Draft - First Priority: The Cases for CB, OL, EDGE and DL

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AvengerRam

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While the Rams have certainly surprised me in the past, I feel fairly confident that their top draft priority won't be QB, RB, WR, TE or S. I also doubt that the Rams would take an ILB with their first pick, unless a particularly attractive prospect fell to them at #57. That leaves four areas which I think could be the focus. Here's my case for each:

Cornerback
You can never have too many quality CBs in this league. Right now, the Rams have a great starting 2 with Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams. The depth, however, is questionable. Troy Hill is gone. David Long has not proven he is ready for a key role. Terrell Burgess (who can play nickel) may need to take more of a role as a SS. Add to that the fact that Williams is not locked in long term, and CB could be a very good place to start. If the Rams can find a high quality player in the second round, and have him for 4 years on a rookie contract, that would be a great thing for the defense.

Offensive Line
Right now, the center position seems to be the most glaring hole in the starting lineup. While there are candidates, there is no clear starter at the position. As a result, part of me thinks that center would be the clear target (Creed Humphrey, Josh Myers and Quinn Meinerz being potential selections). However, another part of me thinks that the Rams' philosophy might prompt them to wait Round 3 or later to find a guy who fits their zone blocking system with the idea of "coaching him up." The Rams could also consider an OT to prepare for the post-Whitworth era.

EDGE Rusher
The Rams have a formidable pass rushing duo in Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd. It would be great to make this at trio. The question is, is the third guy already on the roster (Lewis, Obo), or is this a position that could be a primary draft target. Certainly, the degree of difficulty for a rookie EDGE rusher will be low in L.A., as he might never see a double team.

Defensive Line
Personally, I think the Rams have enough in their rotation with Donald, SJD, Robinson and Gaines to form a foundation, and may not need to add another guy until later in the draft. That said, it would not shock me if the highest rated player on the board at #57 is a DL, which could lead the Rams to take a guy to replace Michael Brockers sooner, rather than later.

If I'm giving % odds, I'd break it down as follows in terms of likelihood:

Cornerback: 40%
Offensive Line: 35%
EDGE Rusher: 10%
Defensive Line: 10%
Other Position: 5%
 

OldSchool

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Excellent breakdown and I like those percentages.
 
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FaulkSF

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You may want to increase DL Avenger. No more Fox and Brockers. SJD and Ashawn are in contract years. Sure the Rams may like their UDFAs, but can they compete and make plays against NFL starters?
 

OldSchool

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You may want to increase DL Avenger. No more Fox and Brockers. SJD and Ashawn are in contract years. Sure the Rams may like their UDFAs, but can they compete and make plays against NFL starters?
Ashawn has another year after this one. We redid his contract at the start of last year and added one to it. But yes aside from Gaines it's a bunch of UDFA behind those 4.
 
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AvengerRam

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You may want to increase DL Avenger. No more Fox and Brockers. SJD and Ashawn are in contract years. Sure the Rams may like their UDFAs, but can they compete and make plays against NFL starters?
I definitely think the Rams will look to bolster the DL rotation in Rounds 3-5. I'm just not sure they'll hit that spot first.
 

AvengerRam

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If the people in charge are smart, the first priority should be the best player available within reason.

Immediate needs are supposed to be filed via free agency. Attempting to do so with a rookie is foolish.
Last year, the Rams went to the second round of the playoffs with rookies at RB and FS.
 

Memento

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Offensive line. Easily offensive line. We need at least two: a center and a left tackle to eventually take over for Whitworth - and I wouldn't be surprised if we took a third.
 
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AvengerRam

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But had Rapp and Henderson on the roster, which was his point.
So? Neither was an established starter (Rapp started 10 games as a rookie, Henderson didn't start any) so the Rams clearly saw some need to bolster those spots.

With the exception of center, we have players at every starting position with some amount of experience. Nonetheless, certain positions could end up being filled by a rookie (particularly a Top 100 prospect).

Now we're saying CB is a bigger need than C? Yikes
That's the question I'm struggling with. Center seems like the obvious spot, but the Rams may very well believe that they can get the right guy in later rounds, or that the right guy is already on the roster. With CB, its a numbers thing. Yes, we have very good CBs, but we can use more.
 

