Getty Will Matthew Stafford Get New Offensive Linemen Through the NFL Draft?
We’ll soon find out who will represent the rookie class of 2022 for the Los Angeles Rams in two weeks once the NFL Draft rolls around.
This time, however, we’re launching something new: we’re making the selections.
Here’s how it works: This drill will not only be based on positional needs, but it’s also going to be based on the guys we’ve seen in action over Saturdays and add why they’re fit for what Super Bowl 56 champions do.
What we’ll reveal with this mock projection is this: The Rams not only address their top needs, but add three players who come from NFL homes.
This is what we’re projecting to champions.
Round 3, No. 104: Cam Taylor-Britt, cornerback, Nebraska
The Rams start in the secondary for the first time since taking Taylor Rapp at safety first in 2019. And, Taylor-Britt joins the list of past quarterbacks on the Rams’ roster.
But he fills this Rams need: an extra cornerback following the departure of Darious Williams. Taylor-Britt’s aggressive ability to pounce on the ball should appeal to defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, who knows the DB game well as a former high school coach. While he gets fired up by double moves, his recovery speed more than makes up for it. He has also lined up both on the corner and on safety, which could make him attractive as the “star” second choice alongside Jalen Ramsey.
PlayCam Taylor-Britt || Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive back || 2021 Junior Highlights NFL Draft Prospect Cam Taylor-Britt Highlights from the 2021 Junior season. 51 total tackles, 1 sack, 1 interception, 11 pass deflections. We do not own the copyright to this video, it belongs to ESPN and its affiliates. All the things shown in the video also have no intention of copying, stealing or any kind of things… 2022-01-29T18:48:56ZRound 4, No. 142: Lecitus Smith, Offensive Guard, Virginia Tech
Even with all the offensive linemen the Rams gave up during the offseason, losing Austin Corbett is still a significant loss at guard. This is where Smith comes in.
The Hokies trench standout posted a 5.19 at the NFL Combine, which is impressive for guards. Quick feet come in handy in pass protection, which should make quarterback Matthew Stafford smile. As it is, pass protection was his main strength at VT. But watch his slump on this running play and you’ll understand why Smith looks hot as Ram:
Round 5, No. 175: Amare Barno, Edge Defender, Virginia Tech
We’ll go back to back with some Hokies here. But Barno with his fifth-round value fills an immediate need: help from Edge Rush.
The 6-foot-4, 246-pound man ran an astonishing 4.37 40-yard dash time … as a defensive lineman. That instantly qualifies him as a Morris type, as he has used speed to the limit. Barno will need to add to his arsenal of hand techniques (although he has used a slice/spin move before), but he is capable of helping Leonard Floyd with Von Miller and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.
PlayAmare Barno Virginia Tech Highlights No copyright intended. I hope you all enjoy. Thumbnail retrieved from: hokiesports.com/sports/football/roster/amar–barno/111902022-01-20T23:58:40ZRound 6, No. 211: Noah Elliss, Interior Defensive Line, Idaho
Now we get into the guys with the last bloodlines in the league.
Elliss is the son of former Detroit Lions two-time professional bowler Luther Elliss. And like his sire, the Idaho Vandal has an imposing but tall frame, but he stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs 365 pounds. This Elliss shows the strength of a wicked grown man who can make 300+ pound people walk backwards as seen below:
NT Noah Elliss–Idaho
6’4 365 pounds 😳
This guy is a brick wall, but oddly enough he has a legit first step/down… Hilarious to watch a 360lb NT play with a high butt and track stance.
It will have some highlights from @ShrineBowl pic.twitter.com/wC5VQIF2qD
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) January 19, 2022
While the Rams have drafted Bobby Brown as a future nose tackle option in 2021, depth at this position is still needed with Sebastian Joseph-Day on the Chargers. Elliss is considered an inexperienced prospect given her need to refine his technique in addition to the weight concerns he’s likely to face. But he is a space eater who can punish centers and guards.
Round 6, No. 212: Derrick Deese Jr, Tight End, San Jose State
We’ll stay with the prospects of an NFL family tree. This time with the son of former San Francisco 49ers offensive lineman Derrick Deese.
This Deese, however, adds a needed blocker at tight end in Minnesota’s Johnny Mundt. But he has shown bully tactics after the catch.
While he lacks speed and separation after the catch, he is able to set a physical tone for an offense, which he did in Silicon Valley.
PlaySan Jose State TE Derrick Deese Jr Highlights2022-03-09T21:00:30ZRound 6, No. 218: Luke Wattenberg, Center, Washington
Brian Allen is back, but Wattenberg can provide backup insurance.
He’s impressively sized for a 6-foot-5, 300-pound center. But he’s a four-year starter at both center and guard and his main strength is pass protection, which should intrigue the Rams at this spot.
A center with OT experience is a nice luxury for an OL scheme… You can go out and get comfortable on the edge/in space
Luke Wattenberg has played 2500 snaps on LT, LG, C in 4 years in Washington… This is a guy you want in your OL room all day. pic.twitter.com/MnDVhMNR8G
— Ben Fennell (@BenFennell_NFL) June 8, 2021
Round 7, No. 238: Ronnie Rivers, Running Back, Fresno State
Here’s what’s tricky in the backfield: The Rams can choose to draft a running back early (Georgia’s James Cook was previously mentioned as an option), or they can end up keeping free agent Sony Michel for another year. But this unit dealt with a slew of injuries and key backup Darrell Henderson enters free agency in 2023.
While the son of former Lions running back Ron Rivers had a stronger Pro Day than the Combine, Rivers remained ultra-productive at Fresno State and broke the school’s touchdown record. But here’s what might draw Sean McVay: Rivers’ ability to catch from the backfield, with 150 total receptions and 11 touchdowns as proof.
PlayRonnie Rivers 2021 Highlights | State of Fresno RB | 2022 NFL Draft ProspectFresno State all-time leader in rushing and rushing touchdowns2021 Stats: 161 Rush, 788 Yds, 5 TDs, 34 Rec, 364 Yds, 2 TDs2022-03-04T21:43:12ZRound 7, No 253: Matt Araiza, Punter, San Diego State
Is it necessary to bet after signing Riley Dixon?
It probably won’t hurt to have depth. And if arguably the best kicker in the draft is available, it’s worth getting here. However, that leg power is tempting.
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