Instead of doing the traditional draft-day grades three days after the actual event, I’ll take a stab at something different I seen from the guys over at Pro Football Focus.
Here are the options:
Let’s dive into the player I peg for each category:
Taylor Rapp, S, Washington Huskies
Rapp is as safe as a prospect gets in my opinion. You know exactly what you’re getting in a guy like him, and that’s a smart, tough, physical player who will make his presence felt in a multitude of facets often times in every game. The projection for Rapp is an easy one, even if playing time isn’t available in spades right out of the gate. Keep him near the line of scrimmage, and let him chase down ball carriers.
Bobby Evans, OT, Oklahoma Sooners
I don’t think Evans is any more risky than anyone else per se, though his projection is a bit tougher to pinpoint, and the Rams did trade multiple picks to move up in the third-round to acquire his services. Generally, third-round picks could be slotted into starting roles for most teams, though that likely wont be the case for Evans with the Rams. His dip in play from 2017 to 2018 is also something of note.
David Long, CB, Michigan Wolverines
Long was a massive steal when he was selected in the third-round of the draft. My belief is he could start day one for many teams, though the Rams have the luxury of allowing Long to learn behind CB’s Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib. Long is a press-man corner extraordinaire, so his projection within the defense is an easy one.
Dakota Allen, LB, Texas Tech Red Raiders
My guess is Allen likely would have been a priority undrafted free agent, though him being a seventh-round pick doesn’t hurt much at all, obviously. Still, I don’t think the Rams really “reached” anywhere, so Allen will fit the bill as the “worst value” of the class.
Greg Gaines, DT, Washington Huskies
Gaines is likely to start at nose tackle from day one, so his impact should be felt immediately. His run stopping prowess projects very well within the Rams’ defense, and luckily for Gaines, he wont be relied upon to provide some unrealistic idea of a pass rush from day one.
David Edwards, OT, Wisconsin Badgers
Edwards is going to be a project in my opinion. He doesn’t have the versatility to play inside, and his run blocking ability is lacking. Not only that, but he has no clear path to any playing time with his projection looking strictly like a right tackle one. Edwards will need to work on his game if he has any interest in starting down the line.
Darrell Henderson, RB, Memphis Tigers
Henderson’s transition to the Rams is going to be quite seamless. He’s the ideal zone-scheme runner, and the Rams ran more wide zone last year than any other NFL team. Henderson was likely the pick for this exact reason. His comfort within the Rams’ running game and his solid hands will allow him to make an impact right out of the gate.
Nick Scott, S, Penn State Nittany Lions
Scott will be a day-one contributor as a special teams player, that I am certain of. It’s his transition as a safety that will be tough. Scott has the versatility to do it all on the backend, though he wasn’t asked to play deep in coverage a ton, so that will likely be relatively new to him. Scott’s tremendous athleticism gives him a fair shot to do anything on the field.