learn under him to the best of my abilities and apply it on the field.”
For anyone, learning from and playing alongside Donald would be a massive honor. But Johnson, specifically, feels a tie to Donald as he watched his Hall of Fame career unfold:
“A great team,” Johnson said. “One of my favorite players in the NFL is Aaron Donald, so it’s going to be a blessing. God works in mysterious ways, and now I get to soak everything in and learn under Aaron Donald.”
The Rams, of course, are in a bit of a rebuilding season. It may not translate to a playoff berth or many wins, but one of the benefits of a season like this could be finding some hidden gems that otherwise may not have gotten an opportunity.
Players like Johnson will absolutely have a chance to show what they can do at the NFL level with the team lacking significant defensive depth. And next to Donald, anything is possible for a young and hungry edge rusher.
Rams expected to have joint training camp practices with Raiders and Broncos
Teams normal hold joint training camp practices against their training camp opponents, and this year the Rams will do so with the Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders.
The Broncos and Raiders, both considered at least 8-9 win football teams, should provide some nice early competition before the 2023 season heats up.
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