The first Los Angeles Rams draft pick is scheduled to happen sometime early on April 28 in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. If they had a need at quarterback, history would be on their side.
The Rams need to make inroads into their talent deficiency in next weekend’s draft and can’t afford to miss on the players they take. ESPN.com researched the Rams draft pick history at the No. 37 spot and found that the franchise made two great choices—one eventually becoming a Hall of Famer.
In 1948, the Rams had the 37th overall pick, which back then took place in the fourth round. They selected a quarterback from Oregon with a year left of eligibility, a kid by the name of Norm Van Brocklin.
That turned out pretty well.
According to the ESPN.com report, seven times a Rams draft pick has landed at the No. 37 position overall. Only two of the players went on to start for the team for more than three seasons: Van Brocklin and some other quarterback named Ron Jaworski (in 1973).
The odds of the Rams getting a Hall of Famer with the No. 37 overall pick this year are not great. An ESPN.com table looking at the number of Pro Bowlers, Pro Bowl invitations and first-team All-Pro selections among the top 40 players since 2000 predictably show that the level of success drops dramatically as the draft moves down the list. For example, the first eight picks of the combined drafts since 2000 produced 68 Pro Bowlers, 216 additional Pro Bowl invitations and 56 All-Pro selections.
The draft picks from No. 33-No. 40 have amassed 26 Pro Bowlers, 52 additional invites and nine All-Pros.
Rams general manager Les Snead’s record for second-round picks is as followers, per ESPN.com:
“Les Snead has made five second-round picks in five prior drafts as the Rams’ general manager. Two (Janoris Jenkins and Lamarcus Joyner) turned out well. Two (Brian Quick and Isaiah Pead) did not. And one (Rob Havenstein) is still to be determined.”
Jenkins, however, now is utilizing his talents for another team—the New York Giants. Alas, after nine seasons with the Rams, Van Brocklin, too, took his talents back east, finishing his career with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Los Angeles needs a lot of help at cornerback, outside linebacker, offensive line, wide receiver and tight end. While most pundits assert that the Rams draft pick at No. 37 needs to be a skill player to help second-year quarterback Jared Goff, the more important task is to get a player that will have a long, productive career with the Rams.