Les Snead and the Los Angeles Rams are set to make 11 selections during the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft. The Houston Texans and Las Vegas Raiders have a league-leading 12 picks to make, and only the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers have as many picks as LA.
But even with the third-highest quantity of draft picks in their quicker, it sure seems like the Rams need to accumulate even more selections during the draft.
The team only has 45 players on its roster currently, and they’ll need 90 by the time training camp rolls already early this fall. As things currently sit, they have three picks in the top 77 selections (36, 69, 77) and then will wait until 167 (late fifth round) until they are on the clock again. It’s a dilemma the Rams have put themselves in.
They sent their fourth round pick (107 overall) to the Patriots in return for running back Sony Michel in 2021. The 140th selection was exchanged for veteran Troy Hill on draft day last year. To LA’s credit, they also received pick 77 as return compensation from the Miami Dolphins in the Jalen Ramsey trade. The Rams also have extra sixth rounders from the Titans for Robert Woods and from the Packers for punter Corey Bojorquez. They also acquired a seventh rounder from the Lions for defensive lineman Michael Brockers.
Here are their picks in totality:
- Round 2, 36 ovr
- Round 3, 69 ovr
- Round 3, 77 ovr
- Round 5, 167 ovr
- Round 5, 171 ovr
- Round 5, 177 ovr
- Round 6, 182 ovr
- Round 6, 189 ovr
- Round 6, 194 ovr
- Round 7, 223 ovr
- Round 7, 251 ovr
It takes a willing partner in order to move down the draft board, but trading back from either pick 36, 69, or 77 has to be front of mind for Los Angeles. Depending on what players are available at the time, the Rams might not be able to recoup a pick between 77 and 167, but they still need more dart throws as they try to fill out their roster from 45 to 90—the remainder cannot be comprised of just undrafted free agents and they have very limited cap resources to spend on available veterans.
The Rams have found success historically in the later rounds of the draft, but part of their strategy has been leaning into the odds and making selections in high volumes. Striking while the market is hot could help the team pick up a couple extra picks or so over the course of the draft, and this will help fill out the roster and start the formation of a young nucleus for the next contention window.
Accumulating additional picks could also help LA fill out their special teams core, as they currently do not have a kicker, punter, or long snapper on the roster. Snead has not used draft capital on a punter or long snapper during his Rams tenure, but he has drafted Greg Zuerlein and Sam Sloman at kicker. The Sloman selection didn’t work out so well for the franchise, but investing in Zuerlein allowed the team to move on from costly veteran Josh Brown—perhaps Snead has the same plan in 2023 after watching Matt Gay sign the biggest free agent contract ever at the kicker position.
While the Rams are slated to have the third-highest quantity of picks in this year’s draft, they should still seek to accumulate more selections by moving down the draft board.