For those who love it when teams stockpile draft picks and accumulate assets for the long haul, the Los Angeles Rams may not be for you. Sean McVay’s club elected to go in the opposite direction of that method and essentially throw picks around like Halloween candy in order to execute a number of blockbuster trades. To Los Angeles’ credit, these moves have netted it the likes of star corner Jalen Ramsey and, more recently, quarterback Matthew Stafford, which have the Rams in the thick of the Super Bowl conversation heading into next year. While the Rams aren’t picking in the first round this year, they do still have a handful of selections at the 2021 NFL Draft where they can look to improve their club while giving it a bit of a youth injection.
Below, you’ll find one stab at how Los Angeles’ draft may go from top to bottom:
OT Brady Christiansen
TE Hunter Long
IOL Deonte Brown
EDGE Chauncey Golston
CB Thomas Graham Jr.
LB Buddy Johnson
It’s no secret that the 39-year-old Andrew Whitworth is likely on the final lap of his pro career. Since 2017, he’s been a key figure along the Rams’ offensive line, but we could be looking at the end of the road for him following the 2021 season. That’s why it behooves Los Angeles to begin preparing for that possible departure at the draft. The club does have 2018 third-round pick Joseph Noteboom as a possible successor, but at No. 57 overall the Rams also pick up an intriguing tackle prospect in BYU’s Brady Christiansen. He’s coming off an impressive pro day where he recorded a broad jump of 10 feet, four inches, and ran a 4.89-second 40-yard dash. All of those numbers either equal or best former Buccaneers first-round pick Tristian Wirfs when he was going through the pre-draft process. Of course, given these numbers, the 6-foot-6, 302 pounders stock could rise above where the Rams are currently picking, but he’d be one heck of an addition to an offensive line that will soon be in need of tackle help.
In the third round, Los Angeles found a replacement for Gerald Everett at the tight end spot by selecting Boston College’s Hunter Long, who could immediately serve at the No. 2 behind Tyler Higbee and possibly develop into a quality starter. Meanwhile, Alabama’s Deonte Brown — who has shed nearly 20 pounds since the Senior Bowl — gives them a strong piece on the interior of the offensive line.
As Los Angeles gets into the later rounds, you’re taking flyers in hopes that something sticks. The club did hold pre-draft meetings with Iowa edge rusher Chauncey Golston and Oregon corner Thomas Graham Jr., suggesting at least a bit of interest. Golston can give the Rams some pass-rushing presence alongside Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd, while Graham — who opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19 — does have a strong history of being a strong man-to-man defensive back.