The LA Rams are not slated to pick until the 57th overall selection in the 2021 NFL Draft and getting anywhere near the first round would come at a high cost. Instead it might be best to assume that the Rams won’t make their first selection until the mid-to-late second round but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the franchise won’t land a prospect who could have been worthy of going on day one.
And thankfully the deepest positions in this particular class could also be the positions that the Rams are hoping to strengthen for next season and the long-term future.
The top four positions that Les Snead’s staff could be targeting this year might be: Quarterback, Linebacker, Offensive Line, and Wide Receiver.
The deepest four positions according to Bleacher Report’s Maurice Morton: Quarterback, Offensive Line, Wide Receiver, and Linebacker.
Six of the top-40 players on the CBS Sports big board are quarterbacks. Even if the Rams have no shot at Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, and Zach Wilson, Florida senior Kyle Trask could be within range of LA’s second round pick and you never know which others will “fall” when the time comes.
What might be more relevant though is that if there are five quarterbacks selected in the first round, that will:
- Push non-QBs down the draft, strengthening the depth of other positions.
- Force some teams to consider parting with one of their current quarterbacks, and that player might deserve a change of scenery opportunity. That includes players like Sam Darnold and Tua Tagovailoa.
I know that many Rams fans would also like to see the defense get significantly stronger in the middle next season and we know that Leonard Floyd is set to be a free agent. With linebackers specialist Brandon Staley and former linebackers coach Joe Barry now employed by the other LA team, it’ll be an interesting development year at a position that has seen a lot of turnover since 2018.
Penn State’s Micah Parsons is the elite name, but CBS Sports has five other linebackers in the top-50, including Alabama’s Dylan Moses at 49.
Nick Bolton, Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Joseph Ossai, and Zaven Collins fall in the 20-40 range. There could also be some interesting options available in the 90-100 range, when the Rams could be on the board three times.
The Rams not only have to make a decision with center Austin Blythe, a free agent, but what’s the future at left tackle going to be? What will the Rams do at right guard if they move Austin Corbett back to center? Will they extend Corbett?
Offensive line is always a priority and few drafts have major depth there anymore. But the 2020 class seemed to deliver some solid day two and day three options and the 2021 class might be deeper.
Here’s what B/R had to say about it:
Although the top three prospects among the offensive linemen list as tackles, we shouldn’t overlook a deep group of guards that could feature starting talent through the second round.
USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker played left tackle for the 2020 season but lined up at both guard positions in 2018 and 2019. Because of his athleticism, he could easily transition to the outside in the NFL. His position seems fluid with team need as a determining factor.
Ohio State’s Wyatt Davis and Alabama’s Landon Dickerson are the top prototypical guards in the class. Despite tearing his ACL in the SEC Championship Game, the latter won the 2020 Rimington Trophy for best center in college football.
On paper, this is one of the best offensive line classes in recent years.
Six of the top-20 prospects at CBS Sports play along the o-line, and there are another six in the 21-60 range. That includes two Alabama prospects, Deonte Brown and Alex Leatherwood, plus Jackson Carman of Clemson and Daniel Faalele from Minnesota.
Last year’s class had some immediate starters from day three, including Solomon Kindley and Michael Onwenu. Without a combine this year, could some more starters fall to the Rams at the end of day two?
ProFootballNetwork’s Tony Pauline lists five guards plus 10 tackles in the top-80.
I think that LA can certainly get by with Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Van Jefferson, but the Jefferson pick did little to quell concerns about a deep threat. With Josh Reynolds as a likely departure in free agency, that’s an even bigger issue. On top of depth concerns, Kupp’s missed some important games in the last few years and both of LA’s top wideouts are nearing 30.
The Rams missed the boat on a couple of exciting rookies last year, would they take an early shot in the 2021 class?
While three of the top-15 picks could be receivers, not really benefiting LA from where they’ll be waiting, there could be a number of intriguing options on days two and three. CBS Sports has 10 names listed between 55-100, including Tamorrion Terry, a player highlighted in this great fanpost.
Pauline has 15 receivers in the top-100.
Which position should the Rams focus their attention on with their first pick in the draft?
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