Had the LA Rams not traded for Matthew Stafford in January, then they might have been keen on scouting day two and day three quarterbacks in this draft. Players like Davis Mills, Kyle Trask, Kellen Mond, and Jamie Newman. The Rams might have also been content with Jared Goff and John Wolford at that point, but the addition of Stafford should solidify that Les Snead can’t use one of his draft picks this year on a signal-caller.
I mean, he can, but Wolford, Bryce Perkins, and Devlin Hodges would seem to be just as worthy in the development category as any player who they could draft right now.
We can perhaps gain more insight on what positions Snead might focus on if we use the power of deduction to eliminate those he should avoid. Which other positions might the Rams want to avoid?
Stafford, Wolford, Perkins, and Hodges is plenty.
You can never rule out the position entirely, but having used a second in 2020 and a third in 2019 on running backs, we know that LA has a complementary starting duo in Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson. There’s also 2020 undrafted free agent Xavier Jones and Raymond Calais, and scouring the undrafted market for more depth could be the answer.
Plus, unsigned veteran backs include Todd Gurley, Dion Lewis, Jerick McKinnon, Adrian Peterson, Le’Veon Bell, James Conner, LeSean McCoy, Rex Burkhead, Gio Bernard, Duke Johnson, D’Onta Foreman, Wayne Gallman … if we’re only talking about a number three option at the position, there’s other avenues to go down.
Pardon the generic term of “edge linebacker” but I wanted to get the point across that after re-signing Leonard Floyd to a four-year contract and drafting Terrell Lewis a year ago, the Rams now have a starter and a backup to that strongside linebacker position. LA does have needs at linebacker, including at outside linebacker, but I wanted to make the point about Floyd and Lewis so that the draft needs are funneled to the linebacker positions of need now that the Rams have made their affection for Floyd so clear.
Again, the Rams could probably draft a big for the defensive and get away with justifying it because A’Shawn Robinson has done so little and could be a cap casualty next year. But with Robinson and Greg Gaines and Sebastian Joseph-Day providing some mass upfront, LA can hang back from what needs they have on the interior to instead focus on finding a large edge lineman (yuck, another bad term) to replace Morgan Fox.
The Rams have the punter, they have the kicker, they have two longsnappers to compete to replace Jake McQuaide, and they have competition at the return spots. LA will likely add special teams contributors in the draft and after the draft, but with Matt Gay around, the Rams won’t need to pick a kicker.
Draftable, But Less So
These positions could be understandably drafted but they are maybe less of a priority.
Despite picking Taylor Rapp, Nick Scott, Terrell Burgess, and Jordan Fuller in the last two years, plus signing a player they really like in Juju Hughes, the Rams could still draft a safety in 2021. And it might not be a bad idea. It isn’t clear who will replace John Johnson as a starter alongside Fuller yet and the Rams will often be going three-deep on the field at the position.
It’s not a bad idea to always keep your ear and eye out for tight end prospects. Many of the best slip past round two and Tyler Higbee has already met with his ceiling and found out that it isn’t that high. With Brycen Hopkins and Johnny Mundt, we know that LA can field a capable trio at the position (presuming Hopkins isn’t a full out flop) so drafting a tight would mean that either a release is coming or the team is going to carry four at the position.
It would be surprising if Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, DeSean Jackson, and Van Jefferson weren’t all on the roster in Week 1, though Jackson’s not going to be a presence that the Rams can rely on right now. It’s also safe to say that the team still likes Nsimba Webster (who also has special teams value) and they kept Trishton Jackson on the roster all year. That’s six receivers already.
The Rams should not bypass a great receiver if one falls to them, but drafting one on day two would be a loud move.
Why is guard on the board?
The Rams have their starting guards, but re-signing Austin Corbett could become a challenge and it’s not clear yet if he will actually move back to center. LA could use more depth along the offensive line, at any of the positions.
Do the Rams have enough cornerbacks?
With Jalen Ramsey and Darious Wiliams, LA has the best cornerback duo in the division, if not the conference. Burgess and David Long could be fighting to replace Troy Hill, but there are options on the free agent market too, like Casey Hayward and Nickell Robey-Coleman, who’d at least be familiar with the team. And it’s not clear yet who expensive it will be to retain Darious Williams past next season.
Which of these positions would you rather see the Rams draft?
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