As they say, the NFL Draft starts in Mobile! Draft season kicks off next week with the Senior Bowl and once again Senior Bowl Director Jim Nagy has a very talented group of players that will be competing and showing off their skillset throughout the week.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams show some interest here as most of their class in 2017 came from the Senior Bowl. I’ll be doing an offensive and defensive preview for the Rams and players to watch. Let’s start with the offense.
iOL John Michael Schmitz
One of my favorite players in this draft class is without a doubt John Michael Schmitz. He’s arguably the best center in the draft and would be exactly what the Rams need if they are going to rebuild the offensive line this offseason. In 2021, Creed Humphrey dominated at the Senior Bowl and the Rams passed on him. They could make up for it by drafting JMS.
For #Texans fans hoping see the interior offensive line upgrade for Dameon Pierce.— Cole Thompson (@MrColeThompson) January 20, 2023
Let me introduce you to Minnesota’s John Michael Schmitz. Stud in run blocking, STURDY GUY, finisher, latches on for dear life.
At No. 33 (or a trade back), be interested.pic.twitter.com/euaDxhgzOk
OT Blake Freeland, BYU
Freeland is a lot bigger than what the Rams have typically drafted at tackle. He stands at 6’8 which is the same height as Rob Havenstein. The Rams typically like their tackles to have inside versatility at guard. That wouldn’t be the case with Freeland. However, he is very large and very powerful. Even with his large size, he’s also a pretty good mover and has quick feet. He’s certainly a name to watch if the Rams are looking to replace Joe Noteboom on the left side.
Great job up front by the @BYUfootball OL to pave the way for a Christopher Brooks TD run to the right side but take a look at LT Blake Freeland (71) who helps flatten a DT and a LB one right after the other. pic.twitter.com/BK6NtSDBLv— Glenn Naughton (@JetsPicks) January 23, 2023
OT Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
The Rams like their tackles to be versatile and Bergeron is a player that brings left side and right side versatility. If selected by the Rams, he’d likely be playing on the left side which is where he played primarily at Syracuse. Bergeron is a smart player with a lot of upside. He’ll be a player to keep an eye on next week in Mobile.
Syracuse OT Matthew Bergeron 6’5 325. One of the highest floors of the tackle group. Good feet & hips. SMART. Doesn’t get beat across face in run game or inside in pass pro.— Kyron Samuels (@kyronsamuels) January 19, 2023
Played significant snaps at RT as well. Won’t make it past the 2nd round. pic.twitter.com/SPS83qDJ6l
OT Darnell Wright, Tennessee
While Bergeron brings left side/right side versatility, Wright is strictly a right tackle. That’s a slight problem when the Rams also have Rob Havenstein as their right tackle. Still, Wright is probably the best tackle at the Senior Bowl next week and will be someone worth watching.
OT Wanya Morris, Oklahoma
Wanya Morris is someone to definitely keep an eye on for the Rams. He may have one of the higher ceilings in the draft which makes him a perfect option. The Rams don't have a lot of high picks. Therefore, if they can get someone like Morris later who brings a lot of upside, albeit as a developmental option, that’s someone worth taking a chance on. Havenstein is a free agent in two years. That gives Morris time to develop and potentially be the future right tackle.
#Oklahoma RT Wanya Morris has some intriguing developmental traits as a late day two/early day three RT.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) January 11, 2023
Really smooth mover in space with a mean streak in the run game — think his anchor and base in pass pro could improve but athleticism certainly pops.
Senior Bowl bound too. pic.twitter.com/wgAUOiIUfM
iOL Torrence O’Cyrus, Florida
Drafting someone like O’Cyrus actually makes a lot of sense for the Rams. O’Cyrus could slot in at right guard while they move Coleman Shelton to center where he’s been their most consistent player. However, the Rams need bullies up-front and players that can push defenders around. O’Cyrus brings an attitude that NFL teams are going to love.
