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3-round NFL Mock Draft: Rams land EDGE Ronnie Perkins out of Oklahoma

Plus a center and a receiver in round three

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Oklahoma v Texas Tech Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images

Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings posted a three-round mock draft this week and his first pick for the LA Rams was a new one for me this year. Even if I’ve also heard this prospect described as a “reach” for the first round. Then I guess he wouldn’t be a reach for the Rams then at 57.

PFF’s Anthony Treash recently mocked Oklahoma edge rusher to the Jets with the 34th overall pick, referring to him as one of the most balanced defensive linemen in college football:

Perkins was the only edge defender in the FBS to record a 90.0-plus grade as both a run defender and a pass rusher in 2020. He was a constant threat all year thanks to his flexibility, explosiveness and overall athleticism. The only question is: Will he have the strength to hold up against NFL tackles? The 6-foot-3, 247-pound edge rusher may not come into the league and light it up right away, but he is worth taking a swing on.

But PFN wouldn’t place Perkins that high, although Cummings admitted that it was unlikely to see him fall all the way to the Rams:

57. Los Angeles Rams: Ronnie Perkins, EDGE, Oklahoma

Nine out of 10 times, Ronnie Perkins likely goes earlier than this. The hyperactive Oklahoma defender isn’t the largest edge rusher, which schematically took him out of contention for some teams. Yet, with the Rams, he’s an excellent fit.

Perkins is explosive and extremely compact as a rusher, and he brings forth tremendous effort at the contact point. With surprising pent-up power and fast, physical hands, he’s one of the most underrated edge rushers in the 2021 NFL Draft.

101. Los Angeles Rams: Trey Hill, C, Georgia

103. Los Angeles Rams: Austin Watkins, WR, UAB

To round out LA’s draft, Cummings linked them to center Trey Hill and receiver Austin Watkins at the end of round three.

The Draft Network describes the 6’1, 207 lb Watkins as a “wonderful vertical threat” among other things:

Across 21 games in 2019 and 2020, Watkins collected 90 receptions for 1,558 yards and nine touchdown catches. Watkins’ blend of size, speed, ball skills, physicality, and route-running prowess makes him an appealing prospect. His ball skills are exceptional and he’s the type of receiver that is open when he’s covered. In addition to having outstanding ball skills, Watkins is excellent after the catch, which makes him an appealing weapon to all parts of the field.