By Joe Torosian
Two NFL thoughts before we get to the Rams.
I think Aaron Rodgers should get everything he wants. The only problem with him getting everything he wants in Green Bay means he doesn’t really want to win.
The Packers can’t pay him (50-rocks!) and field a Super Bowl contender.
The Washington Commanders—is ridiculous. I’m going to continue to reference them as the Washington TaxSkins. I feel “Skins” pays homage to the past, and “Tax” provides the identifiable snark you associate with nation’s capitol.
So there you go.
Time to Put up or Shut up:
Drafted: 3/97/2019, Oklahoma
The initial plan going into 2021 was for Evans to move into the right guard slot with Austin Corbett taking over at center. That didn’t work out. Evans didn’t play well, and went back to the bench.
After getting 472 snaps in 2019, Evans only participated in 91 snaps this season. The Rams have a history of showing patience with offensive linemen (See Brian Allen), but entering his fourth season it’s time for Evans to step up—or pack his bags.
Most teams can move off third round picks, but not the Rams. These picks need to hit to allow the team to do creative things.
Drafted: 2/57/2020, Florida
Stats:69-catches, 1,022-yds, 7-Tds.
Don’t mistake this as a complaint about Jefferson. He’s played well, but when you’re lining up next to Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, and Odell Beckham Jr. it’s tough to shine.
Still, Jefferson needs to raise his game in 2022 in regards to making difficult catches and third down conversions. The second round pick has been solid, but has time closes in on getting another contract it’s time to up his game.
Drafted: 3/84/2020, Alabama
Great size, great talent, but he can’t stay on the field. Lewis has played 19-games (5-sacks) for the Rams which is good compared to playing only 14-games (7-sacks) for the Crimson Tide. If he can stay healthy, gain experience, the package is still there. Ogbo Okoronkwo is likely to leave so there will be opportunity.
Drafted: 3/104/2020, Utah
He played a little bit in 2020, a little bit more in 2021, but as a third-round pick it’s time for him to get on the field. Nick Scott a seventh-round pick in 2019 and Jordan Fuller, sixth-round in 2020, have passed him on the depth chart.
Add that Taylor Rapp continues to play in front of him and the team signed Eric Weddle heading into the post-season. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Burgess, who is talented, over the summer. His clock is ticking.
Drafted: 2/57/2021, Louisville
It’s early, he was just drafted, but Atwell only played 10-offensive snaps. Yes, he got injured, but he needs find a way to force himself into this lineup or he could—could—be labeled a bust.
Mock Draft Compilation of Names:
|Miami-Ohio, Edge, Dominique Robinson||Missouri, RB,
|Southern Utah, LT, Braxton Jones||Cincinnati, CB,
|Dylan Parham||Ohio St., CB-S,
|Texas A&M, Edge, Michael Clemons||USC, CB,
|Arizona State, LT,
|Iowa St., QB,
|Notre Dame, C,
|App State, LB,
Allie Green IV
|Arizona State, CB
Verone McKinley 3
These are the picks from five different mock drafts (Some are from mock drafts covering only the first three rounds).
Will any of these names be taken? I wouldn’t put any money on it. But it does give you an idea of what the “draft experts” view as needs for the Rams…and names that won’t get first-round hype.
***All five drafts have the Rams taking offensive linemen in the third round.
***Of the 31 players listed, four are centers, with Memphis’ Dylan Parham drafted twice.
***Since becoming the Rams GM in 2012, Les Snead has drafted 88 players, but only one center—Brian Allen (4/11/2018)
***When the 2021 Draft entered the second round there was a receiver on the Rams board, D’Wayne Eskridge, they had interviewed twice. But with the 56th pick Seattle took Eskridge and everyone assumed the Rams would take Creed Humphrey, center, Oklahoma.
Nope. Rams grabbed Atwell at 57.
Meanwhile, Humphrey, still on the board, went to Kansas City Chiefs and had an All-Pro caliber season.
Last Add Eskridge: Shane Waldron had been the passing game coordinator for the Rams before going to Seattle in 2021 to become their OC. So you get the idea Waldron was in the room as the Rams were building their 2021 draft board and perhaps played a part in Seattle grabbing him at 56.
Snead’s Draft Breakdown:
***Nearly half of all the players drafted have been from those three positions.
***Snead has never drafted a punter—Johnny Hekker signed as a free agent in 2012. Just two kickers, Greg Zuerlein (6/171/2012) & Sam Sloman (7/248/2020)
***Finally, Snead has only taken three quarterbacks in ten drafts.
Garrett Gilbert (6/214/2014), Sean Mannion (3/89/2015), and Jared Goff (1/1/2016)
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