Heading into the 2018 NFL Draft, Los Angeles Rams fans knew that the team didn’t have a pick until day two, round three. The Rams needed depth at the offensive line and linebackers—edge rushers and middle backers for the 3-4.
Having to wait as long as the we did, when it came to the pick at #87 it wasn’t sexy; the Rams drafted OT Joseph Noteboom from TCU. The pick didn’t cause many Rams fans to leap from their chair, spill their beer and jump up and down with joy, but it did add the depth at the offensive line the Rams needed. He could also be a possible future replacement for 36-year old starting LT Andrew Whitworth.
Rams fans thought the Rams then had to pick a player to address the edge rusher they needed in order to replace OLB Robert Quinn, but General Manager Les Snead surprised Rams fans again by drafting C Brian Allen from Michigan St. as a possible future replacement for starting C John Sullivan, Once again the Rams added depth to the offensive line with a solid player.
This left most fans like me scratching their heads. The Rams had opportunities on day two to address a major concern at the linebacker position, whether it was the edge rusher or middle to compensate for the loss of MLB Alec Ogletree, but chose not to. After sleeping on it overnight, most of us diehards probably felt better waking up knowing that the Rams had clearly picked two guys who while not being game changers made common sense.
Going into Saturday, it was near certain the Rams would turn to the defensive side of the ball and address the elephant in the room—linebackers.
Out of the box the Rams did just that drafting Stephen F. Austin EDGE John Franklin-Myers, taking Virginia MLB Micah Kiser, and then Oklahoma EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo . These were very good picks, solid and fill needs.
The Rams followed up this up with a surprise pick in Tennessee RB John Kelly to back up 2017 Offensive Player of Year RB Todd Gurley. From what we know, Kelly could be the go-to guy when Gurley needs a breather. Besides being able to run the ball, he’s not bad catching the ball out the backfield. I think most Rams fans like this pick for the offensive flexibility it gives Head Coach Sean McVay.
The Rams then drafted OG Jamil Demby, DT Sebastian Joseph, EDGE Trevon Young and LB Travin Howard.
Once again none of these picks are exciting, but they’re Day 3 guys—the more, the merrier.
The Newest Rookies
I don’t see any of the offensive lineman starting for the Rams, but may be called upon when necessary should one of our starters go down. I also think, should they develop into their projected roles, these picks could wind up being starters. Probably next year but at some point down the line.
On the defensive side of the ball, all of these players will get a chance to play subbing in at times to give our starters a breather and will probably play on special teams. That will be make-or-break time for these rookies, so we’ll see.
Kelly will also see playing time and he could be the one guy the Rams drafted on offense that raises your eyebrows. Should Kelly be able to make big plays while Gurley rests to catch his breath, then the Rams will have a one-two punch at the RB position which was missing last year when Gurley wasn’t in the backfield.
The Rams have addressed their needs by filling out their 2017 NFC West Championship team with depth. The 53-man roster coming into 2018 is better then it was last year.
The Best Story
Without a doubt even with the drafting of Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield by the Cleveland Browns at #1 and thereafter three more QB drafted in the top ten, the biggest story coming out the draft and the player that got the most attention which I was focused on after the combine was UCF LB Shaquem Griffin.
Not only was he drafted by the Seattle Seahawks, gets to play with his twin brother, Shaquill Griffin. It just proves the age-old adage that in sports anything is possible if you’re dedicated, work hard enough and believe in yourself.
Shaq is living his dream to get drafted and by being picked has inspired a whole of lot of kids.
By fulfilling his dream, he has inspired all of us as well.