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Game Planning the Draft: Can Rams find another diamond in 6th round?

Will Rams find another diamond in the rough in the sixth-round?

NCAA Football: Birmingham Bowl-Coastal Carolina at East Carolina Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams will have 11 picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. With needs all over the roster, any and all options will be on the table when the Rams are on the clock. With the current state of the Rams, it can be argued that the 2023 draft is the most-important of the Les Snead era since 2017.

With the stakes that are on the table, I thought it be a good exercise to “game plan” the draft. What will be the best positions available at each Rams selection, who will be the five best players available, should the Rams make a trade or stay put, and then finally conclude what the Rams might actually do with the pick.

This week we’ve gone through scenarios in rounds two, three, and five. You can find those below:

Today we’ll approach the sixth round where the Rams hold three selections. Les Snead likes sixth round picks and that’s shown given his success in the round. The Rams found Jordan Fuller and Sebastian Joseph-Day each in the sixth round.

The Rams hold picks at selection 182, 189, and 191. Let’s take a look to see what diamonds might be available this year for Snead to find.

Best Positions Available

The sixth-round will be a good spot for the Rams to find some developmental pieces and special teams contributors. During the late-rounds, it’s all about throwing darts and hoping one lands on the bullseye.

  1. RB
  2. QB
  3. WR
  4. S

This is a very good area of the draft to find a running back. Just two years ago, Elijah Mitchell was found in the sixth-round along with Khalil Herbert. Isiah Pacheco was taken in the seventh-round, but he’s another late-round running back success story. This year, players like Evan Hull, Keaton Mitchell, and Chris Rodriguez could all be options.

The Rams need a backup quarterback and the sixth round provides some value at the position. Dorian Thomas-Robinson, Jake Haener, Max Duggan, Aidan O’Connell, and Tyson Bagent will all be late-round quarterbacks with upside.

Wide receiver will be under consideration. After losing Brandon Powell in free agency, the Rams could use a returner. Tre Tucker and Charlie Jones could be receiving options if that’s a spot the Rams want to address in the draft.

Snead has had success finding late-round safeties in the past and that likely won’t change this season.

Players That Should be Available

  1. TE Josh Whyle
  2. RB Keaton Mitchell
  3. RB Chris Rodriguez Jr.
  4. RB Evan Hull
  5. LB Cam Jones
  6. S Brandon Hill
  7. WR Tre Tucker
  8. QB Aidan O’Connell
  9. QB Jake Haener
  10. S Daniel Scott

In this area of the draft, you’re really looking at players who can be developmental depth pieces or special teams players. It’s also hard to predict exactly who will be available. There may be some players who drop to this area or others that are expected to go in the fifth-round that end up as undrafted free agents. A player that one team has a third-round grade on, another team may have a seventh-round grade on. Right now, this is all projection to see who may be available a month from now when the Rams are actually on the clock.

With the depth at running back and value at wide receiver, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams target either of those positions in this area. There will be some options at safety, cornerback, and linebacker as well.

If the Rams do take a quarterback, this is also a good spot to do it. A sixth-round pick is a dart throw anyway. Throwing that dart at a quarterback that McVay can develop, isn't a bad idea.

Trade Up, Trade Back, or Stay Put

At this spot, it makes the most sense for the Rams to stay put. They could combine the picks and attempt to move into the fifth round again. However, Snead enjoys the sixth-round, making a trade-up very unlikely. The value also isn’t that significant.

The Rams could trade back, but again, the value isn’t that significant for what they would get in return. If they prefer to add picks in 2024, it’s possibly they could trade back with future picks in exchange.

At the end of the day, it makes the most sense for the Rams to stand pat here and throw three darts at the board.

What Happens?

As just mentioned, in all likelihood, the Rams will stay put and make selections at 182, 189, and 191. There will be plenty of options available to fill depth on the roster and add core special teams players.

With that in mind, positions like running back and wide receiver will certainly be on the table along with linebackers and safety. If I had to take a guess, those are the positions that the Rams will target at these three picks.

It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to target a quarterback. The Rams have never drafted a quarterback under Sean McVay, making it difficult to predict where they would take one. The sixth or seventh round however seems like a good spot.

The sixth-round will be an important one for the Rams as it will allow them to fill out the roster. It also happens to be one of Snead’s more successful rounds. He’ll need to match that success in April.