There are not likely going to be many helpful clues as to what the LA Rams will do during the draft this upcoming weekend, but I went searching anyway. GM Les Snead certainly has his habits and has been around since 2012, but I want to focus on the 2017-2019 era because that’s when Sean McVay arrived and altered the plan considerably.
In the last three years, the Rams have used zero first round picks and two second round picks. In that time they’ve had six third round picks, five fourth round picks, three fifth round picks, six sixth round picks, and five seventh round picks.
This year, the Rams have no first round pick, two second round picks, two third round picks, one fourth round pick, no fifth round pick, one sixth round pick, and one seventh round pick. McVay and Snead are likely happy with their four day two picks but may feel like three day three picks is not enough. They picked four times on day three last year but 10 times on day three in 2018.
What about schools though?
Since 2017, the Rams have picked two players out of:
- Eastern Washington (Cooper Kupp, Samson Ebukam, both in 2017)
- Washington (Taylor Rapp, Greg Gaines, both in 2019)
- TCU (Joseph Noteboom, Travin Howard, both in 2018)
- Oklahoma (Ogbonnia Okoronkwo in 2018, Bobby Evans in 2019)
The fact that McVay-Snead have double-dipped at two Washington schools may only be coincidence. To take two players out of EWU is always going to be some sort of anomaly. We also see the common pattern of a team potentially looking at one player and then falling in love with one of his teammates too, as could have been the case in 2017, 2018, and 2019 with those three cases of double-dipping.
The Rams have also drafted four other players out of the state of Texas other than Noteboom and Howard: Josh Reynolds out of Texas A&M in 2017, John Franklin-Myers out of S.F. Austin and Justin Lawler out of SMU in 2018, then Dakota Allen out of Texas Tech in 2019. Of course, Texas is a much different football state than Washington, where there are only two major college football programs, neither of which is Eastern. There are 12 division I football schools in Texas.
One of their only hopefuls this year is safety Dehonta Hayes, a potential late round pick or undrafted free agent.
Eastern Washington @EWUFootball DB (S), Dehonta Hayes with an impressive mock pro-day yesterday.— Christian Shanafelt (@ChrisShanafelt) April 4, 2020
H/W 5-10 3/8 205 lbs
Hand 10 6/8
Arm 30 3/8
Wingspan: 72 5/8
Broad: 10ft 11in.
Bench: 16 reps
For LA, they could look to take a flier on center Spencer Blackburn, though it may be quite the flier.
After earning second team honors for three consecutive seasons, @SBlackburn_75 helped the Eagles to another winning record and started all 12 games, earning himself a spot on the first team!— EWU Football (@EWUFootball) November 26, 2019
Congratulations on another well-earned accolade, Spencer! #GoEags #ATS pic.twitter.com/d1m570ux0A
The University of Washington does have a few draft prospects, though maybe not as quite as strong as recent years. Quarterback Jacob Eason, tight end Hunter Bryant, and center Nick Harris head the class. Harris of course stands out there when it comes to LA’s needs.
Final Rankings C— Chad Forbes (@NFLDraftBites) April 18, 2020
1- Cesar Ruiz
2- Matt Hennessy
3- Lloyd Cushenberry
4- Tyler Biadasz
5- Danny Pinter
6- Darryl Williams
7- Nick Harris
8- Keith Ishmael
9- Cole Cabral
10- Luke Juriga
11- Dustin Woodward
12- Jake Hanson
Huskies offensive tackle Trey Adams was once touted as a top-10 pick but is now seen as a day three pick, if not an undrafted free agent. Adams may be another Washington state player of note when it comes to the Rams.
For what it’s worth, Washington State University may have as many players drafted as Eastern this year. Quarterback Anthony Gordon could get his name called. Another center, Frederick Maugioa, could be interest to a team needing interior line help. But he may not get drafted. I would expect receiver Dezmon Patmon to at least get signed after the draft also.
The McVay-Snead Rams have yet to draft a player out of the state of California, where there are seven major college programs. They’ve also avoided a lot of the “huge” programs: No players from Clemson, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State, Georgia, Notre Dame.
In addition to the two Sooners, they did take David Edwards out of Wisconsin in the fifth, David Long out of Michigan in the third, and Nick Scott in the seventh round, all in 2019. It’s worth noting that if you don’t pick in the first round, you may miss out on the better prospects from some of these big schools like Alabama and Clemson.