Over the past week, there has been a lot of media speculation on the Los Angeles Rams potentially trading up for a quarterback in the 2023 NFL Draft. While that scenario seems unlikely, them taking a quarterback at some point in the draft is certainly possible.
With that being said, the question is where the Rams would take a quarterback? If the Rams are trying to find their potential quarterback of the future, the first or second-round are their best bet. Some second-round quarterbacks to come out of the past few drafts include Kyle Trask, Jalen Hurts, and Drew Lock.
Hurts is currently one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL while Trask could see an opportunity to compete with Baker Mayfield. Lock has shown some flashes and didn’t have the best situation in Denver. However, he lost the quarterback competition with the Seattle Seahawks to Geno Smith last offseason.
Second-round quarterbacks are rare as teams typically try to get that fifth-year option by taking a quarterback in the first round. The gap in talent between first-round quarterbacks and that next tier is also typically pretty significant.
One quarterback that many experts are hung up on in this draft is Will Levis out of Kentucky. Initially thought of as a first-round pick, it seems lately that either teams are trying to tank his stock or they are having second thoughts — possibly both.
In Peter King’s latest Football Morning in America column, King quoted an anonymous coach saying that they believed Levis deserves a second-round grade.
Levis will most likely be a top-20 pick and if he does fall past that point, a team like the Las Vegas Raiders or even Seattle Seahawks could be tempted to trade up and select the quarterback if they do not take one in the first-round.
Mock drafts are typically about two things. The first is what you think will happen and the other is working through a possible alternative ‘what if’ scenario. The latter is where this mock draft will fall under. If Levis is there at 36 and the Rams do select him, where does that leave the rest of their draft? Even if it isn’t Levis and they end up with Hendon Hooker, what does that scenario look like?
36th Overall - QB Will Levis, Kentucky
It would almost be of benefit to Levis if he were to fall in the draft. The farther he falls, the better chance a team that doesn’t need a quarterback immediately is to select him. That’s where the Rams fall. Levis needs a year to sit and learn an offense. Levis has the talent, but he is raw and lacks touch on his throws. A year as a backup to learn under Matthew Stafford, another strong-armed quarterback, would benefit him greatly.
The NFL is moving away from the traditional pocket passer and that’s something that Sean McVay has to recognize as an offensive head coach. With Levis, he gets a project at quarterback and someone who has the arm talent, but also adds a dimension with his legs.
Of course, if the Rams do take a quarterback here, they miss out on the top edge rushers such as Will McDonald IV and Felix Anudike-Uzomah. That trade-off may not be worth it.
69th Overall - CB DJ Turner, Michigan
Turner is a solid fit for the Rams at cornerback. This draft is a deep cornerback class. If the Rams were to take a quarterback early, they could still find a starting-caliber cornerback with either of their two picks in the third-round.
77th Overall - EDGE Isaiah McGuire, Missouri
Despite not getting an edge rusher like McDonald IV at 36, they still end up with a quality player in McGuire here at 77. McGuire is explosive and is a good fit for what the Rams have typically looked for in edge rushers. The Missouri edge rusher may not have the pure athleticism and upside like a McDonald IV, but is a good mid-round option.
Mizzou EDGE Isaiah McGuire converting speed-to-power on Broderick Jones pic.twitter.com/zPmXenqtUE— Cory (@realcorykinnan) April 1, 2023
If the Rams don’t go quarterback at 36, they could opt for a Jaren Hall for BYU at this spot in the draft. Hall has starting upside, but makes a good backup quarterback in the interim.
167th Overall - CB Jakorian Bennett, Maryland
Going cornerback twice in three picks may seem like a lot, but the Rams need to add some cornerback depth after losing David Long, Jalen Ramsey, and potentially Troy Hill in free agency. Bennett has good ball-production and speed which are two qualities that the Rams look for in their cornerbacks.
171st Overall - LB Dorian Williams, Tulane
It wouldn't be surprising to see the Rams add a linebacker on day three of the draft and Dorian Williams would be a really good option if they decided to do so. The Rams could target interior offensive line at this spot or a tackle, but it’s hard to pass on Williams’ talent.
Dorian Williams SHEESH pic.twitter.com/VcbxKmrQe0— Tyler DeSena (@DeSenaSports) March 23, 2023
177th Overall - iDL Keondre Coburn, Texas
After losing Greg Gaines in free agency, the Rams will likely be looking for an interior defensive lineman in the draft to play behind Bobby Brown as depth. There should be plenty of interior defensive line options later on in the draft and Coburn would provide immediate depth.
182nd Overall - iOL Jon Gaines, UCLA
Due to how the Rams value the position, the chance of them taking a guard or center on day two seems slim. Drafting a quarterback early shouldn’t effect how they approach the offensive line. Here, they wait until day three of the draft and get Jon Gaines from UCLA. Gaines is good in space which is something that the Rams value in their offensive linemen.
189th Overall - TE Payne Durham, Purdue
Despite acquiring Hunter Long from the Miami Dolphins in the Jalen Ramsey trade, it would not be surprising to see the Rams still take a tight end at some point in the draft. In receiving Long, it means two things, if not a combination of both. McVay hasn’t been happy with the tight end depth behind Tyler Higbee and/or he wants to get more tight end heavy in his personnel. Durham would be a solid day three option.
191st Overall - RB Kenny McIntosh, Georgia
The Rams will be looking to add some running back depth behind Cam Akers and Kyren Williams. That player will probably be selected in the later stages of the draft. McIntosh adds a threat in the passing game and will be a good third-down option at the next level
223rd Overall - S Brandon Hill, Pitt
Between Russ Yeast, Jordan Fuller, and Quentin Lake, the Rams seem to be content with their safety group after not bringing back Taylor Rapp or Nick Scott on cheap contracts. However, they will still need to add some depth and Brandon Hill should provide that. One of these late-round picks would be a good spot for a quarterback if the Rams don’t take one early.
251st Overall - Jalen Cropper, Fresno St.
Brandon Powell left in free agency, a returner will be needed. That’s a role that TuTu Atwell hasn’t shown that he can fill. Cropper has upside as a deep threat in the receiving game, but also provides value as both a punt and kick returner. Don’t be surprised if the Rams target a receiver like Cropper later on in the draft.