After much studying, deliberating, comparing, and dissecting, I’ve completed my Los Angeles Rams centric big board for the 2019 NFL Draft.
Before we start, I want to outline how I managed to cut the list down to just these names. First, I excluded guys I’m 100% certain wont reach at least the late 20’s, or pick #31. Those exclusions include these players:
iDL Quinnen Williams
iDL Ed Oliver
iDL Christian Wilkins
LB Devin White
EDGE Josh Allen
EDGE Joey Bosa
EDGE Montez Sweat
EDGE Rashan Gary
iOL Cody Ford
OT Jonah Williams
OT Andre Dillard
OT Jawaan Taylor
Second, I didn’t include any names from positions I believe the Rams wont have any interest in adding (at least with the early pick(s)). Those positions include quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers, and tight ends. Everything else is fair game.
Enough talking, let’s jump into the big board. I’ll name the player, the position, the school, and a small outline of each guy. Let’s go:
We start off the big board with guys I’d be thrilled to stay put at pick #31 and select.
1) EDGE Brian Burns, Florida State Seminoles
Burns has it all. The guy is long and lanky, can drop in coverage, uses his hands well, bends like crazy, and is an explosive athlete. If by any chance (not much of one) God’s graces makes Burns available to the Rams, you sprint the card up to the podium.
2) CB Byron Murphy, Washington Huskies
The best corner in the class, Murphy is a zone specialist. His ball skills, football intelligence, and smooth transitions make him a sure bet to be a stud in the NFL. He’s such a comfortable projection that I’m willing to take him without thinking twice if he’s available.
3) iDL Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State Bulldogs *
Simmons can do it all. Strong and active hands, plenty of moves when pass rushing, instant penetration, and strong at the point-of-attack. Simmons is a sure-fire top-10 talent in this draft class, though a torn ACL just a month or so ago (as well as a bad video from high school) might hold him out of the first round.
4) EDGE Jachai Polite, Florida Gators *
I’m not really sure what to make of Polite at this point. Work ethic concerns and immaturity are not things I can confirm or deny, but his game is fantastic. His game is predicated of speed rushing, though he can counter back inside when it isn’t there.
5) C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M Aggies
McCoy is the best pass blocking center in this draft, and that’s what gives him the edge for me over Bradbury. His ability to anchor and stonewall defenders is best-bar-none. Not to mention, he has good mobility and can work his way to the second level sealing off defenders.
6) C Garrett Bradbury, North Carolina State Wolfpack
Bradbury is the best run-blocking center in this draft. His ability to seal defenders, reach block, and work to the second level and grabbing linebackers is outstanding. He’s a masterful fit for a zone blocking scheme, and either he or McCoy would be massive additions. Another factor to consider here is the fact that McCoy is over two years younger than Bradbury, though both participated at the Senior Bowl.
7) CB Greedy Williams, LSU Tigers
Williams is a risky pick at this spot, but his upside does it for me. He’s a fluid, smooth mover with exceptional ball skills and has great spatial awareness. He’s also a fantastic athlete. On the other hand, he’s a horrible tackler and generally has no interest in tackling.
8) iOL Dalton Risner, Kansas State Wildcats
I’m not sure what Risner’s best spot is at the next level, but I do know he’ll be great at whichever he’s asked to play. Risner is an effortless mover who can pull and lead block for backs. He works his way to the second level and finishes blocks with the best of them. Pass pro looks simple for him.
9) EDGE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson Tigers
Fantastic effort and is a good run defender who uses his power to remain stout at the point-of-attack and re-set the line of scrimmage. He also has the quickness and hand usage to disengage blockers and knife his way into the backfield. He needs to develop a counter for when his initial pass rush is stifled. Ferrell possesses active hands and likely has a high floor and a high ceiling.
10) S Nasir Adderley, Delaware Blue Hens
In my opinion, Adderley is the best single-high safety in this class who has the versatility to do much more. He’s athletic enough to compete in the nickel spot, as well as physical enough to play near the line of scrimmage. Back to what he does best, his ball skills, range, and coverage ability on the backend edge everyone out for me.
Round 2 (prefer trade back):
These players I would be okay with at pick #31, though I would love if the Rams were capable of trading back from pick #31 and selecting them in the second round (with the new top-pick).
