In a press conference following the NFL draft late last month, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead were asked about the team’s available roster spots and its impact on signing undrafted free agents.

“We’re fortunate in the fact that, when this thing is all said and done, if a top player is choosing between club A with three or four linebackers or club B with six linebackers under contract, there’s a pretty good chance he’ll choose the Rams because of the opportunity to come in and compete for a spot,’’ Fisher said.

Snead added: “Every year, there’s a surprise. You find guys who, for whatever reason, didn’t get drafted but who end up contributing to your team because of his makeup and intangibles. I’ve told this story several times recently, but last year, we had an undrafted free agent punter (Johnny Hekker) hook up with an undrafted free agent gunner (Danny Amendola) for a huge play.’’

On a fake field goal late in the second quarter of the Rams’ 19-13 win over the visiting Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 30, Hekker threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Amendola that put the Rams on top to stay at 10-7.

Now, it is unlikely that Fisher and Snead had any specific players in mind when they spoke last month, especially since the draft was still going on. But linebackers Jonathan Stewart from Texas A&M and Phillip Steward from Houston, signed as free agents in the days following the draft, certainly seem to fit that mold.

Both were highly productive linebackers who played in both 3-4 and 4-3 systems during their college careers. They are quick and athletic enough to contribute right away on special teams and seem to have some upside. And both are excited to join the Rams, a team that has just five linebackers – James Laurinaitis, Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Josh Hull, Sammy Brown and Jabara Williams – under contract.

“I expected to be drafted and I was upset that day,’’ Stewart said over the weekend during rookie minicamp at Rams Park. “But you get over it and you get back to work. Numerous guys have been drafted in the first round and failed and numerous guys have gone undrafted and went on to Hall of Fame careers.

“It’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. The Rams have given me an opportunity and now it’s up to me to try and make the most of it.’’

Stewart continued: “Maybe it’s best I wasn’t drafted. I’m with a great organization and I’m really looking forward to working more with (linebackers coaches Frank Bush and Joe Bowden).’’