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Random Ramsdom: Which Rams could be cut after the draft?

Los Angeles Rams News and Links for 4/27/23

Los Angeles Rams GM Les Snead and HC Sean McVay Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

4 LA Rams players who could be cut after the 2023 NFL Draft (ramblinfan)

“This is a team that is under pressure from all sides. After falling to a 5-12 record, despite pushing their 2022 salary expense to the limit, the LA Rams have clearly had a change of heart and a change of philosophy. While the team had pushed hard for immediate success at the likely cost of future assets and resources, it was successful until a tsunami of injuries ground the Rams to a hard halt.

That forced the Rams think tank to reformulate their strategy, and it very much feels like the reset button has more to do with the perennial kick-the-financial-can down the road than it has to do with disappointing player performances.

Money matters more in 2023

That is a vital distinction to make, as the LA Rams current decision making process feels more to do with the bottom line than the record. And if the attention remains focused on the financials, the team’s salary cap situation will improve. Likewise, if the attention is pulled away from the record, the LA Rams and the fans will find the team playing with a new set of priorities.

The Rams are focused not just on building a better roster, but a more affordable one as well. Up to this point, the moment that the Rams coveted a player, it seemed as thought the Rams found the money to sign him a a contract. That is not the format for the 2023 NFL season. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, the LA Rams have already parted ways with veterans, whether by free agency, by trade, or by outright release, who had plenty of potential to perform admirably in 2023 and beyond. But this is no longer a team that will sign players to the Rams roster at any cost.

Now, it’s all about building a Rams roster at low cost. So are Rams veteran players who have made it this far untouchable? Well, if I were them, I would not breathe a sigh of relief just yet. If the Rams can add 46 rookies during the 2023 NFL Draft or thereafter, what is preventing the team from making it an even 50 players?”

Rams’ Sean McVay confident in Aaron Donald during rebuild: ‘The greats elevate people’ around them (

“The Rams defense, in particular, looks like Aaron Donald and a bunch of young guys. Donald, linebacker Ernest Jones and safety Jordan Fuller are the only full-time starters remaining.

Given Donald’s dalliance with retirement in the past, it’s fair to question whether the three-time AP Defensive Player of the Year is cool with playing on a rebuilding squad.

Coach Sean McVay, however, has no concerns about Donald.

“He’s a great competitor. ... Aaron’s motivated,” McVay said Tuesday. “The greats elevate people around him. It’s a very similar feeling in terms of that outside-in narrative when we first got here.”

Donald is under contract for the next two seasons, with his $31.67 million annual average on his extension signed last offseason highest among non-quarterbacks.”

With Matthew Stafford only QB on roster, who might Rams target in draft? (yahoo!sports)

“This year’s draft could be the first time in seven years — and the first time during the Sean McVay era — that the Rams select a prospect who plays the sport’s most important position.

Matthew Stafford, 35, remains the starter as he prepares for his 15th NFL season. Stafford led the Rams to a Super Bowl title two years ago and then signed a four-year extension that included $120 million in guarantees.

After last season’s 5-12 finish, the Rams did not re-sign backups John Wolford or Bryce Perkins. So Snead and McVay are in the market — through the draft, post-draft free agency or a trade — for at least two quarterbacks.

For the seventh year in a row, the Rams do not have a first-round pick.

That means top quarterback prospects such as Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud, Anthony Richardson, Will Levis and Hendon Hooker probably will be gone when the Rams select their first player in the second round with the No. 36 overall pick.

Brigham Young’s Jaren Hall, Stanford’s Tanner McKee, Houston’s Clayton Tune, Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell, UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson, Texas Christian’s Max Duggan, Fresno State’s Jake Haener and Georgia’s Stetson Bennett are among other quarterbacks available.

The Rams have been “intentional” about evaluating quarterbacks in the second tier, Snead said.

“For whatever reason, you don’t have them in tier one,” he said, “but they have just enough of some tier one-type variables that you go, ‘Wow, they might be a tier two, they might have a chance to be a backup, they might have a chance.’”

When evaluating quarterbacks, McVay said decision-making, passing accuracy, innate leadership traits, and poise and performance in important moments are factors.

“There’s certain guys that are easier evals just because they might be doing certain things that you would ask,” McVay said, “but that doesn’t mean that they’ll end up being a better player.

“So I think you have to be able to look at the total group and their total body of work, and then figure out how do they elevate others around them and what are those elite traits and do we feel like it translates to our level and what we would ask, and then ultimately we would adjust to them as well.”

With multiple needs — edge rusher, receiver, offensive and defensive line and cornerback among them — there is no predicting when the Rams might select a quarterback.

Or if they will.

“If you have a need and you just force a draft pick to fill a need, but that pick doesn’t fill the need, at the end of the day, all that work, you still have a need even though you filled a roster spot,” Snead said. “So that’s the tricky thing and probably quarterbacks are a little bit trickier just because that is a tougher position to predict success in, especially from college to the NFL.”

In 2014, Snead selected Southern Methodist quarterback Garrett Gilbert in the sixth round with the 214th pick. The Rams waived Gilbert at the end of training camp, signed him to the practice squad and then released him during the season. Gilbert was on the New England Patriots practice squad last season.

In 2015, Snead chose Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion in the third round with the 89th pick. Mannion played in 10 games in four seasons, starting once. Last season, Mannion was on the Seattle Seahawks’ practice squad.

Under former coach Jeff Fisher, Goff did not play until the 10th game of his rookie season. He was 0-7 as a starter but flourished the next season under McVay. In 2017, Goff led the Rams to their first playoff appearance since 2004. The next season, the Rams advanced to Super Bowl LIII before losing to the New England Patriots.”

Rams have been “intentional” about evaluating “second-tier” of quarterbacks (nbcsports)

“Baker Mayfield signed with the Buccaneers in free agency, and John Wolford and Bryce Perkins remain free agents.

That leaves the Rams in need of quarterbacks.

Los Angeles has 11 draft picks, but none until the 36th overall pick in the second round. It is expected to use one on a quarterback.

“We’ve definitely been intentional about the second tier, right, and those players that would probably be beyond the [top] four, even the fifth one now [from] Tennessee [Hendon Hooker] that’s talked about a lot going early, going before us, things like that,” Rams General Manager Les Snead said. “But no different than every year.”

Alabama’s Bryce Young, Kentucky’s Will Levis, Ohio State’s C.J. Stroud, Florida’s Anthony Richardson and possibly Hooker will hear their names called before the Rams turn comes to select.

Fresno State’s Jake Haener, Purdue’s Aidan O’Connell, BYU’s Jaren Hall, Stanford’s Tanner McKee and Houston’s Clayton Tune are in the next group of quarterbacks, and one of them could end up in Los Angeles.”