No, the Los Angeles Rams did not take a pass rusher - like most anticipated - with their first pick (89) of the 2018 NFL Draft. Instead, they opted to add some depth along their offensive line by selecting TCU tackle Joseph Noteboom.
But there’s still plenty of work to be done. And finding a pass rusher, whether in round 4 or beyond, is still a primary need as the Rams head into the weekend.
So who’s left? The good news is that there are plenty of potential starters available for the Rams on Day 3. Over at Zone Coverage, Arif Hasan (who also writes for SB Nation’s Daily Norseman), has compiled an excellent draft tool in the form of a consensus big board. It’s comprised of 48 big boards from talent evaluators and draft scouts from big media outlets such as ESPN and NFL Network down to the smaller in notoriety (but certainly not in content) sites like Optimum Scouting.
Using Arif’s big board, along with an assist from NFLDraftScout’s Dane Brugler and NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein, here are five guys who could help the Rams fill their pass rushing need(s) on Saturday:
58. Josh Sweat, EDGE, Florida State
With his frame and body type, Sweat has flashes that are reminiscent of Jadeveon Clowney rushing off the edge. He doesn’t do it consistently enough, but the athleticism and pass-rush potential are there.
65. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE/OLB, Oklahoma
Although short and undersized, Okoronkwo plays with outstanding power, using his length to forklift blockers from his path. Scheme fit might be the biggest culprit behind his drop into Day 3.
76. Duke Ejiofor, EDGE, Wake Forest
Ejiofor looked a little quicker and more fluid last season, but he’s not a naturally gifted athlete. Ejiofor’s game revolves around his heavy hands and his ability to finish as a rusher if a blocker gives him an opening. Ejiofor needs to play with better play speed and a more consistent motor to reach his potential, but his natural strength and ability to harass the quarterback as an interior rusher on sub packages gives him a chance to find some early playing time even if he’s a backup.
102. Shaquem Griffin, LB, Central Florida
Griffin’s tremendous story has been well documented; the only thing left in his draft story is to find out where he will play in the NFL. We will find out early in the fourth round on Saturday.
113. Genard Avery, LB, Memphis
Avery switched between an off-ball linebacker and edge rusher role at Memphis, flashing intriguing athletic and power traits. He lacks great length and will be a scheme fit issue for several teams.
Honorable Mention: 127. Dorance Armstrong Jr., EDGE, Kansas
The Rams currently own three 4th-round picks (111, 135, and 136), as well as a slew (5) 6th-round picks. Knowing Les Snead, if he likes one of these guys as much as the draft experts do, it won’t be surprising to see the Rams bundle up some picks and get to work early on Saturday.