For the fourth consecutive year, the Los Angeles Rams will be without a draft pick inside the top-50. What the Rams have done with these selections is nothing less than incredible. How they have remained competitive without premier draft picks defies football logic.
Last season, the Rams took Cam Akers and Van Jefferson in the second round and the year before it was Taylor Rapp. Akers became a contributor on offense as a rookie while Jefferson was more of a role player. Rapp has been a role player on defense as well.
The Rams will rely heavily on their scouting department in April. Here’s a look at some players that the Rams will be hoping to draft at 57:
iOL Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma
Creed Humphrey is one of, if not the best center in the draft. Unfortunately, because that’s the case, there’s a pretty good chance that he’s simply not available at 57. Humphrey dominated at the senior bowl and would give the Rams a cheap option and also a good replacement for Austin Blythe.
Humphrey might not be immediately better than Blythe, but given time, he has a high ceiling. Unlike someone like Landon Dickerson from Alabama, Humphrey is durable as he’s made 36 straight starts. He also has a high football IQ which is important to the center position.
With that said, it’s unlikely that the Rams take an offensive lineman early. Last season it was considered a position of need and the Rams took Tremayne Anchrum with their final pick in the seventh round. The Rams value continuity and will make a strong effort to bring back Blythe.
According the The Draft Network: In the right scheme, he has the chance to go on to eventually become a long-term starter in a power-centric offense that keeps his demands in short areas.
S Jevon Holland, Oregon
Despite being deep at the position, the Rams need a safety. Putting faith in Terrell Burgess who spent most of last season injured is a big risk. There’s also a chance that the Rams simply move Burgess to slot corner. Taylor Rapp struggles in coverage and Jordan Fuller is also an inexperienced player. While Holland is a rookie and also inexperienced, he at the very least gives the Rams some starting caliber depth.
Holland can play down at corner or in the box. He also brings that communication in the secondary that the Rams will be losing with John Johnson III. Fans may put a priority on edge or offensive line, but don’t be surprised if the Rams leave the second round with a safety.
According to The Draft Network: He shows excellent versatility and football intelligence to align in multiple places in the secondary. He demonstrates good leadership and communication on the back end and easily adjusts with motion. He is an excellent athlete with loose hips, agility, and body control while in coverage.
EDGE Jordan Smith, UAB
While Basham might be the better player, Smith is by far the better fit in the Rams’ 3-4 base scheme. He also fits what the Rams look for at the position. He’s a lengthy player with speed and bend that the Rams have missed on the edge since releasing Robert Quinn.
In 2019 he had the highest pressure rate in the NCAA and had some flashes in the Senior Bowl. He’s a raw player, but with good coaching, the sky is the limit.
According to The Draft Network: Smith is a highly appealing piece of moldable clay, but there is plenty of room for him to grow and he’ll need to in order to become an impact playmaker in the NFL on every down and not just a situational guy.
LB Dylan Moses, Alabama
Another linebacker that the Rams could look at would be Dylan Moses from Alabama. Again, he’s another player than just might not be there when the Rams select at 57. When you draft as late as the Rams are, you’re best hope is that the teams in front of you draft for need rather than talent and that talent drops.
Moses is another guy that has that sideline to sideline range and speed that the Rams are simply lacking at the linebacker position. He would make an immediate difference in the middle of the Rams defense, but because of his experience and lack of flaws, there is a good chance he’s gone before the Rams would pick.
According to The Draft Network: He’s a supremely unique athlete at the position. He has true sideline-to-sideline range and it’s rare to see him outran.
EDGE Carlos Basham Jr., Wake Forest
If I were to bet on one position that the Rams take at 57, I would place my bet on edge. This is even if the Rams bring back Leonard Floyd. Samson Ebukam is going to hit free agency. Last year’s third-round pick Terrell Lewis did himself no favors in proving that he wasn’t prone to injury.
