Less than two years removed from winning Super Bowl LVI, the Los Angeles Rams (5-12) already find themselves back in the NFC West’s cellar. Naturally, holding to a strategy as reckless as GM Les Snead’s “f*** them picks” mentality can have detrimental RAMifications (pun intended), but not many people saw the Rams falling from grace this rapidly.
This will be the ninth consecutive NFL Draft that the Rams will be operating without a first-round pick; Their last selection of that nature came way back in 2016, which saw Jared Goff go No. 1 overall out of UC Berkeley. In 2023, the Rams will start with the No. 36 overall pick before seeing two selections in the third round, three in the fifth round (all compensatory) and four in the sixth round. Perhaps there is not a glaring sexy pick in that bunch, but there is more than enough to begin revamping a roster.
Notably, this current offseason for the Rams has seen many familiar faces depart; Secondary members Jalen Ramsey and Taylor Rapp will be playing elsewhere, while linebackers Malcolm Floyd and Bobby Wagner were released.
On the offensive side, quarterback Baker Mayfield seemed to be a good fit for the Rams in 2022-23 after Matthew Stafford’s season-ending injuries, but Los Angeles elected to let Mayfield walk in free agency. At Stafford’s age and physical ailments, it may be time to look for your next signal caller. Also, staying on offense, what was the deal last season with HC Sean McVay and RB Cam Akers? Regardless, it is time for the Rams to start utilizing their picks more wisely.
Significant free agency additions
- LB Christian Rozeboom
- CB Shaun Jolly
- OL Coleman Shelton
- LB Michael Hoecht (re-sign)
Significant free agency losses
- CB Jalen Ramsey
- LB Bobby Wagner
- LB Leonard Floyd
- S Taylor Rapp
- QB Baker Mayfield
- K Matt Gay
Rams 7-round mock draft
Using the mock draft simulator tool on ProFootballNetwork.com, I made 11 selections through seven rounds for the Los Angeles Rams. With the biggest needs in the Southland being a linebacker and tight end, I emphasized this draft within the tackle box.
Taken at No. 36 overall, edge rusher B.J. Ojulari (LSU) is the type of athlete that brings tremendous pursuit and tenacity. Of course, playing alongside All-World DT Aaron Donald can certainly make an edge rusher’s life easier, as Ojulari has skills that would complement well with Donald’s game-wrecking ability.
The Rams also need help at offensive tackle, especially since Andrew Whitworth rode off into the sunset after Super Bowl LVI. Cody Mauch (No. 69, NDSU) is the type of tackle with both the size (6’6, 300+ pounds) and athleticism to anchor either the right or left side. Mauch, initially a walk-on tight end in college, has the necessary footwork to hold his own against the premier pass rushers of the NFL. From there, I selected a player that can play cohesively next to Mauch: TE Sam LaPorta (No. 77, Iowa).
For the Rams remaining selections, I attempted to bolster as many position gaps as possible, first addressing needs in the defensive backfield with dynamic safety Jay Ward (No. 171, LSU). Next, I snagged another edge rusher, tight end and safety each before rounding it all out with a quarterback at No. 251 overall: QB Tommy DeVito out of Illinois. Maybe he doesn’t light the world on fire, but DeVito is a poised quarterback who can learn a complex system: Perhaps McVay sees something there that he can work with down the road.
36. EDGE B.J. Ojulari, LSU
69. OT Cody Mauch, North Dakota State
77. TE Sam LaPorta, Iowa
167. OT John Ojuwku, Boise State
171. S Jay Ward, LSU
177. EDGE Habakkuk Baldonado
182. TE Payne Durham, Purdue
189. RB Camerun Peoples, Appalachian State
191. S DeMarcco Hellams, Alabama
223. G Atonio Mafi, UCLA
251. QB Tommy DeVito, Illinois