Now that the dust has cleared on the 2017 NFL draft, its time to take a look at what it means for the team as a whole. Les Snead and the rest of the front office did as much as they could to improve the offense and its fair to second guess their method of trading down excessively. Passing on Zay Jones in favor of Gerald Everett seemed like a reach even though it netted them an extra third round pick. That choice might be defensible if Everett can develop into a weapon in the middle of the field so the jury is still out. What is mind boggling is the decision to use the first of their two third round picks on a receiver and not an offensive lineman. Cooper Kupp did provide solid value and along with receiver Josh Reynolds are two big bodied targets that could develop into reliable assets for Jared Goff or whomever the Rams draft in 2018. Having said that, Kupp would’ve probably been there later in round three and if not there were still other receivers such as Carlos Henderson that would’ve been just fine.
Instead of going for a receiver at the top of round three the Rams could’ve taken one of higher profile lineman such as Dan Feeney who is not on the LA Chargers. Passing on Forrest Lamp was defensible because there were still quality interior guys later but Feeney or even Pat Elflein would’ve provided more overall value than Kupp. Also, instead of reaching for John Johnson in round three they could’ve taken him later in round four instead of Samson Ebukah as he was slated to go in round six. The draft isn’t an exact science and its not a knock on any of the players they picked but offensive line was a grave need and this draft didn’t have the surplus of talent that the defensive back position had. They did invite Anthony McMeans and Jake Eldenkamp to training camp as undrafted free agents and they could turn out to be starters someday but presently the line is still a mess.
This season is all about seeing what Jared Goff can be with weapons and protection. Judging by his rookie season he needs all the help he can get. So far the Rams have tried to do that but passing on a quality lineman in favor of a two project players on defense and a receiver they could’ve gotten later won’t help Goff this season or in the long run. Greg Robinson probably won’t be there next season,Roger Saffold has a lot to prove, and the health of Andrew Whitworth and John Sullivan isn’t exactly guaranteed. This offensive line didn’t get the injection of youth it should’ve and that could mean the Rams will be watching a lot of Josh Rosen film this fall.