The Los Angeles Rams enter arguably the most important draft of the Les Snead era next week. Coming off of a 5-12 season and 11 draft picks in the arsenal, Snead and co. have to be able to nail the draft in order to right the ship.
While the Rams have 11 draft picks, only three of these will come inside the top-100. It will be crucial for the Rams to hit on these three picks as the players selected in these spots could be instant contributors.
The options for the Rams at picks 36, 69, and 77 are limitless as there are several different directions they could go. They could start with an edge rusher and then target cornerback and pass-catcher. Another option would be to go cornerback at 36 and then address edge rusher and offensive line in the third-round. The Rams could always trade back as well and accumulate more draft picks.
Let’s go through some of these options below:
Option 1: CB Emmanuel Forbes, TE Tucker Kraft, EDGE Isaiah McGuire
This feels like a realistic scenario for the Rams if they stay put with their first three picks. Forbes is a great fit at cornerback for the Rams while Kraft and McGuire give them future contributors at tight end and edge rusher. Forbes would give the Rams a legitimate number one cornerback opposite Cobie Durant. Kraft and McGuire are picks made with an eye on 2024 and 2025, but give the Rams a future at those positions.
Option 2: WR Jalin Hyatt, CB DJ Turner, OT Jaelyn Duncan
No edge rusher in this scenario, but it does address a lot of needs. The Rams need explosiveness on offense and Hyatt certainly provides that as a deep threat as well as a threat after the catch. He’ll be an option if the top edge rushers and cornerbacks have been selected. Turner is a great fit at cornerback. He may not provide the same upside as someone like Forbes, but he’s a serviceable option on the outside. Lastly, Duncan is a tackle/guard prospect that could either start on the left side or give the Rams some depth as a rookie.
Option 3: EDGE Adetomiwa Adebawore, WR Tyler Scott, S Jartavius Martin
This is another defense first mock draft, but with Adebawore coming in to help Aaron Donald on the edge. Will McDonald IV will be an option in this spot, but if he goes earlier, Adebawore is a good backup plan. The third-round may be the place to target wide receiver. Tyler Scott provides a vertical threat and speed option on the outside. Lastly, after losing Taylor Rapp, the Rams need a safety who can play nickel and near the box. Martin should give them some versatility in the secondary after missing on some of the top cornerbacks.
Option 4: TE Dalton Kincaid, DL Zacch Pickens, OT Blake Freeland
TRADE: Rams trade pick 69 (3rd-round) to Baltimore for pick 86 (3rd-round) and 124 (4th-round)
I remain pretty firm on the Rams needing to stay put at 36. However, they should absolutely be looking to trade back from one of their selections in the third-round. In this scenario, Snead gets a fourth-round pick from Baltimore to trade back 17 spots. Snead will be looking to move back and pick up a fourth-round pick or possibly more selection in the fifth or sixth-round.
In this scenario, Kincaid fell to pick 36. If that were to happen, there’s little doubt McVay would let the Rams go in another direction. The Rams then sure up the trenches with Pickens on the defensive line and Freeland on the offensive side.
Option 5: RB Zach Charbonnet, CB Garrett Williams, iOL Ricky Stromberg
TRADE: Rams trade pick 36 to Tampa Bay for picks 50 (2nd-round), 175 (5th round), and 196 (6th-round)
If the Rams do trade out of 36, they need to make sure that they are able to stay inside the top-50. This would allow them to still get a solid contributor with their first pick. Anything outside of the top-50 after a 5-12 season would be a disappointment. More picks are good, but players in the fifth and sixth rounds don’t outweigh the potential impact player at 36.
Here, the Rams get Zach Charbonnet to give themselves a running back duo with Cam Akers. At 69, the Rams get a cornerback with upside in Garrett Williams and then get a solid piece in the middle of the offensive line with Ricky Stromberg at the end of the third-round.