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Who is Snead & McVay’s best draft pick outside of Cooper Kupp?

Rams inside linebacker, Ernest Jones, could be the next franchise icon

Syndication: Arizona Republic Joe Rondone/The Republic / USA TODAY NETWORK

In 2017, the Los Angeles Rams first draft under Sean McVay and Les Snead, the team did not have a first-round pick (their first rounder was traded to TEN as a part of the 2016 blockbuster that made Jared Goff the number one overall selection). LA’s first selection, pick 44 overall was Gerald Everett. One round later, the Rams ended up selecting the 2021 Offensive Player of the Year and Triple Crown Winner, Cooper Kupp. The 69th overall pick is easily Sean McVay and Les Snead’s best draft pick in their six years as Head Coach and General Manager. Since then, Los Angeles hasn’t hit gold like they did with Kupp, but they have found many quality players to support the Rams roster construction. Not to mention, LA has been able to use 2018-2023 draft picks to accumulate the following superstars and high-profile names:

  • Sammy Watkins
  • Marcus Peters
  • Aqib Talib
  • Brandin Cooks
  • Dante Fowler
  • Austin Corbett
  • Jalen Ramsey
  • Matthew Stafford
  • Sony Michel
  • Von Miller

While the Rams roster construction is night and day different than the rest of the league, I want to identify who has been the Rams best drafted player (under Snead & McVay) outside of Cooper Kupp.

Here are the candidates:

John Johnson, S (2017)

The Boston College safety was taken in the third round 22 picks after Cooper Kupp. Johnson has 11 interceptions (eight with LA) in five-plus seasons. After a solid four-year career with LA, he elected to sign with the Cleveland Browns on a three-year deal. While he has not been nearly as effective with CLE, Johnson is still only 26 years old. Let’s not forget his 2018 season was one of the best for a Rams safety in quite some time.

Greg Gaines, DL (2019)

The Washington defensive lineman was a part of McVay’s third draft class. Skeptics of the selection cited Gaines small frame and that he ended up on the ground too often. But after an injury to Sebastian Joseph-Day in early 2021, Gaines earned his opportunity to start alongside Aaron Donald. Gaines turned in his best season with 48 tackles (21 solo) and 4.5 sacks.

Jordan Fuller, S (2020)

The Ohio State Buckeye and captain was the 199th overall selection (sixth round). Fuller earned a starting safety job in his rookie season along with three interceptions (two against Tom Brady in a MNF matchup). Fuller earned the green dot duties in 2021 and led the defense until suffering a season ending ankle injury in the NFC Conference Championship. Fuller has been one of the best value picks for the Rams. Though in 2022, he was not listed as a starter in Week 1 vs. Buffalo and has struggled to stay healthy (hamstring).

Ernest Jones, LB (2021)

The most recent draftee of the list is the linebacker from South Carolina that the Rams took with the 103rd overall pick in 2021. Jones still has a lot to prove in his career but was a starter for the Rams in the second half of the year and in the Super Bowl against Cincinnatiz. He provided one of the best individual defensive performances registering: seven tackles (six solo), two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits, one sack, and one pass deflection (resulting in turnover on downs).


Other than Kupp, who is the Rams best draft pick under McVay/Snead?

This poll is closed

  • 34%
    John Johnson
    (104 votes)
  • 21%
    Greg Gaines
    (64 votes)
  • 4%
    Jordan Fuller
    (14 votes)
  • 39%
    Ernest Jones
    (117 votes)
299 votes total Vote Now