ESPN’s Mel Kiper took a stab at issuing a new grade for every NFL team in the 2016 NFL Draft including, obviously, the Los Angeles Rams. His conclusion? QB Jared Goff was definitely not very good in his rookie season.
However, while putting the entire draft in perspective, a rookie didn’t truly emerge for the Rams from the 2016 draft. In fact, an undrafted player, Cory Littleton, was voted as the team’s rookie of year.
Here’s what Kiper had to say about this draft class:
Post-draft grade: B-
I suspect a lot of people think I should hammer this draft class, given Jared Goff's first-year struggles, but there's a problem with that: We said all along that Goff would struggle early on based on the system he was coming from at Cal and the lack of help on this Rams roster, so should we be surprised? I wrote at the time, "I'm a fan of Goff ... [but] they'll need to be extremely patient and find ways to protect him." When Goff played, the Rams had no run game to take pressure off him and didn't pass-protect well, and his receivers were a parade of dropped passes, including some that bounced off hands and chests and right to a defender for a pick. Does this look good so far? Of course not. Is it all because of Goff? No way.
After Goff, that's just about it. They like Tyler Higbee’s potential, but he had just 11 catches. Same story with Pharoh Cooper, who had 14. It's all about Goff at this point, I just hope he gets a real shot -- and some help.
New grade: C
The previous Rams regime gave up a plethora of draft picks for “their guy” in Jared Goff. Hopefully this time around, the Rams can surround the quarterback with ample talent.
In a side note, all four teams in the division had a worse regrade than initial grade from Mel Kiper. Maybe the division as a whole is slipping into mediocrity or worse.