Los Angeles Rams May Scouting Report
Wheeling and Dealing! Los Angeles entered the 2021 Draft with only six picks and GM Les Snead was able to make moves that netted nine total picks. Hopefully the picks pan out as the Rams made several selections that many pundits questioned. Offensive line was considered a position that Los Angeles needed to address in the Draft and they did not select a single offensive lineman. HC Sean McVay acquired franchise QB Matthew Stafford at the start of the year and added several potential weapons for him. 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 25 (57): WR Tutu Atwell (Louisville) is a diminutive but explosive player that Los Angeles hopes will add to their offensive arsenal. The Rams signed free agent WR DeSean Jackson to stretch the field and took a similar player with their first pick of the draft. Atwell could help the Rams but will have a tough time making a big enough impact for Fantasy with WR Robert Woods, WR Cooper Kupp, Jackson, and second year WR Van Jefferson ahead of him on the current depth chart. I think like Jefferson did last year, Atwell will learn and develop in his rookie year with hopes of contributing more in year two.
ROUND 3, PICK 40 (103): LB Ernest Jones (South Carolina) was the leader of the South Carolina defense and is a very instinctive player if not the most athletic prospect. Ironically, Los Angeles has a similar player in LB Micah Kiser. Micah was a productive starter when healthy but injuries have limited his availability. Jones and Kiser are both good character tackling machines and the Rams could use both on the field. If Kiser retains his starting position, Jones could be limited; however, if Ernest is able to crack the starting lineup, either next to or over Kiser, he could be a sleeper as a Fantasy IDP.
ROUND 4, PICK 12 (117): DT Bobby Brown (Texas A&M) is a big defensive lineman who the Rams will groom to replace Michael Brockers. DL A'Shawn Robinson should start the season next to DPOY DL Aaron Donald but Brown has the potential to develop into a solid starter. Brown has no Fantasy value but should help the Rams defense.
ROUND 4, PICK 25 (130): CB Robert Rochell (Central Arkansas) is a small school product with the size and skills to excel at the pro level. The Rams lost two starting defensive backs in the off season so Rochell has a chance to earn significant playing time if not a starting spot. Los Angeles has a good history of developing unknown defensive backs such as starter CB Darious Williams so hopefully Rochell is the next future star.
ROUND 4, PICK 36 (141): WR Jacob Harris (UCF) has a lot of physical tools but lacks experience and polish as a receiver. At 6'-5" with 4.4 speed, Harris will be counted on to contribute on special teams while learning to transition to tight end. Harris was a risky pick with potential to develop into a potential starter. The Rams hope their gamble pays off but for the immediate future he has zero Fantasy value.
ROUND 5, PICK 30 (174): DE Ernest Brown (Northwestern) is another project the Rams will develop to provide depth with the loss of Brokers and Morgan Fox. Brown was productive at Northwestern and has enough size, strength, and skill to contribute for this squad. As a fifth round selection, any production on defense would be appreciated.
ROUND 7, PICK 5 (233): RB Jake Funk (Maryland) is the first of three seventh round picks and could be a potential sleeper. Funk should immediately help on special teams and has the size and strength to possibly carve out a roll as a short yardage back, especially with the departure of Malcom Brown. Keep an eye on Funk in the preseason and start of the regular season.
ROUND 7, PICK 22 (249): WR Ben Skowronek (Notre Dame) is an interesting pick as the first five receivers should be set. Skowronek is by far the tallest receiver (not counting Harris since he is being groomed as a tight end) and could develop into a red zone threat if he makes the team. Picking this late in the draft, Los Angeles took a chance on a player with potential.
ROUND 7, PICK 25 (252): DE Chris Garrett (Concordia St. Paul) is another small school standout with a chance to make the team. LB Leonard Floyd is the only sure starter at the edge and Los Angeles needs to replace Samson Ebukam. Second year LB Terrell Lewis and LB Obo Okoronkwo have the inside track but Lewis has had trouble staying healthy and Obo has not proven himself in four years with the Rams. It would be a nice surprise if Garrett explodes onto the scene to earn significant playing time.
My pre-draft report was not as accurate as years past as Los Angeles did not really draft positions of need. As with the Stafford trade, I defer to McVay and Snead and will wait for the season to unfold before passing judgement. With the Draft over and mini camps in operation, football is getting closer. Hope everyone is staying safe and being mindful to each other as the pandemic is not over. Prayers go to my brother as he perseveres through adversity. Keep battling Strat, and keep the faith Bro. Love and blessings to my family. Miss you Pops! Aloha!
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