Over the last five years, the Los Angeles Rams have struggled to get impact starters in the NFL Draft. While they have gotten good role players such as Ernest Jones, Van Jefferson, and Cam Akers, general manager Les Snead has missed out on high-impact starters. It’s been one of the biggest criticism of Snead.
Part of that obviously has to do with the Rams not holding high draft picks. They haven’t picked inside the top-50 since 2017. That’s also the last time that the Rams found high impact starters in the draft. In 2017, the Rams drafted Cooper Kupp with the 69th overall pick and John Johnson III was a quality safety that the Rams found in the third-round. Gerald Everett wasn’t a high-impact starter by any stretch, but he and Higbee were a good tight end duo.
The Rams roster has felt the impact of missing out on those high-end starters.
However, later this month the Rams hold the 36th overall pick and looking at past players drafted at that selection, they should be able to find a quality starter to help shift the roster. Here are the last 10 players selected 36th overall:
- 2022 - RB Breece Hall
- 2021 - S Jevon Holland
- 2020 - S Xavier McKinney
- 2019 - WR Deebo Samuel
- 2018 - LB Shaquille Leonard
- 2017 - S Budda Baker
- 2016 - LB Myles Jack
- 2015 - RB TJ Yeldon
- 2014: QB Derek Carr
- 2013: CB Darius Slay
That’s not a bad list and one that includes several high-impact starters. Hall was having a good rookie season last year before he got hurt and Holland is one of the better young safeties in the NFL. Rams fans know all too well the impact of Deebo Samuel and what he provides to the San Francisco 49ers and Shaquille Leonard is still considered a top NFL linebacker.
After losing Jalen Ramsey in free agency, it’s nice to see a player like Darius Slay on this list as the Rams need a top cornerback to pair with Cobie Durant, Robert Rochelle, and Derion Kendrick.
The only clear bust on this list is running back TJ Yeldon who was selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
If anything, this list just emphasizes the need not to trade back at this spot. While more picks are nice, a simple question needs to be asked. Do more picks outweigh the need for a high-impact starter which is what the Rams will have the chance to select at 36? That answer is probably no.
Whether it’s Will McDonald IV, Emmanuel Forbes, O’Cyrus Torrence, etc. the Rams should be able to find a first-round talent with their first selection. That level of player is exactly what the Rams need more so than any singular position.