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2018 NFL Mock Draft roundup: No consensus for Los Angeles Rams with less than a month to Dallas

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The options for the Rams at 23 are varied with no real consensus building.

Boise St. LB Leighton Vander Esch tackles Air Force QB Arion Worthman
Boise St. LB Leighton Vander Esch tackles Air Force QB Arion Worthman
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Back from vacation. Let’s mock!

Mocking the Draft - Dan Kadar/Adam Stites

Four of the top five are QBs. UTSA DE Marcus Davenport at #9 to the San Francisco 49ers. Maryland WR D.J. Moore to the Baltimore Ravens at #16. Spicy!

23. Los Angeles Rams: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College

The secondary doesn’t look like a priority now that Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib, and Sam Shields are all Rams. Los Angeles can instead prioritize its pass rush which lost Robert Quinn and has otherwise relied on Aaron Donald to wreak havoc from the inside.

Landry? More like laundry!

(I don’t know what that means)

ESPN - Mel Kiper, Jr.

(ESPN insider subscription required)

Kiper has the same six players as Kadar & Stites albeit in a different order starting at the top where he has consistently mocked the Cleveland Browns to take Wyoming QB Josh Allen. And man, do I ever not like the Arizona Cardinals landing Louisville QB Lamar Jackson.

For us, the Hair goes with:

23. Los Angeles Rams: Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, Boise St.

The Rams’ defense has undergone several changes this offseason. Robert Quinn, Trumaine Johnson and Alec Ogletree are gone, and Aqib Talib, Marcus Peters, Sam Shields and Ndamukong Suh are in. Cornerback is no longer Los Angeles’ top need, which is why I’m going with an athletic inside linebacker here to replace Ogletree. Vander Esch is versatile enough to be an every-down player. Trust in defensive coordinator Wade Phillips to develop him.

LVE’s a hell of a prospect, but I’d have reservations taking an inside linebacker in the first round. Much like running back, the value of the position doesn’t align well with the value of the cost. I suppose it comes down to how much risk you want to take on with the pick in this specific year. Personally, I’d be down to go for a high-ceiling option at a much more valuable position.

NFL.com - Chad Reuter

This one’s actually a five-rounder, so it’s got some depth to it that helps clarify some of the first-round selections. For the Rams, it’s not a shocker by any means:

23. Los Angeles Rams: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College

Trading away Robert Quinn creates an opportunity for Landry to make an immediate impact, even if Connor Barwin is re-signed.

FWIW, Reuter has the Rams taking Iowa ILB Josey Jewell at #87, Nevada G Austin Corbett at #111 and North Carolina St. DT B.J. Hill at #135. The context of the latter rounds helps with Landry at 23.

NFL.com - Charles Davis

I know it’s just a mock, but seeing Penn St. RB Saquon Barkley go #1 overall makes me want to punch small, defenseless things.

For the Rams at 23, it’s a name we haven’t seen much:

23. Los Angeles Rams: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama Crimson Tide

The trade of Alec Ogletree to the Giants opens a spot for this gifted LB. Like so many of recent vintage from ‘Bama, Evans runs well, and is well-versed in pro-style scheme, and reasoning. Plus, he makes an impact as soon as he arrives.

We saw Kadar mock Evans to the Rams about a month ago. What’s interesting is that all these mocks are looking to replace either Ogletree or Quinn. That feels a bit myopic to me.

CBS Sports - Pete Prisco

23. Los Angeles Rams: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College

With Robert Quinn traded away, they lack an outside edge rusher. Two years ago, Landry was dominant in that role.

Welp.

CBS Sports - Chris Trapasso

TRADE!

Trapasso has the Rams moving up to 20th to ensure they nab their guy:

23. Los Angeles Rams: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College

The Rams can’t help themselves from moving up. With Landry, they have an embarrassment of riches up front. Landry fills in for Robert Quinn immediately.

If there’s anything close to the consensus, Landry’s it.

CBS Sports - Will Brinson

Trades galore early on, but Brinson has the Rams sitting tight at 23:

23. Los Angeles Rams: Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, Boise St.

The Rams could use some help at outside linebacker, so they pursue the guy with the best name in the draft who is coming off a productive career at Boise.

Vander Esch played the Will at Boise, so he has plenty of outside experience even though he probably projects better as a 3-4 ILB. Regardless if this is the pick, I doubt Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips has trouble making it work.

NFL.com - Lance Zierlein

23. Los Angeles Rams: Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, Boise St.

The Rams have a need at the inside linebacker spot. Vander Esch brings his rare combination of size and athletic ability to Wade Phillips’ defense.

NFL.com - Peter Schrager

23. Los Angeles Rams: James Daniels, C, Iowa

A Kirk Ferentz-coached center who can also play guard, Daniels is the smart, versatile lineman Sean McVay covets. Offense, offense, offense in this draft for the Rams.

With C John Sullivan having signed a two-year deal, this one’s a bit harder to see than it was a few weeks ago. Perhaps the versatility angle makes it a legit chance?