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2019 NFL Draft Results: Los Angeles Rams add to secondary, offensive line while grabbing early running back

Here’s your Los Angeles Rams 2019 NFL Draft class.

Washington Huskies S Taylor Rapp tackles Penn State Nittany Lions RB Saquon Barkley in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl, Dec. 30, 2017.
Washington Huskies S Taylor Rapp tackles Penn State Nittany Lions RB Saquon Barkley in the Playstation Fiesta Bowl, Dec. 30, 2017.
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

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 Los Angeles Rams went into the 2019 NFL Draft on the back of a very successful 2018 season that saw the Rams go all the way to the Super Bowl. While the result in Super Bowl LIII was disappointing, the Rams’ overall success was a reflection of a very talented roster.

Most of that talent was retained. The Rams did lose LG Rodger Saffold III, C John Sullivan, DL Ndamukong Suh, ILB Mark Barron and S Lamarcus Joyner, but veteran additions in LB Clay Matthews and S Eric Weddle along with some youth in the depth ranks like OL Joseph Noteboom, OL Brian Allen and ILB Micah Kiser could help offset those losses.

So overall, the Rams weren’t in a desperate position to address any immediate roster gaps. Instead, the two biggest factors were future roster gaps and the status of RB Todd Gurley’s knee.

And after a flurry of trades, the Rams addressed both.

Draft Picks

Washington Huskies S Taylor Rapp

61st overall pick

Rapp’s a fine replacement for Joyner who arrives with little immediate pressure. With John Johnson and Weddle already on the safety depth chart, the Rams won’t need Rapp to provide immediate dividends. How much playing time he’ll get in Year 1 is tough to gauge until we get to training camp, but it’s a strong addition to the secondary that, like many picks in recent years, is designed more to deliver over the course of Rapp’s four-year contract than his first year.

Memphis Tigers RB Darrell Henderson

70th overall pick

Moreso than the preceding pick, this one is the headliner in the class.

Nine months after the Rams made Gurley the highest-paid running back in the NFL, they traded up into the early third round to take a running back.

It’s telling evidence that Gurley’s knee just isn’t reliable enough to depend on the way that the Rams did in the last two seasons. It’s also a damning indictment of the portion of Rams media that didn’t just dismiss the severity of the injury but dismissed the impact of the injury itself.

This shouldn’t dissuade fans from being excited about Henderson. He’s a fine running back and the Rams get good value for taking a very talented RB at 70th as opposed to earlier in the draft where the position value doesn’t line up with the draft capital.

It’s not a bad pick by any means. It’s just unfortunate the Rams had to make it in the first place.

Michigan Wolverines CB David Long

79th overall pick

Whereas Rams CB Marcus Peters is more of an athletic ballhawk, Long is a physical technician. Consider the scouting report from NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein:

Death, taxes and David Long sitting under a receiver’s chin waiting to jam and bully the release - all three are inevitable. He lacks height, length and makeup burst, but it is hard to find tape where those areas came back to haunt him very often. He’s patient from press, stays connected to routes underneath, but may have to adjust to off-man and prove he can withstand vertical challenges against taller targets. He’s not as long, loose or fast as teams like, but he’s a consistent cover man with the talent to find reps early in his career.

Add to that that now Long is joining a cornerback depth chart with Peters and Aqib Talib meaning he can develop into the NFL slowly as opposed to a team that might have taken him and pushed him into an immediate starting role, and you can see how good of a fit this is.

Should the Rams re-sign Peters while Talib either exits in free agency or retires, and you’ve got a great cornerback pairing built on opposing styles for the future.

Oklahoma Sooners OT Bobby Evans

97th overall pick

The Rams are undergoing a pretty wide transition on the offensive line. Since Head Coach Sean Mcvay’s first season in 2017, the Rams have already moved on from three starters: Saffold, Sullivan and former RG Jamon Brown. With LT Andrew Whitworth playing his final season in 2019, adding talent to the line was always going to be important. Whether Evans adds talent to the tackle depth chart or offers a chance to kick inside to challenge RG Austin Blythe will be a key to training camp this year.

Washington Huskies DT Greg Gaines

134th overall pick

The departure of DL Ndamukong Suh opened up a starting spot on the defensive line. While second-year linemen Jonathan Franklin-Myers and Sebastian Joseph-Day will also be involved, Gaines should find himself in the mix early on.

And with DT Michael Brockers likely playing his last year as a Ram, Gaines should be a great addition to work his way into contention over the next few years.

Wisconsin Badgers OT David Edwards

169th overall pick

We’re now across the 2/3rds pole here, so we’re getting into the deepest depth to come out of the draft. Edwards is probably in line to compete with Darrell Williams moreso than to challenge Whitworth, Rob Havenstein or Evans. Perhaps though, the Rams found a gem here to mine. Worth considering the timeline Blythe enjoyed. Should this pick pan out in a major way, perhaps in 2020 or 2021 Edwards comes into his own as an NFL lineman.

Penn State Nittany Lions S Nick Scott

243rd overall pick

Texas Tech Red Raiders LB Dakota Allen

251st overall pick

Not sure either of these two are angling for anything more than special teams in Year 1. Hopefully, they can pan out into just that.


Summary

The Rams are coming out of the Super Bowl or Bust season and looking to transition into a more stable team with more longevity.

This class is a fine start.

The Rams added two solid pieces to the secondary while adding developmental talents to the offensive line and a running back to limit Gurley. It was a fine approach early. The late picks matter little for position value. If you can get any of those guys to turn into anything on offense or defense, that’s a huge, albeit unnecessary, bonus. The aim is to turn them into special teams stalwarts.

The transition to the post SBOB Rams is underway. And while this class might not lead the way, they’re definitely going to be an integral part in it.