The Senior Bowl is one of the top events of the draft season and features many of the best prospects in the upcoming draft. The Los Angeles Rams and general manager Les Snead have put a focus on the Senior Bowl in recent years. That could very well be the case again this year with players such as John Michael Schmitz and Will McDonald IV as potential options.
With a focus on the Senior Bowl, my latest mock draft features only players who competed in Mobile. Obviously, it’s very unlikely that the Rams draft players only from the Senior Bowl. However, it should give a good idea on who will be available in each round.
My draft simulation was done using Mock Draft Database.
36th Overall - iOL John Michael Schmitz, Minnesota
John Michael Schmitz was arguably the best player in Mobile last week. It honestly, wouldn’t be surprising to see him go in the first round. In a recent mock draft from Ian Cummings at Pro Football Network, Schmitz went 24th overall to the Washington Commanders.
John Michael Schmitz can MOVE!— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) February 1, 2023
Little screen to Tyjae Spears. JMS gets out in front and paves the way for Spears. Really nice blocking downfield. pic.twitter.com/SKGkEZCp4R
However, when the hype from the Senior Bowl dies down, Schmitz could still end up at the top of the second round. It’s important to remember that the Senior Bowl is only part of the process. Schmitz is someone that would immediately transform the Rams offensive line.
69th Overall - EDGE Will McDonald IV, Iowa State
Will McDonald IV fits the profile of what the Rams typically look for in edge rushers. He’s insanely athletic with good traits. Pair that with speed and good initial quickness off the ball as well as collegiate production and it’s going to be difficult for Snead to pass on him.
Will McDonald with the wicked spin on Darnell Wright. Helps when you have his explosiveness and agility, but he also does a great job using his length to stab the ice pick and seal the deal.— Ian Cummings (@IC_Draft) February 1, 2023
McDonald had a really good week during Senior Bowl practices. He needs some control and refinement in his game. However, those things can be coached up. If he reaches his potential, he’ll be a dangerous pass rusher off of the edge.
136th Overall - CB Jakorian Bennett, Maryland
Much like McDonald, Bennett fits the mold of what the Rams look for in their cornerbacks. He led the Power-5 in pass breakups and then was the second fastest player recorded during Senior Bowl practices. The Rams don’t like big corners, and Bennett sits right under six-feet tall.
Mobile’s own Jakorian Bennett @Jakorian23 from @TerpsFootball, showing off the speed in 1 on 1s early, 21.22 mph, would be the 2nd fastest speed across all practices this week. #TheDraftStartsInMOBILE™️ @ZebraSports #ZebraTechnologies pic.twitter.com/zO4u3vrcbM— Reese's Senior Bowl (@seniorbowl) February 2, 2023
Bennett had a decent week at the Senior Bowl, showing off his speed and physicality. However, as someone from Mobile, his big highlight was the game-clinching interception on Saturday.
172nd Overall - TE Payne Durham, Purdue
It's no secret that the Rams need tight end depth behind Tyler Higbee. Higbee is in the final year of his contract and behind him is Brycen Hopkins. The Rams kept just two tight ends on the initial 53-man roster last year and it limited what they were able to do from a personnel standpoint.
Purdue TE Payne Durham has had a bunch of impressive blocks in the running game. This play is a perfect example pic.twitter.com/IgFxKhb3Ws— Jack Brentnall (@Jack_Brentnall) February 2, 2023
No tight end had a better week in Mobile than Payne Durham. While he came in with the blocking tight end tag, some of the most impressive catches of the week were made by Durham. He can line up in the slot, in-line, or as an H-Back. This is the tight end that the Rams are missing in their offense.
182nd Overall - iDL Nesta Jade Silvera, Arizona State
It wasn’t long ago that the Rams drafted Greg Gaines who participated in the Senior Bowl. They could look for his replacement or depth from there this offseason. With both Gaines and Robinson set to hit free agency, drafting a defensive lineman will be on the table.
I’m pretty sure Nesta Jade Silvera from ASU owns real estate in the backfield because he lives there.— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) February 2, 2023
Nice rep on Cody Mauch. Haven’t seen Mauch get overpowered that often. pic.twitter.com/YtY2w7ygtO
Silvera had one of the more impressive weeks at the Senior Bowl. He was extremely disruptive and constantly showed off his power and strength. This is someone that will help out in the run game as well as have the ability to collapse the pocket.
189th Overall - RB Evan Hull, Northwestern
The Rams can’t go into next season with Malcolm Brown as depth in the running back room. They need to add players behind Cam Akers and Kyren Williams, and it makes sense to draft someone on day three.
Northwestern’s Evan Hull takes it 24 yards on the first play of the Senior Bowl pic.twitter.com/iIpwbeYBrA— Pro Football Network (@PFN365) February 4, 2023
He may have raised his stock during the Senior Bowl as he had a good week of practice and amassed 74 yards on 10 carries during the game, but Evan Hull from Northwestern should absolutely be in consideration. He’s a between the tackles runner and also has ability as a receiver. He’d be able to compete with Kyren Williams as the RB2 behind Cam Akers.
191st Overall - WR Ronnie Bell, Michigan
Since Les Snead took over as the general manager in 2012, the Rams haven’t drafted a receiver just twice. Those years were 2014 and 2019. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams draft a receiver on day three who brings special teams value.
Ronnie Bell welcome to the show!!! #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/BHPqbvLa4H— Woodward Sports Network (@woodwardsports) February 4, 2023
At Michigan, Bell ate up zone coverages and then had a pretty good week in Mobile. He’s gotten some Amon-Ra St. Brown comparisons which isn’t a bad thing. Bell would bring some good depth to the Rams receiving room.
211th Overall - S Kaevon Merriweather, Iowa
The Rams will likely add one safety later on in the draft. If the Rams don’t bring back Taylor Rapp or Nick Scott, they’ll need to add some depth. Someone like Merriweather later on could be an option.
Iowa safety Kaevon Merriweather breaks up the pass intended for Cincinnati TE Josh Whyle. #SeniorBowl pic.twitter.com/L8tsw5Zxdd— Kevin Knight (@FalcoholicKevin) February 2, 2023
Merrweather had a decent week at the Senior Bowl, matching up well against tight ends. For someone on day three, he provides good value.
225th Overall - CB Darrell Luter Jr., South Alabama
Luter Jr. is a smaller cornerback who plays bigger than his size and competes hard every play. These are cornerbacks that the Rams have drafted in the past. He’s certainly a developmental prospect, but he could contribute on special teams early on in his career.
Didn’t talk about him a lot, but Darrell Luter Jr. from South Alabama is one to watch for the Rams. Small CB, but plays bigger than his size. Had a few nice reps this week. pic.twitter.com/Ca7OxjQkAo— Blaine Grisak (@bgrisakDTR) February 3, 2023
252nd Overall - EDGE Lonnie Phelps, Kansas
Would the Rams double dip at edge? Depending on whether or not Daniel Hardy takes a step forward in year two, they need some depth opposite of Leonard Floyd. Phelps had an underrated week in Mobile, having good moments in team practices and then forced a fumble during the game.
Two nice pass rush reps back-to-back from @KU_Football edge rusher Lonnie Phelps Jr.— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) February 1, 2023
Used his speed to show good pass rush versatility here first winning inside, then out pic.twitter.com/9D16manUzj