At the very least, the Rams need top-tier depth rushing the passer on the edge. Basham had a good week at the Senior Bowl and is someone that could be available at 57 when the Rams pick. The Wake Forest edge rusher is a fantastic player, but may not be the perfect fit in a 3-4 scheme.
According to The Draft Network: He’s a power style end that is strong at the point of attack, does well to contain, and features a sufficient pass-rushing skill set where his technique and effort leads to pressure on the quarterback.
OT Dillon Radunz, North Dakota State
Two years ago, the Los Angeles Rams drafted Joe Noteboom to be the heir apparent to Andrew Whitworth. Fast forward to three years later and Whitworth is still playing. The Rams could decide that Noteboom is the guy or keep him in his current depth role and also bring in someone like Radunz.
There are also questions about the right side of the offensive line with Robert Havenstein and guard with David Edwards. If the Rams lose Blythe, they could opt to move Austin Corbett to center which would then open up a position at guard.
Radunz is someone who will start his career at guard and then move to tackle. He played very well at the senior bowl, showing off his skills in the run game and holding up well in pass protection.
According to The Draft Network: In the run game, he is excellent. He has a nasty disposition as a run blocker and wants to maul you.
LB Jabril Cox, LSU
Like Humphrey, it is slightly unlikely that Cox is available in at 57 and even if he is there, it is unlikely that the Rams take a linebacker this early. The Rams simply don’t place a high value on the position. They use their secondary as an extension of their linebackers. With fewer teams playing in a true 3-4 or 4-3, the value on the position has also dipped.
With that said however, Cox would be a fantastic addition to the Rams defense. He’s outstanding in coverage and is a true sideline to sideline player. While the Rams can get by with the players that they do have, Cox would be an immediate difference maker.
According to The Draft Network: He is terrific in both man and zone coverage, making him an ideal matchup linebacker that can handle tight ends, running backs, and some slot receivers. He has terrific range, mobility, and his motor always runs hot.
S Richie Grant, UCF
Whether Richie Grant is available at 57 is a toss-up at this point. However, like Holland, he also brings that versatility in the secondary. The Rams could lose John Johnson III and will likely let Troy Hill hit the free agent market as well. With not a lot of depth at corner and the need for a starting safety, having the versatility is important.
Grant had a pretty good week at the Senior Bowl, showing off his ability as a potential ball-hawk in the secondary.
According to The Draft Network: His best role at the next level comes as a free safety, but he is fairly interchangeable. Grant brings good size and athleticism to the table and doesn’t have physical limitations.
iOL Josh Myers, Ohio State
Some might prefer Landon Dickerson, but as someone who still suffers from PTSD because of Barrett Jones, I prefer Humphrey or Myers. Dickerson gives off huge Barrett Jones vibes. The two players went to Alabama. They both played all five positions on the offensive line. And they each have an extensive injury history.
That is something that I am going to stay away from. If Humphrey is not available, Myers makes the most sense. Myers has limitations and probably isn’t a huge upgrade over Austin Blythe, but he could end up being a solid piece on an offensive line with the right coaching.
According to The Draft Network: Myers is a big-bodied center with a pleasant level of lateral mobility to play along the line of scrimmage, but he lacks the dynamic short-area quickness to consistently win isolated reps climbing to the second level or pulling and working out in front of plays that stretch to the boundary.
WR Amari Rodgers, Clemson
After taking Van Jefferson in the second round just last year, I would find it very unlikely that the Rams take another wide receiver this early. However, if there is one guy that they could look at here, it’s Amari Rodgers. Rodgers brings everything that the Rams are missing in their receiver corps.
He’s fast and he can return punts. But that’s not all he can do. He’s a physical player which allows him to have success making contest catches against players who are much bigger than he is. His physicality also makes him a good blocker in the run game. Rodgers had a great Senior Bowl and is someone that the Rams would have to look at on draft day.
According to The Draft Network: He has reliable hands, plays a physical brand of football, and is a good athlete. When it comes to identifying areas of growth for Rodgers, developing his route tree and finding more consistency when challenged at the catch point stand out.