After spending the past week watching and interviewing the best senior prospects available in the 2020 NFL draft, I wanted to shuffle the deck and create a seven-round, Los Angeles Rams-centric mock draft using only Senior Bowl players.
Let’s see how the Rams could potentially come away with some impact players from the North and South squads.
2nd Round – 52nd Overall: Joshua Uche, EDGE, Michigan
I’ve discussed this week how much Joshua Uche has not only flashed but raised his stock. I would make the argument Uche is 100 percent gone before the third round. So, in this scenario the Rams tab Uche as their first pick of the 2020 class. Uche has a blend of speed, power, bend and football IQ. He knows how to win one on one and I think he would generate a huge boost to the edge presence for the Rams.
With the Rams likely to lose to Dante Fowler Jr. in the offseason, I would expect they go with an edge defender to replace him early on in the draft. Uche is a game-changing talent that would start day one for the Rams. The team already has familiarity with Michigan having drafted CB David Long from their program a year ago. It’s important in this league to have speed rushers that can get to the quarterback before they use their quick release and let it rip down the field.
Uche is a perfect example of someone that can play at full speed and use his ankle flexion to run underneath any tackle as if they were a tunnel. Uche would be a prime candidate to retool the new defense under Brandon Staley.
3rd Round – 84th Overall: Lloyd Cushenberry III, IOL, LSU
One of the draft crushes I developed while in Mobile is Lloyd Cushenberry III. The Rams need an impact blocker that can change the offensive line. They actually had that but decided not to bring him back or even offer him a contract…Rodger Saffold. However, they have an opportunity to add a game-changer in Cushenberry.
He’s done an excellent job this week raising his stock by stymying guys such as the head honcho here in Mobile — DT Javon Kinlaw. Cushenberry has great balance, overall quickness and athleticism for the position. He can win as a pass protector or in the run game where he climbs to the second level to pave the way for the ball-carrier.
With the Rams having a very uncertain future on the offensive line, Cushenberry could be a big step forward in adding clarity to the offensive line. It’s uncertain what the Rams will do. They have David Edwards, Brian Allen, Joseph Noteboom, Jamil Demby and Bobby Evans whom they all drafted. Following that, they have Andrew Whitworth set to hit free agency along with Austin Blythe. On top of that they have the one guy who is locked up long term Rob Havenstein as the odd man out of the starting rotation.
With all those things considered, Cushenberry seems like the best option for the Rams here and to help build back up that offensive line.
4th Round – 116th Overall: Hakeem Adeniji, OT, Kansas
Hakeem Adeniji has been a starter for Kansas since 2016 and has not missed a game in that time. He’s a good left tackle prospect that has the quickness and anchor you need to play the position. He does not pose a threat with his punch, he doesn’t have the heaviest of hands but it’s his fluidity that keeps him a consistent player all around.
He’s got great technique and overall mechanics and the reason he will likely be available here is his lack of exposure from playing at Kansas but more so the fact he’s not a heavy-handed guy that makes wow type of blocks. This is someone that projects as a consistent above-average starting left tackle at the next level.
As mentioned above, the Rams have uncertainty on the offensive line but they arguably only have one true tackle on the offensive line and the problem is, we do not know if he’s a blindside protector. The only three true tackles are Havenstein, Evans and Noteboom and of those three Noteboom is the only true left tackle. It’s dependent on what the coaches think about their in-house guys.
Adeniji could easily come into the building grab hold of the starting left tackle spot.
4th Round – Compensatory Selection: Kyle Dugger, DB, Lenoir-Rhyne
Kyle Dugger reminds me a ton of LaMarcus Joyner and while many Rams fans might feel cautious after hearing that, it’s worth mentioning that Joyner was tooth-pick thin and Dugger has a filled-out over 210-pound frame.
Dugger is from a small school but before you judge him for it, let me just say he’s been the most impressive defensive back of the group here in Mobile. Dugger has it all as a defensive back. He can win in man coverage, zone coverage, operate around the line of scrimmage, use his impressive range to bait quarterbacks into interceptions (something he has done this week) and he can tackle. You don’t have to worry about Dugger flat out missing tackles like others.
