The success of Jordan Love in Green Bay is likely to make a lot of draft prognosticators confident that the “right thing to do” for a 36-year-old quarterback is to pick his successor in the first round. I am going to go out on a limb and say that L.A. Rams fans will largely disagree and see that the team should focus on other needs and to hope that Matthew Stafford has at least three more years left in his right arm.
Not that people who make mock drafts will care what Rams fans want.
One such person is NFL.com’s Bucky Brooks, who had the team taking Oregon quarterback Bo Nix with the 19th overall pick in his first mock draft of the year:
As Matthew Stafford heads toward his age-36 season, the Rams could target his eventual replacement early in the 2024 draft. Nix’s experience and maturity fits a locker room that takes a business-like approach to preparation.
Brooks’ counterpart at the NFL, Daniel Jeremiah, had Nix going to the Saints at 14 and L.A. choosing UCLA’s defensive end Laiatu Latu at 19.
But the Rams being connected to Nix is nothing new.
PFF’s midseason mock draft had the Rams taking Nix months ago. Fansided called the Rams “the perfect landing spot” for Bo Nix. Locked On Draft said the Rams “need” to have a quarterback like Nix:
But there are still many who don’t even see Bo Nix as a first round pick, let alone as the franchise successor to Stafford.
Nix, once a highly-touted recruit at Auburn, transferred to Oregon in 2022 after failing to retain the starting position with the Tigers. His numbers were not good until landed with Dan Lanning at Oregon. Nix had a solid first season, but finished third in Heisman voting in 2023: 77% completions, 45 TD, 3 INT, and six rushing touchdowns.
However, Nix wasn’t tasked with taking over the offense or needing to be the best on the field. Instead, he was more of a “game manager” and didn’t do anything to hurt the Ducks.
Jeremiah called him a “plug and play” starter in the NFL, but if it was believed he could do that well right away in the league, he wouldn’t get past the top-5 picks in the draft.
Just the fact that Jeremiah and Brooks see Nix so differently—one to immediately replace Derek Carr (Jeremiah’s words) and the other to say that he should sit for a couple years behind Stafford—shows how little consensus there is on the Oregon quarterback.
Many would still say that he’ll be there in round two, if not round three, in April.
Should the Rams draft a quarterback? Well, it could be the best thing that ever happens to the franchise if a marquee player slips to them this year. But the odds say that more likely than not, the best available prospect at 19 won’t be a quarterback and the Rams do need help right away because they’re on the verge of a return to the Super Bowl at this current trajectory.
Help elsewhere on the team would be wiser unless the opportunity is too good to be true. Not too low to be Bo.