11) iOL Chris Lindstrom, Boston College Eagles
Lindstrom is a good athlete who passes off stunts in pass pro, has good quickness and the ability to move in space, and good hand usage in pass pro. He can be a lead blocker on screens and looks for work in pass pro.
12) iDL Jerry Tillery, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Tillery has a good arsenal of pass rush moves, knows how to use his shoulders and bend around offensive lineman. He’s a good athlete who carries his weight well. Not great against the run, but his prowess as a pass rusher make him worth it alone.
13) LB Devin Bush, Michigan Wolverines
Bush is your typical linebacker in 2019. He’s not the best at stuffing the run or taking on massive offensive lineman, but he can use his athleticism to avoid blockers and make tackles. His speed, aggressiveness, and nastiness make him a highlight type player. He can play coverage because of his closing speed. He’s violent and has the ability to blitz. Great burst and can flip his hips quickly.
14) S Darnell Savage Jr., Maryland Terrapins
Savage trusts his eyes and he’s almost always right. He’s a punishing tackler who’s fantastic in open space. He’s got loads of closing speed and speed in general. Can play a variety of spots in the secondary. Sticky in coverage and can recover as a DB if he’s beaten. Good awareness in zone coverage.
15) CB David Long, Michigan Wolverines
Long is one of the best press-man cornerbacks in this draft class. He’s physical, does a great job pressing at the line of scrimmage, has great football intelligence, is sticky in coverage, and does a good job staying on a receivers hip. He turns his head and plays the ball when in coverage. Decent tackler.
16) CB Sean Bunting, Central Michigan Chippewas
Bunting lines up in press most of the time, though he can play some zone and even bail at the line of scrimmage. He’s abusive (in a good way) at the LOS. Bunting possess patient feet and hands and generally gets a good strike into a receivers chest plate to help re-route them right off the snap. His smooth hips allow him to transition smoothly. Good in coverage as well, and knows how to use the sidelines as help perfectly. Bunting will be the steal of the draft.
17) EDGE Zach Allen, Boston College Eagles
Can rush from either end spot or over guards. Has active hands and can time his swipe move well. Has a variety of ways to win off the edge which includes his swipe, counters, long-arms, power, rips, bull rushes, and even bend. Consistently pressures the QB. Gets his hands up when rushes aren’t near the QB, looks to swat passes. Solid run defender who sets the edge effectively. Good tackler. Not much wasted movements, gets to his assignment quick. Only question his fit in a 3-4 (could work but maybe not perfect), and if he can hold up full time on the edge in the NFL (lack of speed rush).
18) EDGE Chase Winovich, Michigan Wolverines
Winovich plays with relentless effort. His ability to run down ball carriers from the backside as an unblocked end are second-to-none. Can generate good power and knock back OL as a run defender. Smart enough to peel off rushes and play screens, and has active hands when rushing the passer. Variety of moves.
19) CB Joejuan Williams, Vanderbilt Commdores
Williams is a mountain of a man with unprecedented size at the cornerback position. He’s generally great at re-routing receivers at the LOS and delaying their released in press coverage. Good tackler who’s not afraid of contact. Can line up in off and break on a receiver effectively. Good job staying on a receivers hip pocket. Needs to be better turning his head around and playing the ball. When he does look at the ball, does a good job playing it and forcing receivers into contested catch situations.
20) CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple Owls
Feisty player and willing tackler. Ya-Sin lined up a ton in press-man though he didn’t press a ton. Generally let a lot of receivers off the LOS clean, though it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Decent press skills. Looks to remove vertical threat first. Carries receivers vertically very well. Gets head around to play the ball and has great ball skills.
21) CB DeAndre Baker, Georgia Bulldogs
Lines up in press though he bails a lot. Can get flat footed at the snap which instantly leads to trail technique. Good in off coverage. Plays the ball well in the air, dislodges catches often. Deep speed is a question, though he wasn’t tested a ton in that regard. Is good in press when he actually does it, doesn’t allow clean releases.
22) S Juan Thornhill, Virginia Cavaliers
Incredible athlete with true positional versatility. Played CB, nickel, linebacker, cover-2, and single-high safety. Uses athleticism to duck under/avoid blocks as a LB. Solid tackler. Good football intelligence. Instinctive player who trusts his eyes and can read QB’s. Takes good angles to ball carriers. Very good in coverage, could even play CB in the NFL.
23) CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State Nittany Lions
Not a great tackler, but generally gets the job done. Can line up in press or off, though he plays better with a cushion. Good job turning his head and playing the ball. Likes to use a cushion, sit on routes, read the QB, and break on the ball playing it in the air. Good job mirroring WR’s at the LOS. Smooth player who transitions well. Good awareness in zone coverage and good hands.
24) S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, Florida Gators
Can literally line up anywhere on the backend, from cover-2, nickel, single-high, in the box, and more. Good job using his athleticism to avoid blockers and getting in on tackles. Has sideline-to-sideline range and always makes pass catchers pay with big hits. Can mask coverage and rotate post snap. Good in run support. Could play full-time nickel if he was asked to. Excellent tackler.
Round 2 (need trade back):
25) iDL Dexter Lawrence, Clemson Tigers
Lawrence is a monster of a nose tackle. His power and quickness are akin to that of Vita Vea who was a high selection just one year ago. Active hands, powerful at the point of attack, stacks and sheds effectively, and can even use athleticism to knife into the backfield as a run defender.
26) S Deionte Thompson, Alabama Crimson Tide
One of the more complete single-high safety options in this draft, though he’s not strictly limited to that role. Can be useful in run support even though he’s not a safe tackler as his technique is all over the place. Can close in on a run quickly from a deep safety spot. Good coverage ability as a zone safety. Has some range. Super skinny.
27) S Taylor Rapp, Washington Huskies
Rapp is an absolutely vicious hitter. Plays every snap like it’s his last. Capable blitzer. Not dynamic in coverage and a limited athlete. So good in run-and-chase situations. Can play coverage in split-coverage duties (cover-2). Not too sure on his man coverage ability, though have seen small flashes of ability. Takes great angles when attacking ball carriers. Great clock-and-close ability, breaks on receivers quickly.
28) S Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State Bulldogs
Explosive and fast athlete with good size. Super physical and very violent, lots of big hits. Played nickel, sub-package LB, some deep looks. Not great in deep coverage, though the upside is there to improve in man coverage. Similar to Keanu Neal/Jamal Adams. Great in run-and-chase situations. Often used as a blitzer. Great closing speed and pursuit as a run defender. Susceptible as a deep coverage option.
29) CB Justin Layne, Michigan State Spartans
Does a good job challenging receivers at the catch point, especially on in breaking routes. Can line up in press or off coverage, has the versatility to play in man or zone. Good tackler. Breaks on receivers pretty quickly. Think he has the potential to be much better on the line of scrimmage., can allow immediate separation on in-breaking routes. Nice backpedal and awareness in zone coverage. Good at carrying receivers vertically. Can play wide receiver and is a former receiver. Long and lanky frame. Does a good job riding receivers up the sidelines and staying on hip pocket when they outside release. Turns his head and looks for the ball.
30) OT Kaleb McGary, Washington Huskies
Looks to minimize distance between himself and rushers by jumping out right out of his stance. Powerful run blocker who moves his guy off the ball. Capable of pulling and being a lead blocker. Can seal out defenders by using their leverage and his own rotational strength. Whiffs sometimes. Has the ability to work up to the second level, though wasn’t asked to do it a ton. Generally solid in pass pro, though a quick speed rush can give him some issues. Capable of running guys right up the arc.
31) S Sheldrick Redwine, Miami Hurricanes
Awesome tackler and very physical player who makes sure ball carriers feel him. Versatility allowed him to play nickel, cover-2, single-high, sub-package LB, and in the box as a strong safety. Excellent at chasing down ball carriers and securing tackles. Just has a nose for the football. Takes solid angles to track down ball carriers. Would love to see more consistency in coverage, generally allowed easy completions on slants though his quick breaks on the ball and physicality allowed him to jar some catches loose. Can blitz. Has ball skills.
32) iDL Khalen Saunders, Western Illinois Leathernecks
Short squatty and powerful guy. When he gets off the ball he can be stout at the POA. Sometimes has a slow first step/get off. Powerful, keeps eyes in the backfield. Can stack blockers and shed when RB’s reach the LOS. Can rush off the edge, plays a lot of 0/1T. Good swim move, powerful bull rush, though generally not a pass rusher. When he vacates his gap, does a good job spinning back into it.