The Rams aren’t going to bring back Eric Weddle in my opinion and Marqui Christian might end up leaving for a starting role somewhere else. With that being said Taylor Rapp is a box safety and that means with John Johnson III patrolling the strong safety spot, the Rams do not have a true free safety. Dugger would provide the athleticism to fill the void on that. He would also work well as a chess piece for the Rams.
If he was from the SEC this guy would likely go early second-round or maybe even late-first. He’s a legit football player that can be a playmaker at the next level.
5th Round – 155th Overall: Cameron Brown, LB, Penn State
Now, Cameron Brown could go higher especially in a weaker linebacker class but this is where I’ve been seeing him. Brown confirmed to me that he had in fact met with the Rams and had a meeting that went very well so it’s safe to say there is some interest there.
Brown is a physical freak that is being worked out in Mobile at both inside backer and as a true pass rusher off the edge. Brown is someone I would expect the Rams to have a high value on. Brown is a raw player but is someone that can come in a sub-package role and make things happen.
It is unclear whether or not teams view Brown as an immediate starter but when watching the film you can tell he’s got a higher ceiling but he has a long way to go. Here in the fifth round you are trying to acquire depth, potential and maybe fill a role if you can.
Cory Littleton will be a free agent this offseason and whether they bring him back or not Brown would be a nice addition to an already talented defense.
6th Round – 179th Overall: Damien Lewis, IOL, LSU
I would want nothing more than to have National Champion blockers, Lewis and Cushenberry, on the same squad. I think they both have done a nice job here in Mobile thus far. Williams had a monster day yesterday which I think got people talking about his name.
It remains to be seen where he will go in the draft obviously. I do, however, believe Lewis could fall down the board after the Senior Bowl. This is a solid group of offensive linemen and I feel as though Lewis would be tremendous value here in the sixth round.
7th Round – 211th Overall: McTelvin Agim, DL, Arkansas
This would be a dream selection in the seventh round. McTelvin Agim was a late addition to the Senior Bowl roster after being a big-time standout at the Shrine Bowl.
Agim is a quick interior defensive lineman that prides himself on rushing the passer. The Rams need more of an interior presence and since we haven’t added anyone to go next to Donald yet, Agim is a perfect choice here round seven to potentially be up there for steal of the draft.
One thing is for certain. No one wants to see Agim lined up next to Aaron Donald next season because that’s a lot of pressure and quickness to combat. Not many offensive linemen will be able to hold their own against those two.
Agim’s one flaw is how he is somewhat of a liability in the running game. He would have to be used strategically but could really thrive in a pass-rushing role.
Current Projected Post-Draft Depth Chart:
QB: Jared Goff/John Wolford
RB: Todd Gurley/Malcolm Brown/Darrell Henderson/John Kelly
WR: Robert Woods/Josh Reynolds
WR: Brandin Cooks/Nsimba Webster
SWR: Cooper Kupp/Greg Dortch
TE: Tyler Higbee/Gerald Everett/Johnny Mundt/Kendall Blanton/Ethan Wolf
LT: Joseph Noteboom/Hakeem Adeniji
LG: Austin Corbett/Chandler Brewer/Damien Lewis
C: Lloyd Cushenberry III/Jeremiah Kolone/Nate Trewyn
RG: David Edwards/Jamil Demby
RT: Bobby Evans/Rob Havenstein
DE: Morgan Fox/Justin Lawler/McTelvin Agim
NT: Sebastian Joseph-Day/Greg Gaines/Marquise Copeland
DE: Aaron Donald/Tanzel Smart
OLB: Samson Ebukam/Ogbonnia Okoronkwo/Jachai Polite/Jeff Holland
ILB: Travin Howard/Cameron Brown
ILB: Troy Reeder/Micah Kiser/Kenny Young
OLB: Joshua Uche/Clay Matthews/Natrez Patrick
CB: Jalen Ramsey/David Long/Darious Williams
CB: Troy Hill/Nickell Robey-Coleman/Adonis Alexander
FS: Taylor Rapp/Eric Weddle/Kyle Dugger/Nick Scott
SS: John Johnson III/Jake Gervase
P: Johnny Hekker
LS: Jake McQuaide