They say that it takes three years to fully evaluate a draft class. While some players could be late bloomers, by year three, typically teams know what they have in a player. The 2018 NFL Draft was Sean McVay’s second draft with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams made a run to the Super Bowl in 2018, but how did the rookie class pan out? The team didn’t select until the 89th overall pick. Let’s take a look at the class.
89th Overall – OT Joe Noteboom
Heading into 2018, it was thought that left tackle Andrew Whitworth might retire after the season. Yet, here we are three years later and we are still asking the same question about Whitworth. Noteboom has started at guard in each of the last two seasons, but both years he lost the spot due to injury.
At the very least, the Los Angeles Rams found a depth piece that can play guard or tackle. He did fill in at left tackle last season and played admirably. However, at this point, it’s hard to see him as the left tackle of the future. The Rams got unlucky with this pick as Orlando Brown was taken six picks earlier and has become one of the best young tackles in the NFL. For the spot, the Rams could have done a lot worse here.
111th Overall – C Brian Allen
With their first two picks, the writing was on the wall that the Los Angeles Rams were going to let Rodger Saffold and John Sullivan walk in free agency. The took Allen to be Sullivan’s replacement and that was a disaster. Allen allowed 21 pressures as a full-time starter and was inactive for most of this season.
The Rams traded Marcus Peters away for Kenny Young who was taken 11 picks later. That may have been the better route to go.
135th Overall – DL John Franklin-Myers
There are two parts of this selection. The Rams nailed this pick. Franklin-Myers was arguably the best rookie in this class that the Rams took. However, after sacking Tom Brady in the Super Bowl, he was shockingly cut in training camp heading into year two. It’s one of the more confusing moves this Rams coaching staff has made.
Franklin-Myers had three sacks last season with the Jets and will be one of the core players on their defense moving forward. It would have been fun to see how he developed in Los Angeles. I give the Rams an A on the pick and D for cutting him.
147th Overall – LB Micah Kiser
Sometimes the best ability is availability and that’s just something that Kiser hasn’t been. Kiser spent the entire 2019 season on injured reserve when the team expected him to be a starter and again was placed on injured reserve last season. He’s showed promise when he’s been on the field, but he’s been off of it more often than on it.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Rams do with Kiser. They have a hole at linebacker but Troy Reeder and Kenny Young played admirably last year as a duo. This will be a position group to watch.
160th Overall – EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo
Okoronkwo has been a player that fans have been excited about going into every season since his rookie year. However, he simply does not produce. He has just 2.5 sacks in two seasons of play. At this point the Rams know what they have in Okoronkwo. He’s a situational pass rusher and a depth piece.
176th Overall – RB John Kelly
In the sixth round it was thought that the Rams got the steal of the draft in running back John Kelly. Unfortunately that never came to fruition. When the Rams needed a running back at the end of 2018, they signed free agent CJ Anderson. Kelly was cut in 2019 and is now in Cleveland.
The next running back taken was Boston Scott by the Philadelphia Eagles. Scott has turned into what the Rams wanted Kelly to be.
192nd Overall – OL Jamil Demby
Some thought Demby could be a solid player on the offensive line, however, that wasn’t the case. Demby started in spots in 2019 and allowed 17 pressures in three games. It’s hard to do a lot better in the sixth round with low expectations especially when the alternatives weren’t necessarily better. Bradley Bozeman might have been a better pick, but at this point in the draft, you’re just throwing darts.
195th Overall – DL Sebastian Joseph-Day
Sebastian Joseph-Day is why you wait three years to evaluate a draft class. This is someone that many would have labeled a bust after year one and two. However, Joseph-Day really came into his own last season. He has three career sacks and had a career-high 72.4 run stopping grade by Pro Football Focus last season.
205th Overall – DE Trevon Young
Young was cut by the Rams heading into 2019 and signed by the Cleveland Browns.
231st Overall – LB Travin Howard
Travin Howard was in line to potentially start this season at linebacker but suffered an injury that placed him on season-ending IR. Like Kiser, he’ll be a player to watch going forward in what is a very intriguing position at linebacker.