When it comes to the NFL Draft, there are some experts that people pay more attention to than others. The Athletic’s Dane Brugler is one of those experts and he released his full seven-round mock draft on Monday with just over a week until the NFL Draft. In Brugler’s mock draft, the Los Angeles Rams bolstered their defense with six of their 11 picks coming on the defensive side of the ball, including two of their first three.
Let’s take a look at Brugler’s selections for the Rams:
- 2nd Round (36th overall): EDGE Will McDonald IV, Iowa State
- 3rd Round (69th overall): S Quan “Jartavius” Martin, Illinois
- 3rd Round (77th overall): RB Tank Bigsby, Auburn
- 5th Round (167th overall): iOL Jordan McFadden, Clemson
- 5th Round (171st overall): LB Noah Sewell, Oregon
- 5th Round (177th overall): CB Starling Thomas V, UAB
- 6th Round (182nd overall): WR Parker Washington, Penn St.
- 6th Round (189th overall): LB SirVocea Dennis, Pitt
- 6th Round (191st overall): P Bryce Baringer, Michigan St.
- 7th Round (223rd overall): EDGE Andre Carter, Army
- 7th Round (251st overall): LS Alex Ward, UCF
If the Rams selected Will McDonald IV with their first selection at 36 overall, not many fans would complain. McDonald is one of the most athletically gifted edge rushers in the draft class and would give the Rams a building block at the position.
At 69th overall, Martin projects as a Taylor Rapp replacement. He’s a more of a box safety/nickel linebacker hybrid player. Martin has good ball skills and can play in the slot. After losing Rapp, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams target this role in the draft, making Martin a good fit.
Tank Bigsby at running back in the third-round also makes a lot of sense. The Rams need to give Cam Akers some competition and add depth behind Akers and Williams. Bigsby may not be the best running back in the draft, but he’s a good option to have in the backfield. It’s worth noting that Zach Charbonnet was selected with the 60th overall pick.
Other takeaways from Brugler’s mock draft is only one offensive lineman selected. He had the Rams passing on players like Jon Gaines in the fifth-round in favor of Noah Sewell.
It also seems odd for the Rams not to draft a quarterback. Aidan O’Connell went at pick 109, but the Rams could have had Stetson Bennett, Clayton Tune, or Tyson Bagent in the sixth and seventh rounds.
On special teams, the Rams select a punter and long snapper in the draft. Both positions would be a mild surprising if Les Snead used draft picks on these positions. Snead has never used a draft pick on a punter, signing Johnny Hekker as an undrafted free agent. It seems highly unlikely that Snead would draft a long-snapper. If the Rams draft a special teams player, it will be a kicker. Even then, Snead may wait until the undrafted free agency period post-draft.
Overall, this draft would get a B- or C+ grade from me if this were the Rams’ haul on draft night. One cornerback in the fifth-round would make things interesting with Cobie Durant the only true threat on the boundary.
We’ll have to wait to see what the Rams do on draft night, but a mock draft by Dane Brugler is certainly worth paying attention to.