WATCH: LA Rams Select Montana St. LB Daniel Hardy at No. 235 in the NFL Draft
On Saturday, the Los Angeles Rams had the 218th pick in the NFL Draft. But a surprise trade with the Buccaneers saw the pick head to Tampa Bay in exchange for the 235th and 261st picks.
And with the 235th pick in the draft, LA selected Montana State linebacker Daniel Hardy in the seventh round.
Hardy, a 6-3, 240-pound native of Beaverton, Oregon, was a first-team All-Big Sky selection last season after starting all 15 games for the Bobcats. He had 24.5 tackles for loss, the third in a single season in Montana State history. Hardy also had an impressive 16.5 sacks, which was sixth for FCS and fourth for a season in school history.
Hardy’s best game of the season came against Weber State on October 15, when he had three sacks, three tackles for loss, eight total tackles and a forced fumble.
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Here’s Hardy’s analysis per NFL Draft Bible:
One Liners: Technically raw outside linebacker with a good burst.
Pros: Deployed as a defensive end in a three-point position, Hardy possesses above-average length. He shows a good flurry, allowing him to threaten the outside shoulder of the blockers and chase from the back. Hardy is a reliable tackler who wraps around the hip. Showing good reading and reaction skills when unlocked, he can make an impact in space.
Cons: Not rushing with a plan means that Hardy often tries to get up the field without using his hands, preventing him from beating blockers. His hands lack violence as he is unable to impose his will on his opponents. In the racing game, it faces similar issues with blockers hitting and locking easily. He fails to define the edge, failing to gain inside hand positioning and extension. Hardy is unable to anchor himself and often finds himself on the ground as offensive linemen are able to finish. Its first step explosiveness is average.
Summary: Defensive end with below average size, good burst and average explosiveness. Hardy can threaten the outside shoulder and displays good processing skills in space. His pass-rush plan and use of the hand as well as his grounding in the running game are poor. Hardy projects himself as a developing 3-4 outside linebacker or a strong defensive 4-3 linebacker. Due to the underdevelopment of his game, he is likely to be placed on a practice squad early on.
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