2018 NFL Draft LA Rams Class
|4||111||11||Brian Allen||C||Michigan St.|
|4||135||35||John Franklin-Myers||DL||Stephen F. Austin|
The Rams didn’t have a pick until No. 89 overall, so it’s hard to get too excited about their draft. Offensive tackle Joe Noteboom is a good developmental offensive tackle who has the traits to become a starter. How fast he gets there may depend on how many more years Andrew Whitworth plays. Center Brian Allen was a decent, but still unexciting pick, in the fourth round.
Later in the fourth round, the Rams got another depth piece in defensive end John Franklin-Myers. He’s a good power end who will help against the run game. Linebacker Micah Kiser, taken 147th overall, was actually my favorite pick the Rams made. He’s a smart player who lead the ACC in tackles the past three seasons. Ogbonnia Okoronkwo was a sneaky good pick in the fifth round. He’s a situational pass rusher, but a good one.
The Rams had four picks in the sixth round, and the best one was Tennessee running back John Kelly. He’s obviously not going to overtake Todd Gurley, but he’s similar in many ways.
Pro Football Focus: Average
Day 1: n/a
Day 2: With just one pick to play with over the first two days of the draft, the Rams didn’t come on the clock until the 89th pick of the draft, and they used that to select Joseph Noteboom, an offensive tackle out of TCU. With Andrew Whitworth over 35 years of age and coming off a season in which he looked mortal for the first time in a while, Noteboom makes a lot of sense as an insurance policy. Noteboom allowed just 13 total pressures in his final year at TCU, and that gave him his second strong college season of pass protection. Run-blocking has been more of a challenge for him, but that has never been less of an issue in the NFL given how much the league is pass first in 2018.
Day 3: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo could prove to be an important player for a team in need of edge rush. He had 10 sacks and 47 total pressures in 2017. John Kelly is an intriguing smaller back that runs with power and determination, breaking 37 tackles last season. They went back to the well at edge with Trevon Young in Round 6 as Young had 40 total pressures in 2017.
The Rams have been trading their picks for veteran talent, and their only pick in the first two days was offensive tackle Joseph Noteboom. Still, this team should be ready for a championship run. It did have an array of sixth-round picks, and that could help make training camp much more competitive.
Overview: Brandin Cooks, Marcus Peters, and Aqib Talib should be included in this class after the Rams acquired them for 2018 picks. Noteboom, Allen, and Demby look like long-term backups on the line. GM Les Snead took four day-three shots on pass rushers in Franklin-Myers, Okoronkwo, Young, and Lawler. Kiser was a consistent playmaker in college and is a well-above-par athlete. He will push for snaps right away following Alec Ogletree’s departure. Kelly is better than in-place backup RB Malcolm Brown, Joseph will compete for a rotational role, and Howard has the skill set to play nickel/dime linebacker, an increasingly valued position. I don’t think the Rams will get a ton of year-one impact from their rookies, but proven high-impact veterans Cooks, Peters, and Talib make this haul a strong one.
Welcome to the party, Rams. You show up late, needing a new starter or two at defensive end, as well as stack linebacker. But instead you add an offensive tackle to a line that stayed intact and played extremely well last season? It’s actually not as crazy as it sounds. Three linemen—Rob Havenstein, Jamon Brown and Rodger Saffold—are in contract years, and the other two, Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan, are old. All those young ball-handling weapons you have won’t do any good down the road if their blocking breaks down. Also, congratulations on finding Brandin Cooks with the No. 23 pick.
Les Snead pulled the trigger on a trade with the Patriots to land receiver Brandin Cooks, giving up the team’s first-round pick and swapping a sixth-rounder for a fourth-round selection. Jared Goff is already thriving under coach Sean McVay, and now he has a very reliable pass-catcher in Cooks. This is a “win-now” move, which makes more sense than relying on a rookie receiver to help the offense. Snead gave up his second-round pick for Sammy Watkins, who played well for a year and then moved on. I’m sure that’s not what the team had in mind when trading for him. Finally able to pick in the middle of the third round, the Rams get a swing tackle in Noteboom, who showed impressive movement last season. This was a good pick for a team needing depth at the position. The Rams did some work on Day 3 well before the draft, grabbing picks in trading away Robert Quinn and Alec Ogletree and giving up picks for cornerbacks Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Franklin-Myers is an interesting edge rusher whom I valued as a top-150 pick. Kiser could take Ogletree’s starting spot in 2018. The Rams went nuts on edge rushers later, but all had good value. Kelly is also a strong pick in the sixth round.
Very hard to peg this. GM Les Snead gave up his first-round pick for WR Brandin Cooks, who’s currently under contract for one more year. Snead used his second rounder last year in a trade for WR Sammy Watkins, and that turned out to be a rental. In terms of players Snead actually drafted, fifth rounders Micah Kiser, an inside linebacker, and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, an edge player, may have the best chance to play now.
How would you grade the Los Angeles Rams’ performance in the 2018 NFL Draft?
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