Throughout draft weekend, I conducted a “shadow draft,” meaning that any time the Rams were on the clock to select a player, so was I. I figured this would be a fun exercise just to see the different paths of “my” draft class and the Rams’ real-life draft class.
The rules of engagement for the shadow draft were straightforward:
- I had to make my pick before the Rams’ selection was announced.
- I “drafted” with the Rams’ roster and the corresponding needs in mind.
- I would follow along with whatever real-life trades the Rams made. So even though I might have wanted to trade down from 52 or 57 or would not have wanted to trade down from 126, I was along for the ride.
52nd Overall Pick – CB Kristian Fulton, LSU
In several mocks prior to the draft, I had selected Michigan EDGE Joshua Uche with this pick. However, Fulton was a projected top-20 pick and arguably a top-3 cornerback in the class. The value here was too good to pass up. Jalen Ramsey and Troy Hill are no longer on deals after this year. Fulton would have given the Rams a future at the position as well as great value at 52. His length and ability in press coverage have the makings of a top cornerback on any team.
Where They Went: 61st overall, Tennessee Titans
Actual Rams Pick: RB Cam Akers
57th Overall Pick – EDGE Joshua Uche, Michigan
I would have liked to see a trade back here and for the Rams to get more picks in the third to fifth rounds. However, I still get my guy here at 52 in Uche. The Michigan edge defender was one of the best in the class and had a pass-rush win-rate last season only worse than Chase Young’s. Uche would have given the Rams an immediate presence off of the edge after losing Dante Fowler Jr. in free agency.
Where They Went: 60th overall, New England Patriots
Actual Rams Pick: WR Van Jefferson
84th Overall Pick – LB Troy Dye, Oregon
The Rams needed a linebacker and while I was higher on Troy Dye than some, being able to select him at 84 just seemed to be too good. After losing Cory Littleton in free agency, this is a team that has a massive hole in the middle of the defense. While Dye does have his issues, he’s also extremely athletic and has the ability to cover the modern NFL tight end. It was disappointing to see Logan Wilson off of the board, but Dye fills an immediate need.
Where They Went: 132nd overall, Minnesota Vikings
Actual Rams Pick: EDGE Terrell Lewis
104th Overall Pick – iOL Nick Harris, Washington
It was disappointing to miss out on Lloyd Cushenberry earlier in the third round by one pick. However, the Rams still get a good player in Nick Harris. Brian Allen was a weak-point at center last season and while the team re-signed Austin Blythe, getting another young player in to play guard this season and learn the ropes would not have been a bad idea. Harris has great footwork and is a good mover in space. He would have bit a good fit in the Rams’ scheme.
Where They Went: 160th overall, Cleveland Browns
Actual Rams Pick: S Terrell Burgess
136th Overall Pick – OT Hakeem Adeniji, Kansas
Back-to-back offensive lineman, but Adeniji is such a good fit in the Rams’ scheme, it’s hard to pass up. Adeniji may have been one of the most versatile offensive linemen in the draft as was also a great mover in space and getting to the second level. This is a player that you could start inside at guard and potentially move out to tackle after Andrew Whitworth retires. With Harris and Adeniji, the Rams would have a future on the offensive line as well as superb depth this season at what was a weak-point in 2019.
Where They Went: 180th Overall, Cincinnati Bengals
Actual Rams Pick: TE Brycen Hopkins
199th Overall Pick – S Geno Stone, Iowa
With Johnson and Rapp, the Rams really only needed to replenish their safety depth after losing Marqui Christian. Stone isn’t the fastest or most athletic player, but his football intelligence is off the chart. His toughness and ability to recognize routes would have made him at the very least made him a good depth player and contributor on special teams.
Where They Went: 219th Overall, Baltimore Ravens
Actual Rams Pick: S Jordan Fuller
234th Overall Pick – WR Quartney Davis, Texas A&M
How Davis fell this far and ended up going undrafted is a little mind-boggling. Davis was a very good route-runner and showed well at the Senior Bowl. Davis is a much-lesser Van Jefferson, but would have been a good fit and depth piece in the Rams’ wide receiver group. With some coaching, there would have been a good chance that he could take over in the slot if the Rams are unable to bring back Cooper Kupp next offseason.
Where They Went: Undrafted
Actual Rams Pick: LB Clay Johnston
248th Overall Pick – TE Thaddeus Moss, LSU
I was not a fan of the Rams taking a tight end in the fourth round and one that compares comparably to Gerald Everett. The Rams could use a tight end, but one more in the blocking category. Moss is a fantastic blocker and can be a big body down in the red zone. There is room for improvement as a pass-catcher, but simply as a blocker, Moss would have been a good addition as the Rams potentially move to more 12 personnel.
Where They Went: Undrafted
Actual Rams Pick: K Sam Sloman
250th Overall Pick – LB Francis Bernard, Utah
Bernard is a smaller linebacker, but he has the attitude that you want to play special teams and potentially develops into a contributor. At this point in the seventh round, that’s all you can ask for.
Where They Went: Undrafted
Actual Rams Pick: OT Tremayne Anchrum
The Full Class
52 – CB Kristian Fulton
57 – EDGE Joshua Uche
84 – LB Troy Dye
104 – iOL Nick Harris
136 – OT Hakeem Adeniji
199 – S Geno Stone
234 – WR Quartney Davis
248 – TE Thaddeus Moss
250 – LB Francis Bernard
Based on where they were actually selected Nick Harris was my biggest reach. However, I feel like he was a solid player that could be depth this year or start at guard and then move to center next season. The Brian Allen experiment was a disaster and Harris replaces him. To that same point, that’s also the biggest difference in my draft and the Rams draft. I went back-to-back offensive linemen, while the Rams didn’t address the position until the seventh round. They clearly have confidence in what they have. While I like players like Bobby Evans and David Edwards, I didn’t think it would hurt to bring in depth.