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NFL Draft Rams 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Who will L.A. select with first pick?

At pick #104 in the third round, the LA Rams select...

Kentucky v Vanderbilt Photo by Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

Fans will only have to wait a few more days for the real thing, but that won’t stop us wanna- be-General Managers/draft geeks from offering up mock drafts and pontificating about why our favorite teams, in this case the Los Angeles Rams, should follow our directives.

After having posting 20+ capsule reviews of possible prospects on Turf Show Times and finalizing my draft board, it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and offer up a mock draft. Since there there are as many different draft boards as there are media outlets covering football and no certain way to diagnose each NFL teams needs and draft strategies, this mock will be done strictly by the numbers. My numbers. No mock trades or wild reaches. Directly from #1 through #263 in draft order.

The Rams draft at number’s 104, 142, 175, 211, 212, 218, 238, and 253. Over the next few days, all rounds will be offered for debate. So, LA is officially on the clock and here’s a look at the candidates, off of my board, between #104 and #141.

Cornerback

  • #114 Alontae Taylor - Tennessee 6’ 199 lbs.

Experience and success in zone schemes as well as man coverage against top notch college talent. Natural fit into Rams zone coverages.

  • #117 Zyon McCollum - Sam Houston State 6’ 2” 199 lbs.

Athletically gifted small school stand out who shows all the traits. Still raw and needs to work on improving physicality. Somebody will grab him early, he’s got promise.

  • #129 Josh Jobe - Alabama 5’ 11 1/2” 182 lbs.

Played hurt a lot in 2021. Physical style of play, ability to break forward on tackles, and long arms leads me to think he could fit into LA zone schemes. Oh yeah, he is a seasoned and tenacious special teams coverage player.

  • #131 Marcus Jones - Houston 5’ 8” 174 lbs.

Wild card player. Adding his playmaking ability would be a bold move. He is electric with the ball in his hands. He could return kicks, or be a true gadget player and he is a solid cover guy and aggressive tackler.

Interior offensive line

  • #106 Dylan Parham - Memphis 6’ 3” 311 lbs.

Played guard and tackle in college. Stood out at Senior Bowl at center. Uses low pad level and solid technique to make up for average athleticism. Low center of gravity. Not sure he has the lateral agility to fit in LA.

  • #109 Luke Fortner - Kentucky 6’ 4” 307 lbs.

Experienced in outside zone and screen game. Not stellar athlete, but makes up for it in football IQ and effort. Moved to center in 2021 after starting at guard for two seasons.

Started college career as guard/center swing man and moved to left tackle where he was a stellar pass blocker (92.1 PFF grade). Technician who plays with great leverage.

  • #119 Thayer Munford - Ohio State 6’ 6” 320 lbs.

Brings guard/tackle ability. Lack of agility and heavy feet make a bad combo in an outside zone run game.

  • #125 Marquis Hayes - Oklahoma 6’ 5” 318 lbs.

Long, large mauler who fits best into a power scheme.

  • #128 Chris Paul - Tulsa 6’ 4” 324 lbs.

Four year starter at guard and tackle. Needs to upgrade footwork but has the strong hands, length, and strength to be a good pass blocker. Not sure he can move laterally enough to fit LA’s needs without some serious work.

Would have thought this prospect would have been on a program to build himself up after the college season. Tough to justify at #104 with him not being a master of technique or physically strong enough to dominate.

  • #141 Cam Jurgens - Nebraska 6’ 3” 303 lbs.

Stellar athleticism and quick get off would be a great fit into outside zone run game. #104 may be a little rich. The Rams seem committed to Brian Allen for the next two years and might not draft a “center only” player.

Tackle

  • #105 Matt Waletzko - North Dakota 6’ 8” 312 lbs.

Experienced in outside zone at college level. Tremendous size and length, needs a pro strength/conditioning regimen.

  • #111 Rasheed Walker - Penn State 6’ 6” 313 lbs.

Best in a straight ahead power scheme, but has zone experience from college. Seems to struggle with outside speed and doesn’t have long arms. Might be a good candidate for transition to guard.

  • #115 Luke Goedeke - Central Michigan 6’ 5” 312 lbs.

Recruited as a tight end. Athletic, with an alpha mentality, he projects best to guard where his lateral movement and mauler attitude can be best put to use. Took snaps at center, guard, and tackle at Senior Bowl.

  • #134 Kellen Diesch - Arizona State 6’ 7” 301 lbs.
  • #139 Sean Rhyan - UCLA 6’ 5” 321 lbs.