OldSchool

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But had Rapp and Henderson on the roster, which was his point.

Now we're saying CB is a bigger need than C? Yikes
There are a lot of fans who get the impression from Snead and McVay that the answer to center and possibly guard are on the roster. Same hasn't been said for replacing Hill's snaps. Hill played 95% of our snaps on defense in the regular season last year not sure we can count on Long to replace that and so far from what I've seen they haven't suggested somebody on the roster will replace him like they've hinted with Blythe.
 

8to12

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Ashawn has another year after this one. We redid his contract at the start of last year and added one to it. But yes aside from Gaines it's a bunch of UDFA behind those 4.
Good point. And, to add, SJD and Gaines are Nose Tackles. There really isn'yt any true 3-4DE on the roster right now.
 
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FrantikRam

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So? Neither was an established starter (Rapp started 10 games as a rookie, Henderson didn't start any) so the Rams clearly saw some need to bolster those spots.

With the exception of center, we have players at every starting position with some amount of experience. Nonetheless, certain positions could end up being filled by a rookie (particularly a Top 100 prospect).


That's the question I'm struggling with. Center seems like the obvious spot, but the Rams may very well believe that they can get the right guy in later rounds, or that the right guy is already on the roster. With CB, its a numbers thing. Yes, we have very good CBs, but we can use more.


Right but the point is neither Akers not Fuller were need picks. They were bpa types which is what he was advocating for. The fact that they ended up starting just means they were great picks. Although you could argue that Akers was a need.

Drafting for the future, we currently have five OL to replace: Blythe, Whitworth, Noteboom, Allen and Corbett. That puts OL at defcom five for me.
 
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Memento

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Right but the point is neither Akers not Fuller were need picks. They were bpa types which is what he was advocating for. The fact that they ended up starting just means they were great picks. Although you could argue that Akers was a need.

Drafting for the future, we currently have five OL to replace: Blythe, Whitworth, Noteboom, Allen and Corbett. That puts OL at defcom five for me.

In addition, this is an amazing offensive line class. Very good linemen will be available in the third and fourth rounds. From top to bottom - at least, in my honest opinion - there are at five centers (Myers, Meinerz, Humphrey, Dickerson, and Jackson) who will start and thrive in the NFL and at least five more (Dalman, Hill, Morrissey, Menet, and Green) who have a chance at starting and thriving. And offensive tackles and guards in this draft are amazing, even if you take away Sewell and the rest of the guaranteed first round picks. I will be extremely disappointed if we don't take advantage.
 

AvengerRam

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Right but the point is neither Akers not Fuller were need picks. They were bpa types which is what he was advocating for. The fact that they ended up starting just means they were great picks. Although you could argue that Akers was a need.
That’s the point. We might not have seen RB as a top need last year but, perhaps, the Rams did. I don’t think it’s ever purely a decision based on need or BPA. It’s always some of both.
Drafting for the future, we currently have five OL to replace: Blythe, Whitworth, Noteboom, Allen and Corbett. That puts OL at defcom five for me.
I don’t know that we need to find replacements for all of those players now.
 

Elmgrovegnome

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But had Rapp and Henderson on the roster, which was his point.

Now we're saying CB is a bigger need than C? Yikes

RB was certainly a need. Henderson played well when healthy but that has been the problem.

Good point. And, to add, SJD and Gaines are Nose Tackles. There really isn'yt any true 3-4DE on the roster right now.

Gaines has played at DE. But yeah they need a body for the future. They seem to be high on Banks.

Right but the point is neither Akers not Fuller were need picks. They were bpa types which is what he was advocating for. The fact that they ended up starting just means they were great picks. Although you could argue that Akers was a need.

Drafting for the future, we currently have five OL to replace: Blythe, Whitworth, Noteboom, Allen and Corbett. That puts OL at defcom five for me.

With the way the Rams scout players and draft it’s been difficult to predict who or what positions they will take. I agree with AR’s assumption that cornerback is likely a position that the Rams will target early. I could see them taking two in this draft.