33) iDL Dre’Mont Jones, Ohio State Buckeyes
Incredibly active hands, loves to chop/swipe OL’s arms/hands. Likes his counter spin. Good athlete with good speed. Better than anticipated against the run, though he still isn’t great at it. Will make the occasional play against the run mostly. Nimble enough to use athleticism to go around blockers in the pass rush. Good push-pull move. Will do great as a penetrator at next level, no 2-gapping.
34) CB Jamel Dean, Auburn Tigers
Patient at the LOS and loves to re-route receivers with effective jams that cause difficult releases. Can line up in off coverage as well. Hardly ever gives receivers easy access to inside releases. Has an upright style. Gets stuck on blocks. Uses his leverage well to legally funnel receivers towards the sidelines. Can be beat on routes with sudden stops that work back towards the QB. Does a good job locating the ball when its thrown and making a play on it. Gets his head turned when the ball is in the air. Major injury concerns. Uses his hands very well. Very physical player, whether that’s in coverage or against the run. Pretty much always in good coverage, puts himself in a position to make a play quite often. Destroyed the combine.
35) C Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi State Bulldogs
Understands how to use a defenders’ leverage against him. Does a good job turning out defensive tackles to open a gap for a RB. Not the best anchor, can get walked back or jolted with initial punch. Most of his issues in terms of getting jacked back seem to be because he can get upright very quickly after the snap. Generally, looks for work in pass pro. Not a nasty finisher by any means, and not a powerful impact blocker. Decent athlete though I’d like to see more of him climbing to the second level and sealing off LB’s, not sure if he has the ability to consistently do it. Very effective in pass pro, hardly ever allows pressure.
36) EDGE Christian Miller, Alabama Crimson Tide
Very active hands, looks to chop/swat OL’s arms away and not allow them into his chest. Has the ability to counter, used a long arm on one example. Can play on either side of the DL standing up or hand in the dirt. Can peel off rush and cover an RB into the flat. Can set the edge and funnel runs back inside against the run. Does a good job flattening to the QB in his rush. If initial chop doesn’t work, usually gets blocked easily. Sometimes he looks like he’s rushing with no plan, good athlete but not twitchy. Long arms. Burst off the ball isn’t great.
37) ILB Mack Wilson, Alabama Crimson Tide
Decent speed, over pursues too often. Pretty good at stacking and shedding, more often than not doesn’t allow blockers into him. Gets good depth in zone coverage between hashes. Solid tackler, wraps up in open field. Uses shoulder when ball carrier going down. Not a great space player. A lot of hit power. Solid burst, aware in zone coverage. More traditional LB. Peeled off blitz to run down screen. Solid blitzer. Almost always jumps to block passes.
38) iDL Daylon Mack, Texas A&M Aggies
Mack is a short squatty and powerful run stuffer who’s strong at the POA and has enough quickness and get off to occasionally effect the quarterback as a pass rusher. Powerful bull rush that can walk blockers back into the lap of QB’s. Active hands that he uses to leverage offensive lineman. Can get blown off the ball by double teams, and not a tremendously effective pass rusher.
39) EDGE Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech Bulldogs
Decent bend around the edge. Likes the swipe/rip combo when rushing. Pretty good at playing the run. Has enough power to set the edge and even re-set the LOS against tackles. Pretty slow. Historically terrible 3-cone and short shuttle. Strong and effective push-pull move. Not much of a counter. Didn’t play against great competition.
40) EDGE Malik Reed, Nevada Wolfpack
Positional versatility to play off-ball and at edge. On the floor far too often. Doesn’t really have a pass rush plan, generally just engages with blockers and is taken out of the play. Non-active hands, needs to improve a lot in that area. Good athlete who has bend around the edge and can win in that manner by dipping his shoulder. Good enough athlete to be useful in short zones in the NFL. Tweener size. At his best speed rushing, using his bend, and dipping his shoulder around the tackle. Seen a nice spin-counter on one occasion.
There it is. Now, if for whatever reason a player isn’t there, it’s either because I excluded him (like I explained in the beginning) or simply haven’t watched him. I’ll try to watch more over the next week prior to the draft kicking off, and if that’s the case, I can always update the board. Regardless, this is what I’ve got for now.
Let me know what you think below. Who you agree with, disagree with, comments, etc!