Quickly developed a Draft crush on OG O'Cyrus Torrence. Absolute mountain. Tried of being pushed around up front. Build a bully. pic.twitter.com/oshUeuWjfr— Purple FTW! Podcast (@PurpleForTheWin) January 24, 2023
iOL Olusegun Oluwatimi, Michigan
There is some depth at center in this draft class. If the Rams miss out on someone like John Michael Schmitz early on, Olusegun Oluwatimi is an option early on day-3. He's not an elite athlete, but has a similar profile to centers that the Rams have drafted in the past.
iOL Cody Mauch, North Dakota State
Similar to Michael Schmitz, Cody Mauch is one of my favorite offensive linemen in this draft class. The Senior Bowl is going to be huge for him. Mauch played at North Dakota State where he was able to dominate lower-level competition. Next week will give him the opportunity to go up against legitimate Division I talent to show what he can do.
My Cody Mauch (LT for NDSU) scouting report has been finished for weeks.— Dane Brugler (@dpbrugler) December 12, 2022
His tape study is for pure enjoyment now. #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/6I3b7LAXUV
RB Roschon Johnson, Texas
It would not be surprising to see the Rams take a running back in the upcoming draft. While Bijan Robinson was the headline grabber at Texas, Roschon Johnson played behind him and is also a very good player. We’ve seen talented running backs get stuck behind star players at the college level in the past. Johnson is the latest example.
Senior bowl is approaching. I’m a Big Roschon Johnson guy. 6’2, 220 Lbs and clocked 22.6 MPH on a GPS . He’s got size, strength and speed. He was Bijan backup but he would be ranked alot higher if he transferred to be a starter. Cards need a Rb in the mid rds. HUGE potential . pic.twitter.com/4UExl7FOOG— K1SinceDay1 (@KSzn2021) January 24, 2023
RB Kenny McIntosh, Georgia
The Rams have had success with Georgia running backs in the past. Todd Gurley was a star until injuries to his knee caught up with him. Last season, Sony Michel came in and helped spark the Rams running game on their Super Bowl run. McIntosh can do it all and would be a good fit in McVay’s system.
In 2022, Kenny McIntosh(@1_blueprint)— Jonathan Williams (@Dr_JWill) January 17, 2023
became the first player in Georgia football history to record 800+ rushing yards and 500+ receiving yards in a single season.
So to every NFL GM out there. DRAFT THAT MAN. pic.twitter.com/tROuankfUP
TE Luke Musgrave, Oregon State
The Rams need to invest in the tight end position this offseason. Tyler Higbee has been a staple in the offense, but he has just one year left on his contract after this season. The offense needs to get more personnel versatile and that means adding a depth at tight end is a must. Musgrave is a receiving threat, but it’s his potential as a blocker that could make him a player to draft in the middle rounds.
No. 2 TE Luke Musgrave (@Luke_Musgrave19), @BeaverFootball— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) January 25, 2023
“He can line up in the slot and win his receiving battles or stay in as an in-line blocker with physical dominance.”
Top TEs: https://t.co/F9nWs3WNrPpic.twitter.com/gSWtEuPhRU
TE Josh Whyle, Cincinnati
If not for injury, Whyle may have declared for the draft last year. However, he returned to school and had another respectable season. He’s more of a receiver than a blocker and the Rams need someone who can do both. Still, he’s a name to watch next week.
- iOL Andrew Vorhees, USC
- iOL Steve Avila, TCU
- RB Chris Rodriguez Jr., Kentucky
- RB Cameron Peoples, App State
- OT Dawned Jones, Ohio State
- OT Jaelyn Duncan, Maryland
The Senior Bowl has done a great job over recent years in bringing in a very solid group of players to Mobile. In 2017, most of the Rams draft class were players who competed in the Senior Bowl, namely Cooper Kupp.
Avila is a top guard in this class, but he may not be a scheme fit for the Rams. Jaelyn Duncan is another tackle that I like and will certainly be watching. Los Angeles sports fans should be familiar with Andrew Vorhees. I’m excited to see what he does next week.