Ever since the Los Angeles Rams hired him in January of 2017, Sean McVay has worked hand in hand with general manager Les Snead to turn a suffering franchise into a Super Bowl winner. The two have had their draft misses, but have also hit on plenty of picks over the last six drafts. Even without a first round pick in all six of his years as head coach, Sean McVay has still been able to capitalize on overlooked talent.
So, who are his five best draft picks since 2017? Based on round value and amount of time spent on the field, here are the five names that Sean McVay and the Rams organization got right on draft day.
1. Cooper Kupp, WR (2017 3rd Round)
No dispute here. As 2021 Offensive player of the Year, 2021 Triple Crown Winner, and Super Bowl LVI MVP, Kupp is the best draft pick of the McVay era. In six years, Kupp has amassed 508 receptions, 6,329 receiving yards, and 46 touchdowns. And as defensive players re quick to point out: the LA Rams offense runs through him. His athleticism allowed him to fall on NFL draft boards and the Rams were sure to grab him in the third round of the 2017 draft.
Cooper Kupp quickly proved to be an “overachiever” as a rookie.— RAMS ON FILM (@RamsOnFilm) April 8, 2022
Kupp went from being unrecruited with no college offers to holdings several college records. After the Rams “reached” for Kupp in the 2017 draft, he led his rookie class in receptions.
The Rookie Kupp 2017 pic.twitter.com/GqtRfHxNBR
2. John Johnson, S (2017 3rd Round)
A few picks after Cooper Kupp, John Johnson heard his name called by Los Angeles. By Week 5, the Boston College safety took over a starting spot in the secondary. He immediately made an impact, intercepting Russell Wilson in a home game. Johnson started 48 games for LA, tallying 350 tackles (235 solo), 32 pass deflections, and eight interceptions. The safety helped the Rams reach Super Bowl LIII in 2018. After a four-year tenure with L.A., the talented safety signed a three-year contract with the Cleveland Browns.
NFL draft: Rams third-round pick: John Johnson, S https://t.co/iRuh0johBQ pic.twitter.com/5VZnMJYazY— The Editor (@TheDailyDigest) April 29, 2017
3. Jordan Fuller, S (2020 6th Round)
If there is one thing the Rams have done well in McVay’s tenure, it has been selecting safeties. Three years after taking John Johnson, LA added Jordan Fuller to replace Eric Weddle. The draft pick paid dividends right away as the Ohio State safety was a starter in Week 1 against the Dallas Cowboys. In year one, Fuller helped lead the Rams number one ranked defense to the divisional round. In year two, Fuller was an integral part in the Rams Super Bowl season (unfortunately he missed the playoffs).
With the 199th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select...— PFF (@PFF) April 25, 2020
Jordan Fuller, S, Ohio State pic.twitter.com/JZHou1nK02
4. Ernest Jones, ILB (2021 3rd Round)
A recent draft pick, Jones has now inherited the keys to be the everyday middle linebacker for Los Angeles. Jones began seeing an increase in playing time midway through his rookie campaign. As the season progressed, he was clutch. His Super Bowl LVI performance is one of the most underrated by the team, let alone an NFL rookie.
Adding to the defense.— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) May 1, 2021
Rams select ILB Ernest Jones with 103rd pick ⤵️
5. John Franklin-Myers, DL (2018 4th Round)
In 2018, the Rams selected JFM to join Aaron Donald. He collected two sacks in his rookie season and even sacked and forced a fumble on Tom Brady in Super Bowl LIII. Shockingly, LA released him after training camp in 2019. But despite the odd move, JFM has played very well in his stint with the New York Jets, earning a four-year $55 million contract extension prior to the 2022 season.
John Franklin-Myers NFL Draft 2018: Scouting Report for Los Angeles Rams' Pick #Rams https://t.co/jQNJn8Uohb pic.twitter.com/B43Y3oEWIM— Rams Report (@rams_fanly) April 28, 2018
Do any of these names deserve to be on the list?
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Cam Akers, RB (2nd Round)
Greg Gaines, DL (4th Round)
Sebastian Joseph-Day (6th Round)