clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

How the Rams draft picks rank positionally per NFL Next Gen Stats

How did selections like Hodges-Tomlinson grade out?

NCAA Football: CFP National Championship Media Day-Texas Christian Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Every player in the NFL Draft process receives a projection, player comparison, and grade prior to being drafted. The Los Angeles Rams selected 14 players in the 2023 Draft and 11 of the 14 received grades per NFL’s Next Gen Stats.

Below is a comparison of NFL’s Next Gen Stats ranking and where each player was actually selected amongst their position group.

Did the Rams reach for a particular player or did they get a draft steal?


Steve Avila was the first interior linemen taken in the draft. No guards or centers were taken in the first round, but the Rams pulled the trigger first. Next Gen Stats graded Avila as the #2 guard in the draft. With his versatility to play center, it is no surprise that he was selected before a guy like O’Cyrus Torrence.

Grade: Fair Value


Young was the 13th edge rusher selected. At 25 years old, Young is on the older side but because of late development with his college career, he is capable of being a consistent starter in the NFL. His pass rushing ability is one of the best in the league, but his run defense will need to improve.

Grade: Fair Value


Kobie “The Conductor” Turner was the ninth defensive tackles picked. This Rams selection was the most scrutinized by analysts and media. Next Gen Stats did not have a ranking for Turner but predicted that he would be a fifth or sixth rounder.

Grade: Reach


Bennett came off the board as the sixth quarterback taken. LA’s front office revealed that they believed other teams were pretending to be lower on Bennett than in actuality. Even though Next Gen Stats ranked him at #9, Bennett’s time at Georgia and his big game experience in the CFB playoffs were a reason LA picked him where they did.

Grade: Fair Value


Hampton landed as Next Gen’s #17 edge rusher and was picked as the draft’s 20th edge rusher. As an explosive edge rusher, Hampton will stand out in passing situations but with some size restraints, his limitations kept him as a fifth rounder. A familiar comparison for Hampton might be Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.

Grade: Fair Value


It’s easy to overlook McClendon because of the big names drafted out of Georgia. Coincidentally, McClendon was ranked as the 14th offensive tackle and was picked as the 14th offensive tackle in the draft. With multi-positional availability, McClendon’s value fits despite his production in college being par with other offensive tackles in the 2023 offensive linemen class.

Grade: Fair Value


Allen’s ranking is tricky because his college production was solid. His athleticism is just average, landing him as the 19th ranked tight end. I think he is better than the Next Gen ranking and the Rams felt the same when they took him as the 13th TE. Having played at Clemson, Allen has faced NFL-caliber players on a yearly basis. This value seems right with a late-fifth round pick.

Grade: Fair Value


With the last pick in the fifth round, LA selected Puka Nacua out of BYU. Some have viewed Nacua as a Robert Woods type player, but this was my least favorite pick of the Rams draft. Nacua’s athleticism was ranked 47th amongst WRs at the combine. His production was more encouraging, but his overall value projected him to be a 6th-7th rounder. As the 20th WR selected, I believe there was better value out there...

Grade: Reach


This was one of the Rams best picks. Hodges-Tomlinson won the 2022 Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back and to land him in the sixth round was tremendous value for a cornerback-needy team. He was the 22nd cornerback off the board despite being ranked 8th overall at the position by Next Gen Stats.

Grade: Steal


Mathis was pick 189 and was given a Round 6-7 designation. Mathis has the tools to be a successful rotation player. His production in terms of being able to bring down the quarterback in college was less than desirable. His athleticism is middle of the pack giving him a fighting chance to make a roster.

Grade: Fair Value


Evans was another late-round steal for Los Angeles. His size and home run ability (6.9 avg/carry) make him a fantastic RB2 in the Rams running backs room. Evans body composition make him a suitable option to take 15-20 carries if Cam Akers were to go down with an injury. He was a top-10 running back according to Next Gen Stats even though he was the 15th running back taken.

Grade: Steal


Evans was not ranked by Next Gen Stats as a punter. But punters are people too!

Grade: Fair Value


The Rams took Jason Taylor II with pick 234 (16th overall safety). Missed tackles were a part of the lower production grade. However, his athleticism is off the charts helping him earn an athleticism score of 81 from the combine.

Grade: Steal


Johnson was Mr. Irrelevant of the 2023 NFL draft class. Next Gen Stats did not have a grade/rank on him because the interior defensive lineman was not invited to the NFL combine. However, PFF graded Johnson as one of the best at his position in the college football season.

Grade: Fair Value


Who was the Rams best draft day steal?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB
    (481 votes)
  • 37%
    Zach Evans, RB
    (316 votes)
  • 4%
    Jason Taylor II, S
    (35 votes)
832 votes total Vote Now