Spring has sprung, and as Free Agency dies down and we say goodbye to Easter, we can say hello to the NFL Draft. The Rams will be one of the quieter teams this year with only six picks and none in the first round. However, Les Snead and Sean McVay can use the draft to bolster the team’s long-term competitiveness.
It’s no secret that the Rams’ General Manager Les Snead and Head Coach Sean McVay have excelled without a first-round pick. They’ve nabbed rookie safety Jordan Fuller with the 199th pick overall.
You know who else was picked in that spot? Tom Brady, who Fuller picked off twice in Tampa Bay.
While they’ve made a few moves in free agency, they’ve lost plenty of talent – talent they can hopefully replace in this year’s draft. Without a first-round pick, they’re obviously in no need of an “insert now” type of player. They’ll be looking to add depth and develop guys into the next generation of football talent. Without having to balance finding potential starters and future franchise players, the Rams are in a unique position to get even better despite being contenders for the Super Bowl this year.
The only question is: where do the Rams focus their six draft picks? What are their biggest needs going into the draft?
All of the Rams’ offseason moves have been too sure up the offense. They traded Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford. They then added veteran wide receiver DeSean Jackson with the loss of Josh Reynolds to free agency. The Rams also lost tight end Brice Hopkins to free agency but did manage to keep Johnny Mundt.
The Rams will most likely focus on defense in the draft. The Rams’ biggest losses during free agency were on defense. Which can you blame teams for snatching up talent from the best defense in the NFL last year? Defensive backs John Johnson and Troy Hill signed with the Cleveland Browns and lost Michael Brockers to the Detroit Lions.
Luckily the Rams were able to maintain linebacker Leonard Floyd and cornerback Darious Williams. However, the Rams’ biggest need is still at cornerback.
The Rams are going to need at least one stud in the draft at the position. Jalen Ramsey and Williams will obviously start next season. However, with Hill gone, it only leaves David Long, Donte Deayon and Tyrique McGhee. Long is the only one with any playing time. He played in all 16 games last season but only in 11% of snaps, managing seven total tackles.
He can step into Williams’ role last season, but the Rams will need to add another cornerback. They’ll need someone who can either step in like Fuller did when Taylor Rapp got injured or develop into the next great corner.
Another need is to address the offensive line, the biggest offensive need. The Rams have 11 linemen on the roster. But they’ll look to find replacements for Austin Blythe, who left in free agency, and Andrew Whitworth, who’s the oldest lineman in the league and had a knee injury last season.
Brian Allen will step in for Blythe, and there is depth to replace Whitworth if he gets injured again. In this year’s draft, the Rams are looking to start putting the next offensive line together. Letting their prospects learn under the veterans like Whitworth and Blythe before Whitworth retires or Blythe leaves in free agency.
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