We are edging closer and closer to the NFL Draft in Kansas City. With a little over two weeks remaining until the draft gets underway, teams are starting to finalize their draft boards. The Los Angeles Rams hold 11 picks in the upcoming draft with their first selection coming at 36.
It’s no secret that the Rams have needs all over the roster which makes their first selection and the direction they go extremely unpredictable. It’s time for another Rams mock draft!
36th Overall - CB Emmanuel Forbes, Mississippi State
Emmanuel Forbes has shutdown ability which is what the Rams need after trading away Jalen Ramsey. He raises his game against elite competition and did exactly that when facing Jameson Williams two years ago. While Forbes has a smaller frame, he still shows up in the run game and has a willingness to tackle. Forbes anticipates and reads the play better than most cornerbacks in this class which is why he ends up with as many big plays as he does.
despite his (very) skinny frame. I haven't been too worried about Emmanuel Forbes' (#13) willingness to tackle. pic.twitter.com/pXsCe7sPoK— Nate Tice (@Nate_Tice) April 4, 2023
69th Overall - OT Blake Freeland, BYU
Blake Freeland is a prospect that I’m torn on more than most during this draft process. On one hand, his athletic tools give him extremely high upside that could completely shift the trajectory of the Rams offensive line. In three years at BYU, he gave up just one sack. On the other hand, his Senior Bowl left a sour taste and it’s hard to wonder how he’ll fare against tougher competition. At 69 overall, that’s a risk worth taking.
77th Overall - EDGE Isaiah McGuire, Missouri
There are a couple of reasons for waiting until 77 to address the edge rusher position. The first is that Will McDonald was taken at 31 by the Kansas City Chiefs in my mock simulation. Secondly, second-round edge rushers typically don’t have an immediate impact. The Rams may be better off going for a cornerback like Forbes early and then taking an edge rusher later. McGuire can develop into a solid player.
5. Isaiah McGuire, ED, Missouri— Price Carter (@ArrowheadPrice) April 4, 2023
Solid run defender & pass rusher. High motor. Explosive burst and strong power at the point of attack. Excellent tracking the ball. Elite get off and 10 yd split.
Role: 3 down edge, depth and eventual Mika Danna replacement. pic.twitter.com/xjflRAjRWh
167th Overall - iOL Ricky Stromberg, Arkansas
Stromberg has been a common selection for me throughout this draft process, but he’s a very solid interior option on the offensive line in the middle rounds of the draft. The Rams don’t necessarily need a starter as they seem committed to Brian Allen. Stromberg gives them some depth at center if Allen gets hurt.
171st Overall - TE Will Mallory, Miami
The Rams acquired Hunter Long in the Jalen Ramsey trade, but it still wouldn’t be surprising to see them go after a tight end in the draft to build some depth. They need to find a Tyler Higbee replacement and Mallory could be just that. He can stretch the field as a pass-catcher and does well in contested catch situations. While he’s not a “blocking tight end”, he can block.
Will Mallory is a very underrated TE prospect. This guy can MOVE. He has hands and is a willing blocker.— Clay Harbor (@clayharbs82) April 10, 2023
He ran a 4.53 40 and jumped a 10’ broad jump. He’s gonna be a late round steal. #NFLdraft #NFLTwitter pic.twitter.com/FvyrjlL3B7
177th Overall - iDL Jerrod Clark, Coastal Carolina
After losing Greg Gaines in free agency, the Rams need to start developing another space-eating nose tackle. Clark has the explosiveness and lateral movement that the Rams like in their linemen. Bobby Brown is likely the starter on day one, but Clark could earn some reps in rotation early on in his career.
Jerrod Clark - DT, Coastal Carolina, No. 15— Zack Eisen (@zackeisen21) April 8, 2023
- mammoth (6'3", 340lbs), space-eating NT
- explosive upfield get off, pop in his hands
- play strength, anchors well against the run
- has to improve balance and lateral mobility pic.twitter.com/i8zp8awFC0
182nd Overall - S Daniel Scott, California
While Jordan Fuller and a combination of Russ Yeast and Quentin Lake are set to start at safety, the Rams could use some depth. Scott has experience playing all over the field as a free safety. He’s a good tackler despite not having great length and also has a high football IQ.
189th Overall - CB Carrington Valentine, Kentucky
Despite taking a cornerback early, it wouldn’t hurt for the Rams to take a second one in the later portion of the draft. Valentine from Kentucky has good speed and ball skills, making him a good fit for the Rams. He needs to be coached up and developed, but that’s exactly the type of project that the Rams are looking for this season.
191st Overall - EDGE Nick Hampton, Appalachian State
Similar to Valentine at cornerback, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Rams to double-dip at edge given the lack of depth at the position. Hampton is a great fit for what the Rams look for at the position. He’s explosive and plays very well in space. Hampton makes for a good development player in the later stages of the draft.
233rd Overall - RB Israel Abanikanda, Pitt
The Rams need to draft a running back and Abanikanda is a very good option on day three. He excels in zone-schemes which is what the Rams run and has good top-end speed. Kyren Williams remains and unknown and the Rams don’t have much depth behind him. If he can improve in pass protection, he’ll be a good third-down option.
251st Overall - WR Jalen Cropper, Fresno State
It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams address the wide receiver position earlier on the draft. However, at some point, they’ll need to find someone who can take on returning responsibilities. Cropper has good YAC ability and provides value on special teams. He makes for a perfect seventh-round wide receiver with upside.