Mock drafts this time of year are all about working through different scenarios and trying to find out what could happen if “x” were to occur. There’s no question that the Los Angeles Rams need offensive line help. However, there is also a very real scenario in which the Rams sign a free agent guard or center and believe that is enough. After all, Alaric Jackson played well last season and Logan Bruss, who they drafted in the third round, will be healthy.
In the mock draft below, I go through this exact scenario. What if the Rams decide not to draft an offensive lineman?
36th Overall - CB Deonte Banks, Maryland
If the Rams don’t go offensive lineman with the 36th overall pick, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them go cornerback or edge rusher instead. The Rams are likely to trade Jalen Ramsey, leaving a big hole at cornerback.
One player I can't wait to see how he tests is Maryland CB Deonte Banks. In HS, his PR for the 100-meter was 10.96 seconds. He had an INT and 9 pass deflections for Maryland last season. Has long arms but plays patient and displays a fluid lower half. Great rep from him here. pic.twitter.com/XLehiUHR5G— Russell Brown (@RussNFLDraft) February 24, 2023
This is a pretty good cornerback class and talent will fall. Banks is a first round corner talent and if he’s available at 36, the Rams should absolutely take him. The Maryland cornerback has speed, long arms, and is physical. Banks has potential to be a number one cornerback on the outside.
69th Overall - EDGE Zach Harrison, Ohio State
The Rams like edge rushers who are athletic and have a high ceiling. Harrison fits that bill. This isn’t a great edge class, but there are players who can be molded. If the Rams cut Leonard Floyd to save cap space, they are going to have a significant need at edge rusher.
#OSU EDGE Zach Harrison’s potential grows on me the more that I watch, because of how his pass rush plan evolves over the course of a game.— Devin Jackson (@RealD_Jackson) February 21, 2023
Great battle w/Olu Fashanu all game, but his best rep came in the 4th, forcing Olu to show his hands, using his long levers to control the… https://t.co/MFlWnhKbGB pic.twitter.com/LatzqDL428
Harrison is far from a finished product, but the tools are there to work with. Even with Floyd, the Rams are going to need to draft an edge. If they sign or trade of one before the draft, Harrison makes a good option on the opposite side.
136th Overall - WR Tyler Scott, Cincinnati
The Rams need to add another dimension to their passing game. While Van Jefferson has shown he can be a deep threat and TuTu Atwell has had moments as well, neither have been consistent.
If you miss out on Jalin Hyatt in the first round, Cincy WR Tyler Scott is the man you want on Day 2— Mike Renner (@PFF_Mike) February 26, 2023
Ran a 4.29 40 with a 40.5" vert and 11' broad last spring according to @BruceFeldmanCFB and it shows on tape pic.twitter.com/f2nSuKMy8r
If Scott were to fall to the Rams, it would be very difficult for McVay to say no. Scott is one of the fastest wide receivers in the class and would give the offense a legitimate vertical threat.
172nd Overall - TE Payne Durham, Purdue
I’ve been on the Durham hype train for a while now, but he truly is a great fit for what the Rams need in a second tight end behind Tyler Higbee. He was considered a blocking tight end at Purdue, but has shown flashes as a wide receiver.
This is exactly what I'd expect a rep from someone named Payne Durham to look like pic.twitter.com/cw6kySQW0h— Tyler Schoon (@tylerjschoon) February 20, 2023
The Rams could use Durham in 12 personnel sets while he develops as a pass-catcher. Ever since Johnny Mundt left, the Rams have missed that type of tight end who can make an impact as a blocker while coming up with a catch when needed. Durham gives them that.
182nd Overall - CB Carrington Valentine, Kentucky
If the Rams trade Jalen Ramsey, they are going to need to re-build the secondary, especially the cornerback position. Cobie Durant showed some promise last year, but he’s likely a cornerback two or three that can switch inside and outside.
Kentucky CB Carrington Valentine is one of the more physical and competitive CBs I’ve studied so far.— Full-Time Dame (@DP_NFL) January 13, 2023
He’s an aggressive and sticky cornerback. His technique is pretty solid! pic.twitter.com/PkRcl9X8Ew
Taking Banks earlier in this draft gives the Rams a top cornerback. Later in the draft, they take Carrington Valentine out of Kentucky. Valentine is a feisty, physical cornerback who will provide good immediate depth. The Rams like cornerbacks who compete on an every down basis and Valentine fits that mold.
189th Overall - DL Keondre Coburn, Texas
Typically at this spot, I’ve taken Nesta Jade Silvera out of Arizona State. However, Coburn would be another really good option on the defensive line. If the Rams lose Greg Gaines in free agency, Coburn is a player that could step right in at nose tackle.
Texas DT Keondre Coburn is a big man. Anchoring two and splitting doubles is right up his wheel house. pic.twitter.com/0gxiuFxi4X— Cory (@realcorykinnan) January 20, 2023
Coburn can play at the one or three technique. His 11.8 percent pressure rate at the three technique ranked second last season among Big-12 defensive linemen.
191st Overall - LB Dorian Williams, Tulane
After cutting Bobby Wagner, the Rams don’t necessarily need to add a top linebacker as they have Ernest Jones waiting in the fold. However, adding some depth later on should certainly be on the table.
In a #NFL Draft class lacking traditional LB play, Tulane’s Dorian Williams is a guy that is really intriguing.— Daniel Griffis (@DanDGriffis) February 26, 2023
He finished 2022 with 132 TOT, 8.5 TFL, 5 Sacks, 2 INTs, and 7 PBUs.
Dorian Williams out of Tulane is exactly what you want in a late-round linebacker. He’s a ‘see ball, get ball’ type of player. Williams has displayed good speed and physicality. He may take a year or two to develop on special teams, but the talent is there .
211th Overall - S Daniel Scott, Cal
Ideally, the Rams are able to take a safety a little earlier. That’s especially the case if they were to to trade down from the 36th overall pick. Still, the Rams have liked their late-round safeties in the past where they’ve found Nick Scott, Jordan Fuller, and Russ Yeast. Scott could be the next to make that list.
225th Overall - RB Xazavian Valladay, Arizona State
The Rams need to add some running back depth and Valladay is an interesting name to keep an eye on during the draft process. He had a very good week at the Shrine Bowl but was a snub for the Combine and won’t be in Indianapolis.
Valladay again. This is absurd. Caught everything in his general area this week. pic.twitter.com/JPiL8kgsia— Ian (@NFLFilmStudy) February 3, 2023
Still, Valladay has shown his threat as a receiver as he rushed for 1100 yards last season at Arizona State. Valladay is a late round running back with some upside which is what you want late in the draft.
252nd Overall - QB Tyson Bagent, Shepherd
Shepherd is the definition of a quarterback project. He’s coming from Division II which isn’t to say he can’t play at the NFL level, but just he’s going to need time to develop. That may not be what the Rams need at the backup quarterback position, but there may not be anyone better for Bagent to learn behind than Matthew Stafford.
Tyson Bagent SLINGING it out here— Oliver Hodgkinson (@ojhodgkinson) February 1, 2023
Bagent has the arm talent, but displays accuracy issues and tends to stare down his targets. The physical tools are there, but he’ll need to time to quicken his processing and going through reads.