In the 2019 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams traded up in the third round to take Memphis Tigers RB Darrell Henderson.
In a new 2020 NFL mock draft (ESPN+ subscription required), ESPN’s Todd McShay went even further mocking the Rams to take a running back in the first round which would certainly impend the end of Gurley’s career.
Let’s not put much stock into a 2020 mock in May of 2019, but FWIW this is what McShay tossed out there:
#29.) Los Angeles Rams - Ohio State Buckeyes RB J.K. Dobbins
While his yards per carry fell from 7.2 to 4.6 in 2018, Dobbins still broke 1,000 yards and scored 10 times. He is strong and athletic, and with Todd Gurley and Darrell Henderson, the Rams would have the NFL’s most elite backfield.
Let me say this first — Dobbins is a fantastic running back prospect and one that isn’t undeserving of the 29th pick at this time:
Best running back I've seen today?— TurfShowTimes (@TurfShowTimes) September 1, 2017
The new freshman at Ohio State, JK Dobbins.
But it’s worth considering what McShay is implying here.
The Rams just took a running back that will cut into Gurley’s carries to a significant degree that may see the highest-paid running back in the NFL not make the top 10 in carries or perhaps meet a more extreme workrate decline. But taking Dobbins, or anyone else at any point before Day 3 of the 2020 NFL Draft, would be an indication that the Rams would essentially be shutting the door on Gurley.
It’s far too early for me to endorse that idea. We’ve got a full offseason in front of us for Gurley to heal up as we head toward training camp and the preseason ahead of the 2019 regular season. Who knows what state Gurley will be in when get to Week 1. Who knows how Rams Head Coach Sean McVay will balance Gurley with Henderson. It could be something akin to the balance he looked for in the playoffs with Gurley and former Rams RB C.J. Anderson. It could be something different entirely.
Don’t take much time to consider this. I beg of you, don’t get Mad, Red and Nude Online.
But yanno. Here it is.