From now until the 2023 NFL Draft, most mock drafts will only include the first 31 selection of the first round. However, occasionally a few will delve into the second round where the Los Angeles Rams hold the 36th overall pick.
The Athletic’s Nick Baumgardner released his second mock draft of the season which included the first two rounds of the draft. With the 36th overall pick, Baumgardner gave Jalen Ramsey some help in the secondary with Utah’s Clark Phillips III.
Earlier this season, The Athletic’s Dane Brugler said of Phillips following Utah’s game against USC,
“He does a great job with his spatial awareness, transitional footwork and vision, keeping one eye on the quarterback and another one the route. The finishing piece is Phillips’ ball-searching skills...Not only does he make the hit, he gets his hand on the football to force an incomplete pass. Phillips needs to clean up his missed tackles and penalties. His lack of size will be scrutinized, as well, but his fluid athleticism, ball skills and compete skills are NFL-quality and show up on each tape.”
With the needs that the Rams have on the offensive line and at edge rusher, it would be surprising to see them take a cornerback with their first pick. The only way it would truly make sense is if the Rams did end up trading Ramsey instead of surrounding him with more talent.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams take a cornerback at some point in the draft, but with their first pick would seem a little high. With that said, Phillips III fits what the Rams typically look for in cornerbacks that they have drafted. He has god ball skills and despite being 5’10, he plays bigger than his size. Phillips III also possesses good long speed which also fits the Rams’ profile.
In this situation, the player fit is right. However, as mentioned, cornerback at 36 seems a little high given the other needs on the roster.