It’s well-trod territory at this point that the Los Angeles Rams don’t have a first round pick again, but perhaps not as trodden that they still have their picks in rounds two and three, plus two picks in round four thanks to the compensatory selection coming because of Rodger Saffold’s departure. This trodenness means that the Rams are never mentioned in 2020 first round mocks but so long as they expand to rounds two and three — where accuracy is now not even a consideration — LA warrants plenty of mention.
That was the case in Chad Reuter’s three-round mock for NFL.com last week, which had the Rams making picks for their offensive and defensive lines.
In round two, Reuter has LA selecting Auburn defensive tackle Marlon Davidson. Playing alongside Derrick Brown, the consensus number one DT in the draft and for some, the best overall player in the 2020 class, Davidson matched Brown in tackles for a loss (11.5) and bested him in sacks (6.5) last season. This is a pretty classic case of two or three defensive line teammates gaining attention likely because of an elite prospect by their side. The example I usually think of is Julius Peppers and Ryan Sims for North Carolina in the early 2000s.
Peppers was Peppers but Sims, the sixth overall pick in 2002, didn’t have the career that the Kansas City Chiefs were hoping for following that selection. In 2016, Joey Bosa had 16 TFL and five sacks for Ohio State, while teammate Tyquan Lewis had 14 and eight. Bosa became Bosa but Lewis, a second round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2018, while Lewis has had a rough start to his career.
This does not really say anything to Davidson’s potential or future, only that dynamic teammates in those positions will be taken into consideration. There are many examples of college defensive line teammates who both succeeded.
Davidson is 6’3, 297 lbs and could be seen here as a replacement for free agent Michael Brockers. His summary at The Draft Network is as follows:
Summary: Marlon Davidson is a scheme-specific Day 2 candidate for teams looking for a big SDE with an intriguing blend of skills. Davidson has great length throughout his frame but is not lacking for mass, which allows him to win the point of attack and squeeze boundary runs to the inside. Davidson presents a better outside pass-rush ability than you’d expect for a player of his weight: he throws his hands well to soften rush angles and has a wide base to rush with tilt and close on the quarterback. Davidson won’t be attractive for teams with wide ends who 1-gap exclusively, but should find a home in the Top-100 picks for a team that needs his skill set.
In round three, Reuter matches the Rams up with a big guy on the other side of the ball, projecting Ohio State guard Jonah Jackson at pick 84. A quick summary from 247Sports:
Listed as an offensive guard after measuring in at 6-foot-3 1/2 and 310 pounds, Jackson came to the Senior Bowl on the heels of his aforementioned 2019 season with Ohio State. Following four years at Rutgers, Jackson explored his options as a graduate transfer after he picked up an undergraduate degree in criminology and chose the Buckeyes over several other Power Five offers, including Oklahoma and Texas.
He was open to any interior position after playing both with the Scarlet Knights, but Ohio State had been set on Josh Myers, who wound up starting and flourishing at center as a third-year sophomore in 2019.
Jackson displayed his ability while starting all 14 games for Ohio State, which started undefeated and won its third straight Big Ten championship before it fell in the College Football Playoff semifinal.
Coaches praised Jackson for intelligence and toughness, while PFF mentioned him as potentially the best guard in the draft.
Should Jackson have a good showing in draft season, certainly he will not be available at pick 84. The Rams have 2018 third round pick Joseph Noteboom, 2019 fifth round pick David Edwards, and Austin Corbett, a 2018 second round pick by the Cleveland Browns all in the competition should Austin Blythe leave in free agency as expected.
None played in a way that would make you believe that both guard spots aren’t open for discussion come next season.
Day 2 of the 2020 NFL Draft is Friday, April 24, beginning at 4 PM PT.