Glance across the field and it’s easy to spot Los Angeles Rams rookie Josh Forrest among the linebackers.
The 6-foot-3 Forrest, a sixth-round draft pick out of the University of Kentucky, peers over most of the other players at his position, but stands eye to eye with veteran Akeem Ayers.
“He kind of reminded me of myself,” the 6-3 Ayers said after the Rams’ final organized team activity workout Thursday in Oxnard. “We’re taller than a lot of linebackers.”
The Rams drafted six players in April. Forrest, who starred in high school at Paducah Tilghman, was their lone defensive selection.
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During practices, he shadowed Ayers, a sixth-year pro from UCLA, and worked with the second-team defense and special teams.
“He’s very athletic,” Ayers said. “He’s instinctive.”
Last season, Forrest led Kentucky with 93 tackles, including 3 1/2 sacks. He also intercepted two passes.
The speed of NFL practices surprised him.
“It’s a lot faster than college,” Forrest said. “Learning the new plays and everything is a little different, but it’s really going well.”
Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is charting Forrest’s progress.
“He’s moved up quite a bit,” Williams said. “He wasn’t in quite a good enough condition when he first got in here. All rookies are shocked at the level of conditioning that you have to have here.”
Forrest joined a linebacker corps that features Ayers, middle linebacker Alec Ogletree and Mark Barron. This season, his biggest contributions probably will be made on special teams.
“Any backup linebacker, backup safety, really [any] safety-corner-linebacker has to be very, very good in the special teams to get time with us,” Williams said, “because we’re pretty versatile in the front line of guys that we have.”