The LA Rams’ first selection of the 2020 draft is currently slated to be 52nd overall. In many years, a team may only have 15-20 prospects who they even give first round grades to, so the odds of the Rams selecting a player at 52 who they would have taken at 22 is maybe just closer to “slim” than it is to “great.” It doesn’t mean that LA can’t get a great player or prospect.
Who could be the best prospect they could get though if they don’t move up?
That’s up for plenty of debate and to start that debate, I’m using NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah (@movethesticks) and his Top-50 big board as a jumping off point. The order doesn’t really mean anything, this is just some guy’s opinion. He’s an informed guy, but all I really need is a list of players. For reasons that are arbitrary, I am cutting off the list at 39 and giving you 11 options to choose from after that:
Which of these players ranked 40-50 on the big board would you most want the Rams to draft if they were available and if these were the only players you were considering? Some of them may not make any sense. Great, if you feel that way, comment why you feel that way. Some will make a lot of sense and the comment rule still applies if you want it to! You can also say nothing!
That is always a right.
So which of these 11 players would spark your interest the most?
40. J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ohio State
Why he could get votes: He’s a running back, which means you can draft him in your fantasy league and that seems to excite fans more these days. He also rushed for 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns at Ohio State last year.
Why he may not get votes: He’s a running back. The Rams drafted Darrell Henderson last year, couldn’t they address a different position in the second round?
41. Cole Kmet, TE, Notre Dame
Why he could get votes: He’s maybe the best tight end in this draft.
Why he may not get votes: It’s an awful tight end class. And LA isn’t in need of a tight end in the second round.
42. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
Why he could get votes: Good cornerbacks are difficult to find, as evidenced by the Rams trading two first rounders for one. Fulton was the top recruit in Louisiana in 2015, had some issues with injuries and a failed drug test, and that caused him to played in just 24 games in four years. But within that, there’s potential to become a high-end corner who has fallen for correctable or resolvable issues.
Why he may not get votes: Risk.
43. Jeremy Chinn, LB/S, Southern Illinois
Why he could get votes: Could he be the discount Isaiah Simmons? Unique size and speed and he could fill in multiple roles on the defense in 2020. During a year of so much uncertainty, a player with versatility may have an advantage over one who can only play in one role.
Why he may not get votes: Less of a name. Potentially less positional value to LA, as opposed to filling a direct need on the offensive line, for example.
44. Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M
Why he could get votes: Fun name (pronounced MAD-aye-boo-kay). He could also become a great nose tackle.
Why he may not get votes: Rams don’t need a nose tackle or a defensive tackle at all after re-signing Michael Brockers and adding A’Shawn Robinson.
45. Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Why he could get votes: Some of the same reasons I listed about being a running back. Fans like to be able to see players added who score touchdowns, which means running backs, receivers, and quarterbacks usually. Certainly it seems that by 2021, the Rams will have to make some transitions at receiver and this is a class loaded with receiver talent. Mims, or someone, could easily be going at pick 52 and end up becoming a perennial Pro Bowl or All-Pro talent. Mims is 6’3, 207, with nearly 34” arms, and he ran a 4.38 40-yard dash.
Why he may not get votes: Realistically, drafting a receiver with the first pick is about as far away from “needs” as the Rams could get. The 2021 draft class might be even better at receiver. Is the player that LA is missing to get back to the playoffs ... Denzel Mims? Probably not.
46. Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
Why he could get votes: Another case for a cornerback. Gladney (5’10, 191, 31.8” arms, 4.48 40-yard dash) is the self-described “biggest sleeper” in the draft and he sees himself as playing bigger than his size.
Why he may not get votes: One thing to monitor is that Gladney had surgery on his knee in early March and will be out for at least four weeks from that point. Does it matter when there isn’t even an offseason right now? Maybe not, but it’s one thing to consider when weighing against the other options here.
47. Antoine Winfield, Jr., S, Minnesota
Why he could get votes: Well, you remember his dad and that’s probably going to influence a ton of people watching the draft this year. You see the name “Antoine Winfield, Minnesota” and you think “Hey, I remember him!” So I imagine that Winfield has gotten much attention already and will continue to get attention because his dad not only played 14 seasons in the NFL, including nine with Minnesota, but he named his son “Antoine” too and then he went and played college at Minnesota. He may also be a very good safety prospect and had seven interceptions for the Gophers last season.
Why he may not get votes: Aversion to voting for someone because you think they may be overrated because of the name. (I’m not saying he is any of these things, I’m outlining potential voting influence.) Winfield also suffered through injuries in 2017-2018 that caused him to miss most of those two campaigns. And he’s 5’9 with arms barely over 30”, which is likely going to limit his ceiling to some people. Is Winfield going to help a Rams team with Taylor Rapp and John Johnson already? Probably not.
48. Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
Why he could get votes: If you follow college football, you know Alabama and you may know Diggs because of that. He is also the younger brother of Stefon Diggs. He could also be a talented cornerback prospect ...
Why he may not get votes: I couldn’t say that last sentence in a way that didn’t transition to him also being one who doesn’t have a ton of college tape and is mostly potential. Diggs played offense as a freshman, was busy transitioning to defense as a sophomore with little play time, then missed more than half of his junior campaign with an injury. We have one and a half seasons of Trevon Diggs, the cornerback. But this was also a similar case for Richard Sherman at Stanford.
49. Lloyd Cushenberry, C, LSU
Why he could get votes: He’s an offensive lineman! And potentially one at a great position of need! He is Jeremiah’s second-rated center after Cesar Ruiz and theoretically LA could plug him in at center and keep Austin Blythe, Brian Allen competing at guard.
Why he may not get votes: Center isn’t that exciting. The Rams have drafted/added a few interior linemen lately and seem to be striking out more often than they’d like to see.
50. Jalen Hurts, QB, Alabama
Why he could get votes: He’s a quarterback. He’s also not an undersized QB as some might imagine from his college resume as a guy with 1,298 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns last season at Oklahoma. Hurts is 6’1, 222 lbs, runs a 4.59, and he threw 32 touchdowns also. Some probably like him more than every QB in this draft other than Joe Burrow and Tua Tagovailoa, and some probably like him more than those two too. Sean McVay getting a new QB to work with, develop, and see how he fits in with this offense? I’m sure many are curious to see something like that happen every year.
Why he may not get votes: He could also be in and out of this league faster than Christian Hackenberg. I have no idea what kind of future Hurts has, nobody does, but the bust factor exists and the Rams are probably in a position where they want players who can help them right now. Hurts would have to really be a “wow” guy for LA to draft him in the second round and if he’s a “wow” guy, then they probably trade up for him once he gets out of the first round.
Of just these players, who would you most want the Rams to draft?
This poll is closed
Antoine Winfield Jr