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Rams draft results: L.A. selects OT Warren McClendon, Jr with 174th overall pick

Rams dip back into the Georgia pool for OL help after selecting Stetson Bennett earlier

University of Georgia vs Texas Christian University, 2022 CFP National Championship Set Number: X164274 TK1

With the 174th overall pick in the 2023 the NFL draft, the Los Angeles Rams have selected OT Warren McClendon from Georgia. He’s listed at 6-4, 306 lbs. and was a three-year starter and two-time NCAA national champion during his time in Athens.

LA traded with the Houston Texans, moved back seven spots from #167, and picked up the #259th pick in the process. They also swapped choices with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from #171 to #175 and added another selection at #252 overall. These late picks could be useful later in the draft as they start to fill out their specialists at kicker, punter, and long snapper.

This is LA’s second prospect from the Bulldogs, as they picked Stetson Bennett in the fourth round. The Rams dipped into the offensive line pool early, selecting OG Steve Avila at #36 overall. LA is hoping to foster competition across the offensive line this season into order to better protect Matthew Stafford and increase production in the running game. RT Rob Havenstein signed a contract extension just prior to the start of last season, though he’s getting long in the tooth. On the left side there are fair questions whether Joe Noteboom or Alaric Jackson can grow into full-time starters. It’s never a bad idea to groom young linemen for future roles before you actually need them on the field.

NFL Network’s Lance Zierlein projects McClendon as a future reserve player as a pro, but the Rams understand just how important depth is after being severely tested in the 2022 season—especially along the offensive line:

A three-year starter and two-time national champion, McClendon has been a hardworking team leader at Georgia. His intangibles, however, are countered by a lack of ideal size, length and athleticism as either a tackle or a guard. McClendon needs to get stronger and will always have issues finding success too far away from home base, but he works to the whistle and has enough pass protection savvy for multi-positional consideration as a backup.

Rams 2023 draft results:

2.36 - iOL Steve Avila, TCU

3.77 - EDGE Byron Young, Tennessee

3.89 - DL Kobie Turner, Wake Forest

4.128 - QB Stetson Bennett, Georgia

5.161 - EDGE, Nick Hampton, Appalachian State

5.174 - OT, Warren McClendon, Georgia