Los Angeles Rams May Scouting Report
RAMS RELOAD! After losing Todd Gurley and Bradin Cooks in the off season, Los Angeles used their first two pick on their replacements. Running Back and Receiver were not considered positions of need but HC Sean McVay and GM Les Snead could not pass on the talent at those positions when they were on the clock. Like years past, the Rams did not have a first round pick and made trades during the Draft to acquire additional picks. When the Draft was over, Los Angeles made nine selections but did not take an offensive lineman until their last pick in the seventh round. This report will give my opinion of the pick and the impact the player could have for the Rams and Fantasy. The number in parenthesis is the overall pick number.
ROUND 2, PICK 20 (52): RB Cam Akers (FSU) was my favorite running back in the draft and I am happy the Rams took him; however, I wonder if the Rams could have planned better. This pick tells me that 2019 draft pick RB Darrell Henderson is not the feature back he was drafted to be. Los Angeles is paying a lot of "dead money" after releasing Todd Gurley and could have kept Todd on the roster as the feature back, and used this pick on a position of need. Akers has the size and skill to be a true lead back and he was too good for the Rams to pass on at pick 52. Look for Cam to take the starting spot early and lead the team in carries and yards from scrimmage. He is not the elite talent that Gurley was, but he has a better medical history and has potential to develop into and Pro Bowl type player. For Fantasy, he should be a RB2 with RB1 potential.
ROUND 2, PICK 25 (57): WR Van Jefferson (Florida) is the son of former NFL receiver and current Jets receiver coach Shawn Jefferson. Van is known for his polished route running and competitive nature and will be asked to secure the fourth receiver spot and possibly push WR Josh Reynolds. This pick was obtained from the Cooks trade and is similar to the Akers pick in that the player selected has a chance to fill the role of an established veteran from 2019. Jefferson is similar in size and skill to WR Robert Woods and if he can develop into the same kind of player, Los Angeles will be very happy. Van does not have much Fantasy value for 2020 but could be a sleeper in Dynasty leagues, especially if Kupp is not given a contract extension.
ROUND 3, PICK 20 (84): LB Terrell Lewis (Alabama) was mentioned in many Mock Drafts as a potential pick for the Rams given the loss of Dante Fowler; however, it was as a second round pick and not third. Lewis apparently fell in the draft due to his injury past (played only 26 games in college) that included a torn ACL in 2018. Terrell had a decent 2019 season and has potential to grow into a productive player for the Rams. If he stays healthy and develops his physical skills, Terrell could be one of the steals of the Draft. For Fantasy, Lewis has little to no value this season but has possible IDP value moving forward.
ROUND 3, PICK 40 (104): DB Terrell Burgess (Utah) played all over the defensive backfield for the Utes and versatility is one of his strong suites. Terrell has the opportunity to play the nickel corner spot vacated when the Rams did not resign Nickel Robey-Coleman. He could also be the top reserve for starters SS Taylor Rapp and FS John Johnson. Burgess was a solid pick late in the third round and though he has no Fantasy value, he gives the Rams a potential starter and versatile chess piece on defense.
ROUND 4, PICK 30 (136): TE Brycen Hopkins (Purdue) was a decent college tight end and like Jefferson, his father played in the league (former Pro Bowl Tackle Brad Hopkins). Tight End was not a position of need for Los Angeles but McVay and Snead felt he was good value after moving down in the fourth round. Hopkins does not offer much this year; as he has little to no chance beating out any of the current tight ends on the roster but his value could be in 2021 when TE Gerald Everett and TE Johnny Mundt are both free agents.
ROUND 6, PICK 20 (199): DB Jordan Fuller (Ohio St.) was a two time captain for the Buckeyes and is a high character player with a strong football IQ. His physical skills are limited and that is why he lasted until the sixth round. Fuller should compete for a roster spot as a special teams contributor and defensive reserve. He has no Fantasy value.
ROUND 7, PICK 20 (199): LB Clay Johnston (Baylor) is similar to Fuller in that he is an intelligent disciplined player with limited athletic skills. Johnston’s father was a NFL strength coach and Brett Favre endorsed Clay during the Draftathon. Clay is coming back from an ACL injury and when healthy should compete with the many other inside linebacker candidates. He has no Fantasy value.
ROUND 7, PICK 34 (248): PK Sam Sloman (Miami Ohio) has decent leg strength but I do not get this pick on two fronts. First, the Rams just signed two kickers prior to the Draft so why take another kicker? Second, if you are taking a kicker why not take the best kicker from the past college season Rodrigo Blankenship from Georgia? I am a John Fassel fan and not on board with the current moves to find a starting kicker to replace Greg Zuerlein. Signing two free agents to compete is fine but wasting draft capital on a third whom you could have signed as an undrafted free agent is a waste. Sloman will either have a ton of value if he is the starting kicker or zero value if he is cut.
ROUND 7, PICK 36 (250): OL Tremayne Anchrum (Clemson) was a starting tackle for one of the best college teams the past two years but due to physical limitations will most likely move to guard in the pros. Being a seventh round pick (and compensatory at that) means that if Anchrum even makes the final roster, that would be an achievement and good pick for the Rams. Obviously as a lineman he has no Fantasy value.
My pre-draft report was fairly accurate in terms of positions the Rams would address but not in the order they would address them. I am very optimistic that the first four players selected should help the Rams this season and hopefully the players chosen on Day 3 of the draft will provide depth while developing for future success. Cam Akers provides the highest Fantasy worth immediately and long term. Jefferson and Lewis could potentially grow to provide solid Fantasy production. As we continue to persevere through this crazy Covid-19 pandemic, the Draft was a nice piece of positive entertainment. Hopefully we get through this tribulation soon and get back to normalcy. Happy Mother’s Day to all the Moms out there, especially my Mom who is the best Mom ever! (Again, I have a biased opinion). Love and blessings to my family. Miss you Pops! Aloha!
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Sunday, September 13th, 2020
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