Both Diesch and Rhyan are tackles that are very athletic, but have relatively short arms and might have to move inside at the pro level.

Edge

  • #116 Joshua Paschal - Kentucky 6’ 3” 268 lbs.

Projects better as a 4-3 end. Sets powerful base versus the run. Not sure if he would be better as a outside run stopper or an inside speed rusher. He has stellar first step, but lacks superior pass rush moves.

  • #118 Dominique Robinson - Miami of Ohio 6’ 5” 253 lbs

Quarterback, turned wide receiver and settled at edge. Has tremendous athletic profile, but needs development. Stellar get-off, burst, and bend around the edge. A project with NFL traits.

  • #120 Isaiah Thomas- Oklahoma 6’ 5” 265 lbs.

Long and lanky in the Leonard Floyd mold. Has good pas rush moves, but needs lower body strength work to stand against NFL lineman in run game.

  • #126 DeAngelo Malone - Western Kentucky 6’ 3” 243 lbs.

Stellar get-off and burst, can bend around the edge. Better chase-and-drag tackler than thumper. Needs a little weight and strength before being an all-around edge, but could easily add some passs rush reps right away.

Highly athletic developmental prospect who needs a year of pro strength/conditioning program.

Running back

  • #107 Rachaad White - Arizona State 6’ 214 lbs.

Threat at both running and receiving. Also returned a few punts and kickoffs. Not a back to break arms with power or ankles with moves, more of a smooth, slippery runner with patience and vision.

  • #119 Zamir White - Georgia 6’ 214 lbs.

Power back who might not fit in to Rams scheme. More of a quicker Sony Michel mold. Has had two ACL surgeries.

  • #112 Pierre Strong - South Dakota State 5’ 11” 207 lbs.

Stellar vision, cutting ability, and burst get him through the line of scrimmage. After that, long speed and the ability to cut at full throttle make him a threat for long runs.

Off ball linebacker

  • #123 Darrian Beavers - Cincinnati 6’ 4” 237 lbs.
  • #130 Terrel Bernard - Baylor 6’ 1” 224 lbs.
  • #138 D’marco Jackson - Appalachian State 6’ 1” 233 lbs.

With the signing of free agent Bobby Wagner, The Rams would be better served to wait on a linebacker and grab a late round athletic developmental prospect or special teams contributor.

Tight end

  • #108 Cade Otten - Washington 6’ 5” 247 lbs.

A lot to like with this player. On film he plays in a similar fashion to Tyler Higbee and Brycen Hopkins. Good 2021 film vs Michigan blocking a possible #1 draft pick (Aidan Hutchinson).

  • #121 Jake Ferguson - Wisconsin 6’ 5” 250 lbs.

Athleticism and physicality don’t quite match up with his stellar hands and route running.

  • #132 Jeremy Ruckert - Ohio State 6’ 5” 250 lbs.

Reverse of Ferguson. A better blocker and more physical, but isn’t a big threat as a receiver.

Defensive line

  • #104 Phidarian Mathis - Alabama 6’ 4” 310 lbs.

Using a strict best player available formula (BPA), this would be the pick. But my ratings numbers between #104 and #120 are so close, any one chosen would be fit into BPA.

  • #133 Haskell Garret t- Ohio State 6’ 2” 300 lbs.

Ditto for Garrett. If he was around later, he would be a solid pick.

  • #137 Michael Clemons - Texas A&M 6’ 5” 263 lbs.

Versatile Dline player who can play down in stance or standing. His power game reminds me of a 4-3 end, and if Rams continue to move that way, he’d be a nice fit.

Wide receiver

  • #127 Erik Ezukanma - Texas Tech 6’ 2” 209 lbs.

LA recently signed their big, strong contested catch receiver in free agent Allen Robinson.

  • #135 Velus Jones - Tennessee 6’ 204 lbs.

Smaller, but exciting playmaker who has an added value of being a kick returner, just too early to fill a WR5 need.

Safety

  • #124 Verone McKinley - Oregon 5’ 10” 198 lbs.

In one and two deep zone, able to read QB and routes, times breakup hits very well, and has stellar ball skills. Created many turnovers. Can play close to the line and on the slot, as well.

Quarterback

  • #122 Carson Strong - Nevada 6’ 3” 226 lbs.

Way too early for a backup QB prospect.

And the pick is in...

As much as I like the overall ceiling on many of the prospects, I am going to go with who I think has the highest floor. Luke Fortner. He is at the top of the board, fills a need, and is a scheme fit. New Offensive Coordinator Liam Coen has had a close look at Fortner’s college body of work.

Pick #142 is on the clock.