Last season the Los Angeles Rams faced a draft where they had little capital and an offense that needed an emergency transplant. A year later and they now have a first round pick (for now) to go along with a ton of picks in the middle rounds. Coming into free agency they had a thin secondary. They changed that by trading for Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. They also added Sam Shields for depth. Linebackers Alec Ogletree and Robert Quinn were traded which has given them a huge cap relief and the offense enters the season in a good place. The Rams still have areas that require an upgrade and fortunately, the draft offers many opportunities to do that. So let’s take a look at some of the top Los Angeles Rams draft needs.
UPGRADE THE PASS RUSH
Despite adding Ndamukong Suh to a defensive line led by Aaron Donald, the Rams could still use some outside help. Currently, the Rams would have Suh and Donald on the inside there’s still a big question as to where the outside rushing comes from. Wade Phillips runs a 3-4 so presumably, they just run Suh, Donald and rotate Michael Brockers and Dominique Easley. That isn’t ideal and could stand to add some more bodies. Their draft will likely consist of multiple picks being used on edge rushers. The draft is deep at this position so even at pick 23, the Rams won’t be without options.
Ohio State defensive end Sam Hubbard would fit well in Phillips’ defense, as would Maurice Hurst out of Michigan or Harold Landry out of Boston College. Barring an Odell Beckham trade, the Rams should use their first pick to upgrade the pass rush.
The Rams traded Alec Ogletree and Robert Quinn for picks and cap relief. Now they have a starting linebacker corps that consists of Mark Barron, Samson Ebukam, Connor Barwin and newly acquired Ramik Wilson. Beyond them, however, things get awfully bleak. If the Rams don’t like any of the pass rushers they can opt for one of the better linebackers available. It’s possible that Roquan Smith out of Georgia or Rashaan Evans out of Alabama.
INTERIOR OFFENSIVE LINEMAN
Again, drafting edge rushers is the top priority but if there is a run on them in the first round then the Rams might take the best player available elsewhere. The Rams offensive line is good but could be better. Should guard Will Hernandez out of UTEP, center/guard Isaiah Wynn out of Georgia or tackle Kolton Miller out of UCLA be available, the Rams could draft them. Miller would serve as the heir to 36-year-old Andrew Whitworth. Wynn could find time at guard before taking over for 33 year-old-center John Sullivan. Hernandez would provide depth and possibly an upgrade over either Jamon Brown or Rodger Saffold. Jared Goff could always use more protection given how he’s entering his third year and struggles when the pressure gets to him. Developing young talent could lead to prolonged success for Goff which makes this an important Los Angeles Rams draft need.
The Rams have a great receiving corps. Robert Woods proved to be a diamond in the rough when he signed last year, Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds proved to be capable rookies and can only get better. The only hit and miss they had was trading for Sammy Watkins and he never quite fit in. He signed for big money in Kansas City so there’s a bit of a need for another receiver. This can be solved either by signing a veteran after the June cuts and or the draft. This draft isn’t big on wide receivers so only if Courtland Sutton out of SMU or Calvin Ridley out of Alabama or even D.J. Moore out of Maryland fall to them will they consider filling that void. If none of those are available, they will likely wait until the middle rounds. The Rams are in the enviable position where they don’t need to come away with a star. They have enough picks in the mid to later rounds to fill in depth. They also have the luxury of trading for Beckham if they so desire without it mortgaging their future.