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Rams 7-round mock draft: Matthew Stafford gets help on offense

Stafford is returning, how can Les Snead help him?

Syndication: Argus Leader Erin Woodiel / Argus Leader / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Los Angeles Rams are officially eliminated from the playoffs and now all attention goes to the 2023 NFL Draft. With compensatory picks, the Rams are set to have nine picks next April. With the first selection currently set for 34th overall, meaning they should be able to get a quality starter to help Matthew Stafford, fresh off of his official non-retirement announcement. Let’s take a look at mock draft post-playoff elimination

34th Overall - OC John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota

The Rams need to find some consistency at center this offseason. While Brian Allen plays well when he’s on the field, he’s consistently been injured. John Michael Schmitz is one of, if not the best center in the country. Taking a player like Schmitz just might make up for passing on Creed Humphrey in 2021.

68th Overall - TE Tucker Kraft, South Dakota State

The Rams need depth and a future at the tight end position. Tyler Higbee hasn’t played well in 2022 and behind him, the Rams really only have Brycen Hopkins. Hopkins had more catches in the Super Bowl than he has in all of 2022. Kraft can block and creates mismatches as a pass-catcher. He’s a versatile player that can line up anywhere along the offensive formation, making him a player Sean McVay could have a lot of fun with.

5th Round Comp Pick - OT Cody Mauch, North Dakota State

The Rams need to add some attitude and toughness to the offensive line. That’s what they would be getting with Cody Mauch. Trevor Penning, Cole Strange, and Braxton Smith have each found success in the NFL this season after coming from the FCS. Dillon Radunz came out of North Dakota State and has done well also. He’s a very good lateral mover and quickly gets to the second level.

5th Round Comp Pick - WR Zakhari Franklin, UTSA

The Rams may not need a wide receiver, but it would not be surprising to see them take one. I could see McVay really liking Franklin’s game. He’s an absolute technician. He’s a good route runner and therefore is able to create separation and is simply a reliable target. He’s the type of depth receiver that the Rams have been lacking.

168th Overall - DT Colby Wooden, Auburn

This offseason the Rams could lose both A’Shawn Robinson and Greg Gaines. Hopefully they can bring one back, but it’s possible they let both walk. Even if they do keep one, they'll need to add depth. Wooden is similar to Michael Hoecht in the sense that he can play inside at the three-technique or outside at a five-technique. The Rams like versatile defensive linemen and Wooden fits that bill.

177th Overall - CB Garrett Williams, Syracuse

You could make a strong case that the Rams should take a cornerback with their first pick in the second round. They need to rebuild their secondary outside of Jalen Ramsey. Cobie Durant will develop and is likely better suited as a third cornerback. The Rams may need to sign someone in free agency. Still, they’ll need to draft a player to compete with Derion Kendrick and replace David Long.

183rd Overall - RB Roschon Johnson, Texas

For four years Brian Robinson was buried on the Alabama depth chart behind Damien Harris, Najee Harris, Josh Jacobs and Bo Scarbrough. He had just one season as the lead back. Bijan Robinson might have been the guy at Texas, but that doesn’t mean that Johnson also isn’t good. If the Rams found a way to select him late, it’s very possible he ends up being a very good value.

6th Round Comp Pick - S Sydney Brown, Illinois

The Rams will need to take a safety in the upcoming draft. While Nick Scott or Taylor Rapp will return, there’s no chance both of them are brought back. The Rams will have Russ Yeast, but they will need to add some depth. Brown could make an immediate impact on special teams.

211th Overall - QB Jake Haener, Fresno State

After experiencing John Wolford and Bryce Perkins this season, the Rams need to invest in the backup quarterback position in 2023. Haener may not be a top prospect, but he’s been very productive at the college level. He may not have the ceiling of a top prospect, but he can be a good backup behind Matthew Stafford.