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Los Angeles Rams April Scouting Report
Layton Pang

The Super Bowl Champs have traded away early draft picks for proven veterans and their moves paid off in 2021. Los Angeles has done well developing later round picks and this coming draft provides another opportunity for the Rams to replenish the roster. Los Angeles currently has eight picks in the upcoming Draft; however, their first pick is not until pick 40 of the third round, which is the 104th overall pick. The Rams lost three captains this off season; one by trade (Robert Woods), one by retirement (Andrew Whitworth), and one by cap casualty (Johnny Hekker). Los Angeles also lost starters Von Miller, Darious Williams, and Austin Corbett in free agency. GM Les Snead and HC Sean McVay have done an excellent job maintaining the talent on the roster and are willing to make moves up and/or down the board come Draft Day. The Rams resigned OT Joseph Noteboom to start at left tackle. WR Allen Robinson will step in for Woods and the Rams made another big move, signing future Hall of Fame LB Bobby Wagner. Wagner plays a different position than Miller but he could have just as big of an impact and he should also help the development of promising LB Ernest Jones who is entering his second season. Let's take a look at the picks the Rams have and players who could be available at that draft slot. The number in parenthesis is the overall pick.


ROUND 3, PICK 40 (104): The Rams first pick comes late in the third round as a compensatory pick. Last year I mentioned OL Creed Humphrey (Oklahoma) as a player the Rams could use but Los Angeles passed on him for WR Tutu Atwell who had a very disappointing rookie season. Humphrey was selected by the Chiefs six pics later and went on to have a Pro-Bowl season and is already considered one of the top centers in the league. OL Dylan Parham (Memphis) is a slightly undersized interior lineman who has enough talent to play either guard spot with the potential to play center at the pro level. Los Angeles would be fortunate to get Parham as he would provide immediate depth and could develop into a decent starter. Other offensive linemen the Rams could consider are OT Max Mitchell (Louisiana) and OG Cole Strange (Chattanooga).


ROUND 4, PICK 37 (142): This is another compensatory pick and even though the Rams selected LB Terrell Lewis and LB Chris Garrett recently, Los Angeles lost Miller and Obo Okoronkwo in the off-season so they may look for an edge rusher to provide depth. LB Chauncey Manac (Louisiana), LB Jeffrey Gunter (Coastal Carolina), and LB DeAngelo Malone (Western Kentucky) are three small school studs who could help on special teams while growing into potential defensive contributors. If the Rams feel good going with Lewis, Garret, LB Justin Hollins, and LB Leonard Floyd as their outside linebackers, they could select a cornerback with this pick to provide depth or possibly challenge for a starting spot. CB Damarri Mathis (Pittsburgh) and CB Joshua Thompson (Texas) are athletic corners who could develop into solid players.


ROUND 5, PICK 32 (175): Depending on how the first two picks go, Los Angeles could go in many directions with this pick. This late in the Draft, most teams look for players with upside who could provide depth or contribute on special teams right away. During the McVay/Snead era, Los Angeles has taken a running back and/or receiver every year hoping to win the lottery. Last year Atwell and RB Jake Funk did little to warrant their selections and the Rams could go back to the well for another offensive playmaker. RB Cam Akers made a miraculous comeback from an Achilles injury and should be better this season. RB Darrell Henderson always deals with minor injuries and I am not sure what the plan is for free agent RB Sony Michel. If he is available, RB Ty Chandler (North Carolina) would be a great choice; however, he could be long gone. RB D'Vonte Price (Florida International), RB Mataeo Durant (Duke), and RB Julius Chestnut (Sacred Hearts) are unheralded runners with skills and speed to challenge the current Ram runners on the roster other than Akers and Henderson.


ROUND 6, PICKS 33 (211), 34 (212), and 40 (218) and ROUND 7, PICKS 17 & 32 (238 & 253): This late in the Draft is anyone's guess and a lot will depend on who the Rams take with their earlier picks. I have seen mock Drafts having Los Angeles selecting a punter; however, they recently signed veteran SP Riley Dixon so I do not think taking a punter in this Draft is prudent. The Rams would be better suited signing an undrafted free agent to be a camp leg or potential challenger to Dixon.


The Rams have had a solid off season retaining some or their own free agents and adding several new weapons to offset their losses. Wagner and Robinson will play big roles as players and mentors, especially Wagner. Los Angeles likes to select players with certain skill sets and tries to develop each player to maximize their talents. Rookies are allowed time work on their bodies as well as their games so that when their number is called to contribute, they are prepared to succeed. This formula has worked for Los Angeles as witnessed by TE Brycen Hopkins' productivity in the Super Bowl after barely seeing the field during the year. Another example of this accomplishment is the number of their players getting large free agent contract offers when they become eligible. The NFL Draft is upon us so check back next month for recap of the Ram's selections. Have a Happy Easter and God Bless you and your families. Love and blessings to my family; miss you Pops and Scratch! Aloha!



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