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2017 NFL Draft Grades: McVay’s First LA Rams Class Lacked Star Power...But Did It Lack Talent?

Without a first-round pick, the Rams weren’t among the draft’s headliners.

South Alabama TE Gerald Everett
South Alabama TE Gerald Everett
Photo by Michael Chang/Getty Images

The 2017 NFL Draft is a wrap for the Los Angeles Rams, and with it come everyone’s favorite online content: grades.

2017 NFL Draft LA Rams Draft Results

Round Pk (Rd) Pk (Ovr) Player POS School
Round Pk (Rd) Pk (Ovr) Player POS School
2 12 44 Gerald Everett TE South Alabama
3 5 69 Cooper Kupp WR Eastern Washington
3 26 91 John Johnson S Boston College
4 10 117 Josh Reynolds WR Texas A&M
4 18 125 Samson Ebukam OLB Eastern Washington
6 5 189 Tanzel Smart DT Tulane
6 22 206 Sam Rogers FB Virginia Tech
7 16 234 Ejuan Price OLB Pitt

Dan Kadar, Mocking the Draft: C

This draft for the Rams was all about finding help for second-year quarterback Jared Goff. That’s what Los Angeles did in taking tight end Gerald Everett and wide receiver Cooper Kupp with their first two picks. The team then brought in Texas A&M wide receiver Josh Reynolds in the fourth round. None may be superstar No. 1 lead receivers, but they’re all solid targets. Kupp in particular is a nice pickup. He catches everything thrown his way. Everett can be a nice weapon to move around the entire field.

My favorite pick for the Rams was seventh rounder Ejuan Price. He’s undersized and has had some injuries in the past. But he knows how to get the most out of what he has, and he has the will to stick.

Mel Kiper, Jr., ESPN (insider subscription required): C-*

It would be a lot easier to stamp this draft grade "INCOMPLETE" and move on, because so much of it is wrapped up in Jared Goff. He is the reason they didn't have a first-round pick in 2017, and I certainly don't think it's fair to close the book on him. He had no chance last year with a lack of blocking (run or pass) and stone-handed pass-catching. If Sean McVay can unlock Goff's talent, then last year's grade and this year's grade look a lot better. In the meantime ...

Aside from the Goff issue, I just consistently saw the Rams' selections as a little bit rich. I like the plan -- go get pass-catchers for Goff -- but the value just suffered a little. I had Everett at No. 111 on my board, and he went at 44. I really like Cooper Kupp but would have gone with Chris Godwin or Josh Malone before him. Josh Reynolds can make great plays on the ball even while covered, but it was another case in which the Rams had him a bit higher than I did. John Johnson has some solid tape, but he didn't test well, and size is a question mark. I had him down as a likelier Day 3 pick.

Overall, I think the Rams were smart to go after weapons for Goff (and McVay), I just questioned value in spots. Ironically, the most important aspect to both this draft and last year's won't be Goff or these wide receivers, it'll be if the Rams can block well enough to unleash any of them.

* - The Rams received the lowest grade of any team from Mel Kiper.

Doug Farrar, Bleacher Report: B-

Taking Everett with the 44th overall pick seems like a reach, especially since the Rams had no first-round pick. The Kupp pick seems more in line, and he’ll help Jared Goff immediately.

The real steal in this receiver haul might be Reynolds, a thin target who needs to bulk up and fill out his route tree. However, he has the acceleration to take cornerbacks and safeties all the way downfield.

Smart and Price are interesting undersized hybrid players for Wade Phillips.

Chad Reuter, B-

Tight end was a need position for the Rams, and Gerald Everett's ability to get off the line smoothly is quite impressive. They might consider him a receiver. It might have been a tick early for him, however -- not unlike when they chose Lance Kendricks a bit early in 2011. Cooper Kupp's feet are as quick as any in the draft, even if his 40 time wasn't great. Third-round safety John Johnson is liked by scouts for his ability to handle multiple roles in the secondary.

The Rams couldn't help but build up their offense with a solid receiver in Josh Reynolds, and got a potential pass-rush specialist in Samson Ebukam -- two solid picks. Getting fullback Sam Rogers in the sixth will help Todd Gurley and the special teams units. The Rams needed to find a cornerback (or two), but couldn't meet all their needs in eight picks. Jared Goff will be given the opportunity to excel with this talent around him.

Pete Prisco, CBS Sports: C-

They traded their first-round pick last year to get quarterback Jared Goff, so they had to wait until the second round to pick. When they did pick, they seemed to focus on helping Goff. Their second-round pick was tight end Gerald Everett, and they followed that up with Eastern Washington receiver Copper Kupp in the third and Texas A&M receiver Josh Reynolds in the fourth. They didn't take an offensive lineman, which was strange.

Chris Burke, Sports Illustrated: C

This was kind of a bizarre draft for the Rams, who didn’t have a Round 1 pick because of their trade to take Jared Goff last year. After sitting out Thursday’s proceedings, GM Les Snead then spent three of his first four picks on pass catchers—TE Gerald Everett (a reach at 44), WR Cooper Kupp (No. 59) and WR Josh Reynolds (No. 119). Reynolds may be the best of the bunch, and he very well could wind up the No. 1 receiver before long on what’s now a muddled receiver depth chart. Versatile safety John Johnson (No. 91) and DT Tanzel Smart (No. 189) should see time early in Wade Philliips’s defense. OLB Samson Ebukam (No. 125) also could, as a pass rusher. But the Rams really overloaded at the skill positions, which is an unusual choice for a rebuilding team.

Evan Silva, Rotoworld: C-

The Rams sent their first-round pick (No. 5 overall) to the Titans in last year’s Jared Goff trade, then observed as Tennessee used it on top draft-eligible receiver Corey Davis. Los Angeles worked to recoup ammo early in round two, dropping seven slots from 37 to 44 and picking up No. 91 along the way. Everett has promising tape and measurables, but he’s a poor bet for impact in year one. Kupp has a big name but a slot-receiver ceiling on a team already flush with interior pass catchers. Third-rounder Johnson has a real chance to be a year-one starter at free safety. Immediately the Rams’ top true perimeter wideout, fourth-rounder Reynolds is a vertical threat with aggressive ball skills who’s drawn comparisons to ex-Bengals WR Chris Henry. Freak athlete Ebukam and Elvis Dumervil lookalike Price were solid day-three pass-rusher picks. Smart was a good college player with significant size and athleticism limitations. Rogers is a pass-catching, special-teams-playing fullback, albeit with 4.93 speed and minimal lead-blocking upside. The Rams entered this draft shorthanded after last year’s Goff trade, which so far looks like a colossal disaster. I think they did a mediocre job with their remaining picks.

What grade would you give the Rams for their draft process and class?


What grade do you give the LA Rams’ 2017 NFL Draft class?

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