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Rams draft edge rusher with top-5 pick in early 2024 mock draft

Rams get help on the edge with top-5 pick in early 2024 mock draft

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: APR 15 Florida State Garnet & Gold Spring Showcase Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Depending on how the Los Angeles Rams begin the 2023 season, fans could be looking towards the draft sooner than they typically have in the Sean McVay era. With road games against the Seattle Seahawks and Cincinnati Bengals to begin the season with the San Francisco 49ers, Indianapolis Colts, and Philadelphia Eagles to wrap up the first five weeks, there’s a chance the Rams begin the season 1-4.

Due to the purge of the roster this offseason, many are speculating the Rams to select in the top-5, if not first overall in the 2024 NFL Draft. ESPN’s Jordan Reid released his most recent 2024 mock draft and had the Rams selecting fifth overall. With the fifth overall pick, Reid has the Rams drafting Florida State edge rusher, Jared Verse. Here’s what Reid had to say,

“The Rams’ roster is undergoing a youth movement in multiple spots, and they are in dire need of playmakers at edge rusher. Verse is a heavy-handed and active rusher, and after transferring from Albany, he quickly became the centerpiece of the Seminoles’ 2022 defense. He created pressure on 17.1% of his defensive snaps and recorded nine sacks last season. Verse is a contender to be the first defensive player off the board.”

There’s not doubt that edge rusher will be at the top of the Rams’ list of needs next offseason. They drafted Byron Young back in April, but he’s better off as as EDGE2 on a team. The question here is whether or not the Rams trade for or look to sign an edge rusher in free agency instead.

Les Snead hasn’t been afraid to move picks in the past. Chase Young could be on the trade block and someone the Rams could look to acquire as soon as this season. Other names will be on the table as well. Additionally, the Rams have over $60M in cap space next year. Josh Allen, Marcus Davenport, Brian Burns, and Josh Uche are all set to be free agents. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams look to sign a big name player at the position instead of looking at the draft.

Meanwhile, it’s not a great offensive line free agent class. If the Rams are still looking for a left tackle, Penn State’s Olumuyiwa Fashanu will be an option. Joe Alt out of Notre Dame is also a name to keep an eye on in 2024.

This of course also brings up the question of the quarterback position. The 2024 draft could be a historic one for quarterbacks. Caleb Williams and Drake Maye are two top-end prospects. There are others in the mix as well. Even if Matthew Stafford plays well, if the Rams are drafting in the top-5, they’ll have to consider drafting a young quarterback.

In Reid’s mock draft, Caleb Williams went number one overall to the Arizona Cardinals. With Kyler Murray, could the Rams look to move up with their division rival? The Tampa Bay Buccaneers then took Drake Maye at third overall.

If the Rams ended up selecting fifth, this would leave Quinn Ewers out of Texas who went eighth to the Washington Commanders in this scenario. Depending on how he plays this season, Ewers may be a great fit with McVay.

There’s still a lot of time between now and the 2024 NFL Draft and there will be plenty of time to talk about if the Rams are eliminated from playoff contention early. Still, with college football getting closer, it’s nice to have a few players on the radar.