It wasn’t the most conventional draft for the Los Angeles Rams, but quality players were added to the team. Before all of these picks came to fruition, the team’s most notable roster gaps were secondary, linebackers, offensive line and defensive line. So, defense.
How did the Rams strengthen their needs and what remains as a hole to fix later?
Whoever was pushing for help with the defensive backs in the Rams’ war room certainly slept well last night. With the departure of S Lamarcus Joyner, the Rams were in a position to fix that issue with the addition of S Eric Weddle and now Washington Huskies S Taylor Rapp. What’s fantastic about this pick is that Rapp can tackle and hit with precision. Oh, and they picked S Nick Scott from Penn State in the seventh-round.
Michigan’s CB David Long was selected with the 79th overall pick; the Rams are getting a classic press-man defender that is great in coverage. He will be a welcome addition to the depth at the cornerback position competing with guys like CB Troy Hill and CB Darious Williams early on. I like this pick a lot and feel like it really provides some fundamental talent to that position.
With the 70th pick in the third round, the Rams selected RB Darrell Henderson out of Memphis instantly adding a talent running back going into training camp to post alongside RB Todd Gurley. Perhaps Rams Head Coach Sean McVay sees Henderson as a player that can function in the offense like RB Lance Dunbar was supposed to. A lot has been said about this pick already, but it does fill a need that the team evidently has, like it or not.
Man, the Rams must be in love with OL Joseph Noteboom and OL Brian Allen. While the team added some solid offensive line players through the draft in Oklahoma’s OL Bobby Evans, who isn’t a finished product as of now, and OT David Edwards out of Wisconsin in the fifth-round, it wasn’t the splash that some expected. The Rams could luck out with Evans, but he’s not a plug-and-play player which the team could need with an injury from any of their starters.
DT Greg Gaines could be a steal in the fourth-round which the Rams pretty much need with the loss of DT Ndamukong Suh. Those are big shoes to fill and it’d be extremely unfair to ask Gaines to be Suh in his rookie season. So, yeah... the D line still has some question marks.
Before you try to say that the Rams didn’t do anything to address the loss of ILB Mark Barron, don’t forget that they selected LB Dakota Allen with the 251st pick. Allen, out of Texas Tech, is more of a scrappy special teams dude in the mold of LB Bryce Hager.
All in all, the Rams put their focus on the secondary, which is hard to argue with. They traded down to get more picks while sacrificing a first-round pick. They improved on run defense on the second level and upgraded their pass defense. And what kind of a needs to the Rams still have? Easy. Depth at offensive line and pass rushers.
We’re still miles away from training camp, and the front office isn’t done establishing the depth of this team. But we just saw a big effort to fix the secondary and that’s a pretty positive start.