The LA Rams don’t get to draft players in the first round, but a lot of other teams do. That means that Rams fans don’t get many of those elite prospects to talk about for their own team but at least some of them will make their way to LA eventually, such as Matthew Stafford, Brandin Cooks, Jalen Ramsey, and Leonard Floyd.
Here are the big name 2021 draft picks who will face the Rams next season, going in order of their draft status:
1st overall - Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jaguars
The Rams will host the Jaguars on December 5th at SoFi Stadium. It is an afternoon game and I personally expect Lawrence to be at least moderately successful during his initial NFL season.
No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence signed a four-year, $36.8 million contract that includes $24.1 million in guaranteed money and the standard fifth-year option, per source. @mgcsports and the @Jaguars finished off the deal yesterday, and Lawrence will be there on Day 1 of camp.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 5, 2021
3rd overall - Trey Lance, QB, 49ers
We don’t know yet who San Francisco will start in Week 1, let along in Weeks 10 and 18, when they will face the LA Rams. Lance could be the starter by the second half of the season, but we can safely assume that his day for the 49ers will come eventually and that means at least a few matchups against Matthew Stafford.
7th overall - Penei Sewell, OL, Lions
It won’t just be the Rams vs Jared Goff, it will also be Les Snead facing off against his old protegee in general manager Brad Holmes. With his first pick, Holmes was ELATED to grab Sewell out of Oregon to make him his franchise left tackle one day. The Rams face the Lions in Week 7, but Sewell should be starting (somewhere) by Week 1.
11th overall - Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears
Already three quarterbacks on this list. I have a hunch that Andy Dalton will be starting in Week 1, when Chicago plays the Rams at SoFi Stadium on Sunday Night Football, but many others expect/hope/believe that it will be Fields. That could make it at least three or four games against rookie quarterbacks next season.
16th overall - Zaven Collins, LB, Arizona Cardinals
Many people believe that Collins was actually the best defensive prospect in this draft. The same could have been said about Isaiah Simmons in 2020, and now Arizona has both of those linebackers. How will they mesh with J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones? The Rams face the Cardinals in Weeks 4 and 14.
We will be breaking down each Cardinals position group as training camp approaches.— Kyle Odegard (@Kyle_Odegard) July 7, 2021
First up: Isaiah Simmons, Zaven Collins and the inside linebackers.https://t.co/5OmbgDVh5z
Arizona also selected receiver Rondale Moore with the 49th overall pick, and the Rams will also face off against Seattle’s second round wideout, Dee Eskridge, the 56th overall pick. Moore, Eskridge, and LA’s Tutu Atwell all went within 10 picks of each other.
20th overall - Kadarius Toney, WR, NY Giants
I was a fan of Toney’s in the draft and I think the Giants did well enough when they traded down with the Bears (so they could select Fields) and grabbed the receiver out of Florida. Toney could immediately become the deep target for Daniel Jones and Jason Garrett. Rams vs Giants happens in Week 6 this year.
10.7% of Kadarius Toney’s targets were on passes 20+ yards.— PFF NY Giants (@PFF_Giants) June 29, 2021
Toney graded 99.6 with a perfect 158.3 passer rating when targeted on these routes. pic.twitter.com/qRjZOJl7jq
21st overall - Kwity Paye, DE, Indianapolis Colts
The Colts picked Paye in the first round, then another defensive end in Dayo Odeyingbo in the second round. Is that going to be a difficult assignment for Andrew Whitworth and Rob Havenstein, if they are able to contribute by Week 2? Maybe, maybe not.
22nd overall - Caleb Farley, CB, Tennessee Titans
I don’t expect Farley to be a shutdown corner yet, but the time these two teams meet in Week 9. Farley fell in the draft in part due to health concerns, but his ceiling could be that of an all-pro.
It’s crazy to me that before his injury concerns Caleb Farley was viewed as one of the greatest corner prospects of all time.— JULIO SZN ⚔️ TITAN TF UP (@rainIoss) July 2, 2021
People had him above Jaycee Horn and that’s saying something, because Horn is now viewed as the best CB prospect since Ramsey.
23rd overall - Christian Darrisaw, OT, Minnesota Vikings
Rams fans would have loved any offensive line prospect to build hope around, including Darrisaw, but he ended up falling behind a few of his peers at the position. We’ll see if teams were right to be wary of Darrisaw or if he should have been a top-15 pick, however I wouldn’t expect to know that by Week 16, when these two teams meet.
25th overall - Travis Etienne, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars
The second Jags player on the list, Etienne could be an immediate fantasy star in the league. Jacksonville also picked CB Tyson Campbell with the 33rd overall pick, offensive tackle Walker Little (Little’s college OL coach Kevin Carberry now holds that position with the Rams) at pick 45, and safety Andre Cisco at pick 65.
About to have the best rookie cards in the game! Check out behind the scenes of our shoot and to see some of my life in Jacksonville.— Travis Etienne Jr⁶ (@swaggy_t1) July 6, 2021
S/o @PaniniAmerica for the love. #RatedRookie pic.twitter.com/YXHNXZrdPB
27th overall - Rashod Bateman, WR, Baltimore Ravens
31st overall - Odafe Oweh, DE, Baltimore Ravens
LA’s “17th game” this year comes against the Ravens, a team that had two first round picks because of the trade sending Orlando Brown to the Chiefs. Though I believe Ja’Marr Chase was definitely the best receiver in the draft, Bateman is my favorite of the first round picks. I just don’t know if any receiver will ever excel in that offense.
29th overall - Eric Stokes, CB, Green Bay Packers
In a way, Jordan Love could be the “rookie” to watch for the Packers this year. But the first round pick in 2021 was spent on yet another defensive back for Green Bay, this time it being Stokes out of Georgia. It’s rare for any corner to have an impact as a rookie. These teams meet in Week 12, following the Rams’ bye week.
32nd overall - Joe Tryon, DE, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The defending champs took what some considered to be a “reach” on Tryon at the end of the first round. They also selected QB Kyle Trask at the end of round two. These teams meet in Week 3 at SoFi Stadium.