Los Angeles Rams
This offseason, Los Angeles saw the departure of veteran running back Todd Gurley. Without a first round selection in the draft due to last October’s trade for Jalen Ramsey, the Rams looked to replace Gurley’s void by drafting Florida State running back Cam Akers in the second round. With nine total picks, the Rams managed to address eight different positions to fill holes of several offseason departures, including Brandin Cooks, C.J. Anderson and Lamarcus Joyner.
Round 2: (52) RB Cam Akers, Florida State
Round 2: (57) WR Van Jefferson, Florida
Round 3: (84) OLB Terrell Lewis, Alabama
Round 3: (104) S Terrell Burgess, Utah
Round 4: (136) TE Brycen Hopkins, Purdue
Round 6: (199) S Jordan Fuller, Ohio State
Round 7: (234) LB Clay Johnston, Baylor
Round 7: (248) K Samuel Sloman, Miami (Ohio)
Round 7: (250) G Tremayne Anchrum, Clemson
Filice: Draft for need or take the best player available? It’s the age-old draft debate — and one that’s top o’ mind with Los Angeles’ draft class. For most of last season, the O-line was viewed as a chief culprit in L.A.’s offensive reversion. Consequently, after the Rams didn’t bring in any new offensive linemen in free agency, you figured they’d toss some early draft capital at the problem last week. Not so much. GM Les Snead waited until his final selection — a compensation pick at No. 250 overall — before adding a blocker. So I guess the Rams will be running it back with the same unit Pro Football Focus ranked 31st last season. That is a failure. So why does the grade not reflect that sentiment? Well, putting the O-line issues aside for a second, the first four players Snead selected really tickled this draft grader’s fancy. In a quietly loaded RB class, Akers got lost in the shuffle. The former five-star recruit routinely produced behind a porous offensive line at Florida State — which could be good training for his pro career, if the Rams’ O-line doesn’t shape up quick. Jefferson’s exactly the kind of polished route runner you’d expect from the son of a former NFL receiver/current NFL receivers coach. He should provide immediate returns for detail-oriented Rams coach Sean McVay. In a thin pass-rushing class, Lewis is a first-round talent who just needs his body to cooperate. And Burgess is a multi-talented defensive back who could fill a number of roles for the Rams, starting in Year 1. Long story short: Snead inexplicably ignored a major need … but added four potential rookie difference makers elsewhere.
NFL.com Draft Grade: B-