The 2021 NFL Draft is in the books. 259 players now have new homes. Almost assuredly, every team got every player they wanted exactly when they wanted to.
However, we are going to look at them through the prism of the way I thought they did. Did a team reach? Did they get a steal? How did that trade work out? Over the course of the next few weeks, I will recap every team’s draft class. Some will be solely be written word. Some will be accompanied by a video from the Deep Fried Draft YouTube channel with an expert from that team talking about their class.
Today, we look at the Los Angeles Rams.
RAMS DRAFT CLASS
|3||103||LB||Ernest Jones||South Carolina|
|4||117||DL||Bobby Brown III||Texas A&M|
|4||130||CB||Robert Rochell||Central Arkansas|
|5||174||EDGE||Earnest Brown IV||Northwestern|
|7||249||WR||Ben Skowronek||Notre Dame|
|7||252||EDGE||Chris Garrett||Concordia – St. Paul|
The Rams made a huge splash this offseason by jettisoning 2016 #1 pick Jared Goff for 2009 #1 pick Matthew Stafford. LA has basically decided they never want to draft in the first round again. They were without a pick this year after acquiring CB Jalen Ramsey. They will be without one in ’22 & ’23 after the Stafford trade. However, there is still reason for hope and optimism. Sean McVay now has a big-armed signal-caller to get the ball out to a vast number of targets.
That vast number is why it was so puzzling to me to see them invest another high pick in the WR position. Despite already having Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, DeSean Jackson, and last year’s 2nd round pick Van Jefferson, the Rams jumped all over selecting 150-pound WR Tutu Atwell of Louisville. Atwell is dynamite with the ball in his hands. This is not a question. The questions begin with his subpar pro day and the glut of wide receivers already on the roster. It just feels this pick could have been better served elsewhere.
Ernest Jones is a thumper. When he hits a runner the play stops. I believe Jones will be the starting MIKE linebacker sooner rather than later.
I was very high on their 4th round selection, Texas A&M DL Bobby Brown III. He isn’t Aaron Donald (who is?) but he should be able to provide the All-Pro DT some occasional relief.
Robert Rochell was one of the top FCS prospects coming into this season. The former Central Arkansas corner has the length and speed to be a good NFL CB. Rochell had a good week at the Senior Bowl.
UCF WR/TE Jacob Harris tested off the charts at his pro day. He is still raw as an offensive player but he should be a core special teams player from the get-go. The Rams can afford to be patient to let Harris’ talent develop at the TE position.
They drafted a couple of edge rushers in the late rounds that are likely headed to the practice squad. Out of the two, Earnest Brown IV and Chris Garrett, I like the upside of Garrett more.
Notre Dame Ben Skowronek is at the very least headed for the NFI list to start the season. Skowronek suffered an injury at Senior Bowl practice that will cause him to miss more time.
My favorite pick the Rams made was the selection of Maryland RB Jake Funk. Funk is explosive and productive. He also is an excellent returner. Funk was only available in the 7th round because of his medical history, which is not ideal. However, I have no doubt that he can make his way on the final 53.
I also think Iowa OL Alaric Jackson makes the roster as a player who can back up every position on the offensive line except center.
The Rams signed the following undrafted free agents:
Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa
Jeremiah Haydel, WR, Texas State
Jovan Grant, S, Merrimack
Landen Akers, WR, Iowa State
Jordan Meredith, C, Western Kentucky
Paris Ford, S, Pittsburgh
Max Roberts, OLB, Boston College
George Silvanic, DT, Air Force
Troy Warner, S, BYU
Next up we will look at the Baltimore Ravens!