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Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins injures foot, could affect Los Angeles Rams’ 2019 NFL Draft picks

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The Rams are set to receive a compensatory pick for Watkins’ exit via free agency that could be altered by the injury.

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City Chiefs WR Sammy Watkins has been hobbled for weeks having injured his foot in the Chiefs’ Week 9 win over the Cleveland Browns. Watkins tried to play through the injury in the next three games including Week 11’s Game of the Year© against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday Night Football in which he played just five snaps. Even into this week at practice, Watkins attempted to push through it until he was shut down by the Chiefs’ coaching staff.

So with the playoffs looming, they’ve decided to shut him down for the next 4-6 weeks.

What does this have to do with the Rams? Well, it could affect one of our upcoming compensatory picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.

The Rams are set to receive up to four comp picks for the free agency exits of Watkins, CB Trumaine Johnson (to the New York Jets), S Cody Davis (to the Jacksonville Jaguars) and TE Derek Carrier (to the Oakland Raiders). The former two could fetch the Rams third-round picks, the highest allowable comp picks, while the latter two are likely seventh-rounders at best.

What complicates things is that the Rams’ trade for EDGE Dante Fowler Jr. involves our comp picks. Should we receive a third-rounder, that comp pick will go to the Jaguars instead of our natural pick which would be earlier in the round. So obviously, we want to be awarded at least one third-round comp pick to be able to keep the higher pick.

The issue is that while comp picks are largely based on the contracts players receive in free agency, they are affected by playing time and a postseason awards. Could this blip in playing time push the comp pick for Watkins down to the fourth round? And remember that Johnson missed Weeks 5-13 for the Jets. Could his pick be downgraded? If the Rams don’t receive a third-round comp pick, we’d have to give the Jaguars our natural third-round pick. That would leave us with just our first-round pick before the fourth round...

2019 NFL Draft LA Rams Order

Rd # Rd# Pick Player POS School
Rd # Rd# Pick Player POS School
2 61 29 Via Chiefs Taylor Rapp S Washington
3 70 6 Via Buccaneers Darrell Henderson RB Memphis
3 79 15 Via Falcons David Long CB Michigan
3 97 33 Via Patriots Bobby Evans OL Oklahoma
4 134 32 Via Patriots Greg Gaines DT Washington
5 169 31 Rams pick David Edwards OT Wisconsin
7 243 29 Via Patriots Nick Scott S Penn State
7 251 37 Comp pick Dakota Allen LB Texas Tech

That’s our current draft order. The Rams’ second-round pick was part of the trade for Peters. The third-round pick is on the hook for Fowler, and the seventh-rounder was included in the package to send LB Alec Ogletree to the New York Giants.

So let’s all wish Watkins a speedy recovery. For his sake and our own.