Center has been a need for several years, obviously. I think that is part of why they don’t get one early. Teams will jump ahead to grab guys like Humphries if he is still available.

We’ve read about Anchrum being so intelligent. Maybe they really believe he could play the Center position. Snead may be confident in him but wants to let teams think Center is a major need. Or maybe they will take acenter later like Morrisey or Dalman. Both are regarded to be intelligent. Morrisey was a walk on who instantly became a leader once inserted into the lineup. He sounds like the type that Snead looks for.
Snead likes to have several picks. He believes it increases his odds of successfully choosing contributors. They don’t have a lot of picks this year. Maybe they trade back several times, despite players being available that many of us feel would be likely fits, when the Rams picks comes up. It wouldn’t be the first time.

I love that Snead works hard to disguise his draft plans.
 

Memphis Ram

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Last year, the Rams went to the second round of the playoffs with rookies at RB and FS.

And a few others with no or limited contributions.

I never said that rookies couldn't contribute. However, banking on that potential contribution is a mistake given the larger percentage of rookies who struggle with the initial adjustment to the league. Bad teams are fine just throwing them out there to sink or swim, but it's not a smart move for a contender.

Either way, team needs don't influence player availability and teams stand a far better chance of having success on this crapshoot we call draft day by selecting the best player available within reason.

You don't get Aaron Donald, prioritizing needs. Needs that can change every single year.
 
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AvengerRam

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As I said, it’s a mixed analysis. If there’s only one A player, you should probably take him, regardless of position. If there are two A players, you go for the one that fills a need.
 
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iamme33

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every year i think this is the year we go all out on the ol. i don't know if its was kromer who believed he could coach up mid to late rounders or snead that just did not prioritize the ol but i am hoping that with carberry we go big on the ol
 

FrantikRam

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RB was certainly a need. Henderson played well when healthy but that has been the problem.



Gaines has played at DE. But yeah they need a body for the future. They seem to be high on Banks.



With the way the Rams scout players and draft it’s been difficult to predict who or what positions they will take. I agree with AR’s assumption that cornerback is likely a position that the Rams will target early. I could see them taking two in this draft.

Center has been a need for several years, obviously. I think that is part of why they don’t get one early. Teams will jump ahead to grab guys like Humphries if he is still available.

We’ve read about Anchrum being so intelligent. Maybe they really believe he could play the Center position. Snead may be confident in him but wants to let teams think Center is a major need. Or maybe they will take acenter later like Morrisey or Dalman. Both are regarded to be intelligent. Morrisey was a walk on who instantly became a leader once inserted into the lineup. He sounds like the type that Snead looks for.
Snead likes to have several picks. He believes it increases his odds of successfully choosing contributors. They don’t have a lot of picks this year. Maybe they trade back several times, despite players being available that many of us feel would be likely fits, when the Rams picks comes up. It wouldn’t be the first time.

I love that Snead works hard to disguise his draft plans.



I was originally just pointing out that all needs should be filled in FA so you're not relying on a rookie. I agree RB was a need - and that pick was somewhat telegraphed - the cool thing about RBs are that there will always be one for you in the second round, so that doesn't really matter for that position.

Fans always get excited about the draft, but rookies IMO can't be relied upon. It makes this year fascinating with the OL.

Looking ahead to next year we'll be losing Whitworth, Noteboom and Corbett, and haven't replaced Blythe yet. The OL under contract beyond 2021 are:

Evans, Edwards, Anchrum, Havenstein, and then Brewer, Demby and Shelton will be RFAs.

For 2021, Whitworth/Edwards/Corbett/Edwards/Evans/Havenstein/Noteboom are all guaranteed roster spots. Probably Anchrum too.

That's 8 right there - and then we have Allen/Shelton/Brewer/Demby, some of whom will cut or on the practice squad.

It'll be interesting to see how we play this - I think it's fair to assume that one of Anchrum/Evans is a starter in 2022, but both would be a stretch. We'll need at least two new starters and a good backup for 2022 - which speaks to drafting them this year to give them a year to develop. But we don't really have roster spots for that many, unless we trade someone or keep 10-11 on the active roster.

I think we'll end up drafting two and keeping 10 on the 53 man roster.
 
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