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Trying to predict the Los Angeles Rams’ draft plans

Sosa takes a stab at the Rams’ plan of attack in the 2019 NFL Draft. Could it be?

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Yup, it’s time.

With all the information readily available to us such as pre-draft visits, Senior Bowl prospects, combine info, and whatever else remains, I’ll attempt to put my best foot forward in predicting the Los Angeles Rams’ draft plans.

To begin, I’m not privy to any actual real information. This is all just my educated guess spawned from my brain.

Let’s start with the current haul of draft picks the Rams have in the 2019 NFL Draft:

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

The Rams essentially have a full draft haul as they currently own seven picks. The only difference with their haul is they lack a second-round pick due to the Marcus Peters trade, and one of their two third-round picks (#99) is a compensatory pick. The Rams had another third-round compensatory pick, though that was traded mid-season to acquire edge Dante Fowler Jr.

I’ve gone back to take a look at the past two draft classes since the regime of Head Coach Sean McVay and General Manager Les Snead was formed. The Rams had a combined 19 draft picks in 2017 and 2018, 18 of which were senior prospects. Only one single draft pick (RB John Kelly) wasn’t a senior. It’s evident the Rams like older, more mature, productive, less projection-type players.

Let’s look back at the 2017 and 2018 drafts:

2017 NFL Draft:

Gerald Everett - senior, Senior Bowl attendee
Cooper Kupp - senior, Senior Bowl attendee
John Johnson - senior, Senior Bowl attendee
Josh Reynolds - senior, Senior Bowl attendee
Samson Ebukam - senior
Tanzel Smart - senior, Senior Bowl attendee
Sam Rogers - senior, Senior Bowl attendee
Ejuan Price - senior

2018 NFL Draft:

Joe Noteboom - senior, Senior Bowl attendee
Brian Allen - senior
John Franklin-Myers - senior
Micah Kiser - senior, Senior Bowl attendee, visited
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo - senior, Senior Bowl attendee, visited
John Kelly - junior
Jamil Demby - senior, Senior Bowl attendee, visited
Sebastian Joseph-Day - senior
Trevon Young - senior
Travin Howard - senior
Justin Lawler - senior, visited

As you can see, almost every guy was a senior prospect. A handful of them attended the senior bowl, and some even visited the Rams. I didn’t have the player visits for the 2017 class so that was left blank, but I’m positive at least a couple of those guys visited the team on top-30 pre-draft visits as well.

With all the info at hand, we can try to make a projection moving forward. What I’m going to look at are obviously a ton of senior prospects, prospects who attended the senior bowl, and guys who have visited the Rams.

Looking at the roster, it’s safe to assume the Rams wont be drafting any of these positions with their first-round (or first pick in the case of a trade back) pick: Quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end. In my opinion, all remaining positions (sans punter and kicker) are on the table.

First things first, I really believe Snead will shop the 31st-overall pick in hopes of moving back and collecting more draft capital. The pick has a ton of value as only first-round picks have a fifth-year option on their rookie contracts, and generally teams like to trade up to the last few picks in the first-round to secure the option. Teams with quarterback needs are always ones to look out for, as well as players who were expected to be drafted but fell to the end of the first round.

Let’s take a look at prospects who’ve caught my eye as potential picks for the Rams between the first two rounds of the draft:

Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M Aggies
Garrett Bradbury, C, North Carolina State Wolfpack
Elgton Jenkins, C, Mississippi State Bulldogs
Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College Eagles
Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State Wildcats
Kaleb McGary, OT, Washington Huskies
DeAndre Baker, CB, Georgia Bulldogs
Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple Owls
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State Nittany Lions
Zach Allen, DE, Boston College Eagles
Jerry Tillery, DE, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Khalen Saunders, DT, Western Illinois Leathernecks
Jaylon Ferguson, EDGE, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan Wolverines
Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State Bulldogs
Darnell Savage Jr, S, Maryland Terrapins
Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia Cavaliers
Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware Blue Hens

When you look at who might be available, who’s most talented, what the biggest roster need is, and who projects to fit best with the Rams, my list gets dialed down to these names (in order) for the first two rounds of the draft:

Day One (Round 1) as well as Day Two (Round 2) in the event of a trade back:

Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M Aggies
Dalton Risner, OT, Kansas State Wildcats
Chris Lindstrom, G, Boston College Eagles
Jerry Tillery, DE, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Darnell Savage Jr, S, Maryland Terrapins
Nasir Adderley, S, Delaware Blue Hens
Rock Ya-Sin, CB, Temple Owls
Juan Thornhill, S, Virginia Cavaliers
Amani Oruwariye, CB, Penn State Nittany Lions

