The Rams are off a Super Bowl run and they don’t have a ton of weaknesses again at the top of the roster. Still, L.A. could use some youth infusion and depth at key positions across the roster if they want to stay competitive.
Round 1: Chris Lindstrom (31)
This is an ideal situation for the Rams. They find themselves starring at Nasir Adderley who could be the hybrid safety and corner to replace LaMarcus Joyner or even Eric Weddle when he decides he is done playing. They’re also N’Keal Harry who gives the Rams a bigger receiver. However, the biggest temptation is Dexter Lawrence or Jeffery Simmons at defensive line. Either player could help the Rams stuff the run. Simmons is recovering from injury though.
Nonetheless, Chris Lindstrom makes the most sense due to his experience across the offensive line at B.C. He’s athletic and an ideal fit for the Rams’ zone scheme. It’s really hard to pass on a need like offensive line when you don’t pick in the second round.
L.A. will consider any number of offensive linemen since they have to replace Rodger Saffold and find Andrew Whitworth’s long-term replacement. They could use upgrades at the other spots as well, especially if they need to protect Todd Gurley.
Round 3: Tackle Northern Illinois Max Scharping
Again, the Rams need multiple offensive linemen. Scharping started all 54 games of his career and excelled in the classroom too. He brings the size and movement to develop into a left tackle. Scharping could also start at guard or right tackle as he played across the line at NIU. That is the versatility and production the Rams need as depth along their offensive line. He isn’t unlike Joseph Notebloom who they took last year.
Isaiah Johnson was hard to pass up as he has the size and ball skills the Rams like at corner and they could even move him to safety. They could also take a receiver in this spot as there are several big and fast receivers the Rams could take to add something to their passing game. They could also get more offensive line help but that already took priority. There isn’t any DL really valuable in this part of the draft either.
Round 3: Iowa St. Running Back David Montgomery
That’s right, this Rams draft class is all about preserving Todd Gurley and building around Jared Goff. The Rams second third round pick gives them the luxury of getting a productive runner like Montgomery. He has the size, skill and patience to become a starter. Montgomery will fill the void left by C.J. Anderson and immediately push Malcolm Brown for playing time behind Gurley. In fact, Montgomery is also a solid pass catcher which gives him third down value. He could become the Rams new Thunder to Gurley’s lightning. That will be necessary if Gurley doesn’t get back to his full strength due to knee issues.
Round 4: West Virginia Wide Receiver David Sills (133)
Remember, the Rams are an offensive team. They’ve been had a good defense but it wasn’t until the got offensive head coach Sean McVay that the unit took the next step behind Gurley and Goff. Those guys are about to become well compensated veteran players and they need talent around them. Don’t forget it was the offense that didn’t show up in the Super Bowl L.
Either way, Sills is another converted quarterback in this group. He gives the Rams a big-bodied receiver which they don’t really have. His size and hands should help the team out in the red zone especially. Sills needs to get stronger, faster and more refined for success in the league but that is a calculated risk in this part of the draft.
Round 5: Washington Defensive lineman Greg Gaines (169)
Gaines was a highly productive player at Washington starting most of his career. He finished with 21.5 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks in his career. Gaines should do well in the Rams hybrid defensive front. He’s got the size, strength and anchor for nose tackle and the work ethic too. Why not get a player that ends depth to your front as it tries to replace Suh.
Round 6: USC defensive back Iman Marshall (203)
Marshall’s career was up and down at USC. However, this L.A. native might find his perfect fit staying at home. The Rams like big and versatile corners so Marshall fits the build. In fact, Marshall might even be better as a converted safety. Both positions could use some developmental talent behind veterans Weddle and Aquib Talib. Hopefully, Marshall turns into a special teams contributor early too.
Round 7: Utah linebacker Cody Barton (251)
The Rams add some more depth to their defense. Barton played linebacker and safety at Utah so he is quick enough to handle inside or outside linebacker. Despite size concerns, he is a strong and tough player. He only really started one season but reports say he has good instincts. At the very least he is a good special teams prospect who can develop into a contributor.