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Random Ramsdom: DeAndre Hopkins says Rams almost drafted him

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 3/9/23

St Louis Rams v Houston Texans Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

Rams Almost Drafted DeAndre Hopkins? (fannation)

Arizona Cardinals star receiver DeAndre Hopkins likely won’t be in the NFC West after this offseason to face the Los Angeles Rams, as trade rumors that he’s admitted to hearing have continued to run amuck.

But Hopkins could’ve had his NFL career begin in the division in the first place. During an appearance Wednesday on the “Pat McAfee Show,” Hopkins revealed that the then-St. Louis Rams told him that they’d either draft him or Tavon Austin in 2013 depending on how the combine went.

“The St. Louis Rams said they were going to draft me or Tavon Austin,” Hopkins said. “They said, ‘We’re taking (one of) the two of you guys with our first pick.’ It was 2013, I was the second receiver off the board, Tavon was the first to the Rams.”


“Head coach Sean McVay called the season a professional failure. But after taking some time after the disappointing season to mull his future, McVay decided to stay and will attempt to build a team that can compete for a Super Bowl again, in what the Rams are dubbing a “remodel.”

“We were very successful in terms of wins the previous five years, this year not so much,” Rams general manager Les Snead said this offseason. “Every year is different. Every year there’s an element of a remodel or tweaks. We’re very aware that some of our core players are in their primes and getting closer to the twilight of their primes. But that does not mean when you’re a player like that … you’re still not very productive and can be very successful in this league.

“So, we’ll have that balance to try and navigate those waters, still be very competitive in the micro, and then also realizing from a macro perspective there’s going to be that element of not pressing the gas so much and pay a little bit of the debt we’ve accumulated.”

If the Rams are truly being honest with themselves, then McVay and Snead must acknowledge the “remodel” is basically a rebuild. Yes, the Rams are not dumping all their high-salary, premium players.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford, receiver Cooper Kupp and All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald are likely sticking around as foundational pieces.

However, other high-dollar players like linebacker Bobby Wagner, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and edge rusher Leonard Floyd and receiver Allen Robinson are probably moving on, either through trade or outright release, freeing up cash for an infusion of young talent to build around the core that remains on the roster.

The Rams will see if better health, more talent and a re-energized McVay leads to more success on the field in 2023, as the Rams chase the San Francisco 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks in the NFC West.”

9 dream free-agent targets for the Rams this offseason (ramswire)

“It’s still fun to think about the possibility of some big-name free agents landing in Los Angeles this year, including the top defensive tackle and offensive lineman.

Here are nine dream free-agent targets for the Rams as they navigate the offseason.

1 LB Tremaine Edmunds

The Rams are parting ways with Bobby Wagner, which leaves a void at linebacker. The Rams don’t often spend big on this position, but Edmunds would be a great signing for Los Angeles, pairing him with Ernest Jones.

Edmunds can play in coverage and stop the run, rarely missing tackles on ball carriers. He’s an impactful player in the middle of the defense and would be the perfect replacement for Wagner.

2 DE Dre’Mont Jones

Jones didn’t get the franchise tag, so he could hit the market next week. He’s an excellent fit in the Rams’ 3-4 scheme, replacing A’Shawn Robinson if he leaves in free agency. According to Pro Football Focus, his 138 pressures since 2019 are 19th among interior defenders. So there’s no question he knows how to get after the quarterback.

It’s just hard to see the Rams paying up to sign Jones, even as much as he’d help the pass rush and Aaron Donald.

3 S Chauncey Gardner-Johnson

Gardner-Johnson was a home run addition to the Eagles last season, leading the NFL with six interceptions as their slot defender and safety. He also had one sack and 67 total tackles, doing a little bit of everything for Philadelphia.

The Rams never sink much into the safety position but CJG can play the slot, which would free up Jalen Ramsey in the secondary.

4 OT Orlando Brown Jr.

Brown might come away as the most expensive free agent on the market this year, so he’s a real dream player for the Rams. But he would also help the offensive line and offense as a whole immensely. Of course, signing Brown would mean the Rams either move on from Joe Noteboom or shift him to guard, but neither is out of the question.

It’s just hard to imagine the Rams signing anyone for more than $20 million per year this offseason, which could be Brown’s price tag.”

Rams 2023 free agency preview: Was the Troy Hill reunion one and done? (yahoo!sports)

“On the final day of the draft last year, the Los Angeles Rams struck a deal with the Cleveland Browns to acquire Troy Hill for a fifth-round pick. Hill left the Rams in 2021 to sign with Cleveland, but he made his way back to L.A. after just one season.

The reunion excited Jalen Ramsey and provided a spark to the secondary after losing Darious Williams, but the Rams probably wish it would’ve gone better in 2022. Hill had an up-and-down season, missing some time with an injury and giving up too many big plays in coverage.

Now a free agent again, will the Rams bring him back or let him walk for the second time?

2022 stats

12 games

  • 67 tackles
  • 1 interception
  • 4 passes defensed
  • 41 receptions allowed (59 targets)
  • 460 yards, 3 TDs allowed
  • 102.4 passer rating allowed

PFF grade: 65.4 overall


Hill was acquired by the Rams in a draft-day trade last year, reuniting with the team he spent five seasons with. He was a major part of the defense in 2020 when he led the NFL with 119 interception return yards and two pick-sixes, also returning one fumble for a score, too.

However, after a down year with the Browns in 2021, he continued to struggle last season in his return to L.A. He allowed completions on 70% of his targets and only broke up four passes, struggling a bit in coverage. Too often, he gave up big plays on the back end, which hurt the Rams’ “bend, don’t break” strategy on defense.

It wasn’t a terrible season by Hill but he certainly wasn’t as impactful in 2022 as he was two years ago.”