The names that remain could very well be in play for the Rams’ next available pick, especially in the event of a trade down. The hardest part to project is who will be available where, but I think this group is a fair illustration of what could be available, and what the Rams will think. If we move onto the later rounds (3rd and after), here are some names I really think they’ll be interested in selecting:

Day Two/Three (Rounds 3-7):

Sheldrick Redwine, S, Miami Hurricanes
Marquise Blair, S, Utah Utes
Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston Cougars
Derrick Baity, CB, Kentucky Wildcats
Renell Wren, DT, Arizona State Sun Devils
Daylon Mack, DT, Texas A&M Aggies
Jahlani Tavai, LB, Hawaii Warriors
Cameron Smith, LB, USC Trojans
Nate Davis, G, North Carolina-Charlotte 49ers
Chuma Edoga, OT, USC Trojans
Trey Pipkins, OT, Sioux Falls Cougars
Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois Huskies

The reason there are so many names is because it’s tough to tell who’s going to be available, and at what spot. I’m confident in stating that I do believe the Rams will likely address interior offensive line or the secondary (particularly safety) with their top pick. Now that we’ve name-dropped a ton of guys to look out for in all rounds of the draft, let’s jump into a mock draft scenario.

For this exercise, we’ll predict the Rams do in fact find a trade partner. If that’s the case, Snead should be able to secure a draft selection (or multiple), and in this instance, we’ll say it’s another fourth-round pick.

TRADE: The Rams trade pick #31 (1st-round) to the Oakland Raiders for pick #35 (2nd-round) and pick #107 (4th-round).

2.35 - Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M Aggies

The Rams go out and ensure there isn’t any dropoff when it comes to the offensive line. McCoy is a stud who fits the zone blocking scheme perfectly. McCoy’s skill-set and talent allows him to be a day one starter at the NFL level.

TRADE: The Rams trade picks #94 and 99 (3rd-rounders) to the New England Patriots for pick #74 (3rd-rounder by way of Detroit).

3.74 - Darnell Savage Jr, S, Maryland Terrapins

Savage could very well be gone by this point, but we’ll say he’s available... for now. Regardless, there are a handful of safeties that could be the pick at this spot, but I’ve penciled in Savage. Relentless, blazing fast, physical, tough, and a great open field tackler, Savage could do it all.

4.107 - Daylon Mack, DT, Texas A&M Aggies

Daylon Mack is exactly the type of player you want at this stage in the draft. He’s limited as he’s not a great athlete nor does he offer a ton of pass rush juice, but he’s a quality run-stuffing defensive tackle who can operate in multiple spots on the defensive line. Mack’s go-to move as a pass-rusher is the bull-rush which can effectively push offensive lineman into the quarterbacks lap. Against the run, he’s a load to move and routinely uses his hands effectively. He’s strong at the point-of-attack and he can stack-and-shed effectively. Mack would be a great option to help stop the run and occasionally rush the passer.

4.133 - Malik Reed, EDGE, Nevada Wolfpack

I’m personally not a big fan of Reed’s game, but the Rams seem to be. Reed has inside/outside versatility as he can rush the passer or he can play off-ball linebacker. He’s a decent athlete who isn’t refined as a pass rusher, though he does possess some speed and natural bend off the edge.

5.169 - Marvell Tell III, CB/S, USC Trojans

Tell was a safety at USC, though I have interest in trying him at cornerback. He’s a mountain of a man at 6’2”, and is an absolute freak athlete who destroyed the combine. Not an ideal tackler, Tell’s transition could work at cornerback if he develops the proper skills.

6.203 - Trey Pipkins, OT, Sioux Falls Cougars

Pipkins is an NFL project who has tremendous tackle size (6’6” 310 lbs). His quickness in his feet is one of the better points of his game, though he’s got plenty to work on before he’s ready to step onto the field. Pipkins is an ideal candidate for Run Game Coordinator and Offensive Line Coach Aaron Kromer to work with and develop.

7.251 - Jahlani Tavai, ILB, Hawaii Warriors

The Rams just had Tavai in for a visit the other day, so the intrigue is there. The visit probably had more to do with clearing up his incident as a freshman that got him kicked off the football team, but if the Rams are willing to dig that much dirt, there has to be some interest, right? Tavai would make a good special teams player right out of the gate.

All in all, using all the information available, I tried my best to construct a list of guys I think the Rams could be interested in selecting.

What do you guys think?