The Rams waited until the fourth round to add a run stuffer for the middle of their line in defensive tackle Greg Gaines out of the University of Washington.
General manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay specifically mentioned using Gaines at the nose tackle spot in base packages, putting emphasis on the former Huskie’s ability to stay disciplined and stop the run.
Here are three things to know about Gaines:
1. CALI NATIVE
Gaines joins fellow draftee, cornerback David Long, as a Southern California native returning home for his first professional season as Ram. The young D-lineman was born in La Habra, Calif., and played four years at La Habra High School — just an hour from the L.A. Memorial Coliseum.
2. FIRST NFL GAME… EVER
In his conference call with Los Angeles media after he was drafted No. 134 overall, Gaines disclosed that his first game with the Rams will have special significance.
“I’ve never personally been to an NFL game, so my first NFL game — I’ll be playing in it hopefully,” Gaines said. “I grew up in L.A. and there were no teams anywhere nearby, so we just never got to go to an NFL game.”
3. THE PAC-12’s BEST
Gaines was voted as the top defensive lineman in the Pac-12 by his conference opponents in his final season at Washington, earning the Morris Trophy. In 14 games as a redshirt senior, Gaines posted 55 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, a forced fumble, and an interception — a statline good enough for First Team All-Pac 12 honors.