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Los Angeles Rams April Scouting Report
Layton Pang

End of an era! All-World DT Aaron Donald announced his retirement after ten dominant seasons with the Rams. The sure fire first ballot Hall of Famer is one of the best football players to play the game and Los Angeles will have a difficult time replacing the heart and soul of their defense. For the first time in HC Sean McVay’s tenure the Rams have a first round pick (number 19 overall). It remains to be seen if Los Angeles uses that pick as GM Les Snead could move up or down the draft depending on who is available and what sort of trade offers are on the table. Similar to last year, the Rams have eleven total picks heading into the Draft. Unlike last year at this time, the Rams are coming off a winning season with much more optimism for the upcoming season. Los Angeles has addressed many of their weaknesses during free agency but they still need help at a few positions. In my opinion, the Rams biggest needs are on defense, most notably at Edge, Defensive Line, and Linebacker. Since last month’s report, the Rams added DB Kamren Curl and CB Tre’Davious White so the defensive backfield is looking solid. The Rams also need to find a reliable kicker and explosive return man. Los Angeles signed QB Jimmy Garoppolo to back up Stafford and expect QB Stetson Bennett back to try to resurrect his young career so quarterback is not a position of need for the Rams. Let’s take a look at the picks the Rams have and players who could be available at that draft slot. The number in parenthesis is the overall pick.


ROUND 1 (19): If Los Angeles keeps and uses this pick, they should have several options to improve the defense, especially if there is an early run on quarterbacks and offensive linemen. DE Jared Verse (FSU) would be an absolute steal if he fell this far but I think he will be selected before 19. DE Laiatu Latu (UCLA) and DE Chop Robinson (Penn State) are two edge rushers who could be available when the Rams are on the clock and they represent two distinct options. Latu had injuries in college and does not possess elite athletic traits but his technique and production are unquestioned. On the other hand, Robinson is an explosive athlete with great potential but has not had the on field success that Latu has. As much as Los Angeles needs an edge rusher, I would be very happy if DT Byron Murphy Jr. (Texas) was available and taken by the Rams to fill the void left by Aaron Donald’s retirement. Murphy is shorter and explosive similar to Donald but there is only one Aaron Donald. If Murphy is gone, DT Jer’Zhan Newton (Illinois) is another potential defensive lineman who could help this unit. CB Quinyon Mitchell is a talented corner that has been mocked to Los Angeles by several sites but I think the Rams pass on corner after their free agent additions. Verse would be my dream pick, but I don’t think he will be there so Murphy is my next choice followed by Latu, Newton, and Robinson.


ROUND 2 (52): The Ram’s second pick will depend on who they take in round one. If Los Angeles takes an edge rusher with their first pick I think D-line would be their next pick and vice versa. Players the Rams could/should consider at edge or defensive line are DE Adisa Isaac (Penn State), DE Chris Braswell (Alabama), DT Kris Jenkins (Michigan), and DT Braden Fiske (FSU). An interesting player Los Angeles could take a chance on is DE Marshawn Kneeland (Western Michigan). The Rams like small school studs with big production and that describes Kneeland. My dream scenario would be Verse in round one and his college teammate Fiske in the second round. I would be perfectly happy with any combination of Edge and D-lineman that I have listed above.


ROUND 3 (83 & 98): If Los Angeles addresses edge and d-line with their first two picks, they can go a number of ways in round three. The Rams could use a linebacker to push current starter LB Christian Roseboom and possibly take over for captain and defensive leader LB Ernest Jones; who has not received a deserved extension. LB Jeremiah Trotter Junior (Clemson) and LB Junior Colson (Michigan) are two candidates with solid production and high football traits (skills and instincts). The Rams could add a safety after losing former captain Jordan Fuller. SS Kamren Kinchens (Miami), SS Cole Bishop (Utah), and SS Javon Bullard (Georgia) are three talented safeties who could help the Rams. If Los Angeles still needs an edge rusher, DE Gabriel Murphy (UCLA) and DE Jalyx Hunt (Houston Christian University) are potential picks. With two picks in this round, Los Angeles could also take an offensive tackle. OT Kingsley Suamataia (BYU) and Kiran Amegadjie (Yale) are both massive prospects with potential but need development. It would be really cool if Los Angeles selected Kamren Kinchens so they could start two Kamrens at safety. Los Angeles does not have a fourth round pick, so if McVay and Snead have their eye an offensive skill position player, they could pull the trigger with one of their third round picks. WR Javon Baker (UCF), WR Devontez Walker (North Carolina), and WR Ja’Lynn Polk (Washington) are three players who would help the Rams and could be available in round three. A wild card name to remember is RB Tyrone Tracy (Purdue). He is a former receiver with good speed and return skills that McVay could deploy as a special weapon.


ROUND 5 (153 & 154): By the time you get to round five, you are hoping the player selected can make the team and maybe contribute on special teams; however, the Rams have a knack for getting maximum production from their late round picks. Current starters RB Kyren Williams, WR Puka Nacua, SP Ethan Evans, and former Captain DB Jordan Fuller were all selected by Los Angeles in the fifth round or later. TE Davis Allen was another fifth rounder who should contribute a lot this coming season. If the first four rounds shake out close to what I reported above, then the Rams should be looking for a kicker and more diamonds in the rough from this point on. PK Joshua Karty (Stanford), PK Will Reichard (Alabama), and PK Cam Little (Arkansas) are three of the top ranked kickers. I like Cam Little the most because I think he has the most upside and after watching him on youtube, I really like his personality and think he would fit the Rams culture. After kicker, Los Angeles could go in a number of ways. WR Brenden Rice (USC) and WR Luke McCaffrey (Rice) are two talented receivers with rich bloodlines. Both could be long gone by this round but if either should fall this far, Los Angeles would be wise to select either player.


ROUND 6 (195, 209, 213, & 217): With four picks in round six, the Rams will have the opportunity to find potential contributors for this team. McVay and Snead usually take at least one running back and I think they do so again this year. RB Frank Gore Jr. (Southern Mississippi) follows the trend of possible legacy draft picks. RB Blake Watson (Memphis) is another well rounded player from Memphis, following in the footsteps of Antonio Gibson, Tony Pollard, and former Ram Darrell Henderson. My personal favorite for this round is RB Jaden Shirden (Monmouth); who is a small school stud with great speed that could possibly be a dangerous kick return man. Shirden reminds me of 2023 UFA RB Keaton Mitchell who was the Ravens best runner before suffering a season-ending knee injury. I think 2023 sixth round pick RB Zach Evans has the skill set to develop into an every down back but Shirden could be a nice change of pace back and full time return man.


ROUND 7 (254): With their last pick of the 2024 draft (barring any trades) Los Angeles should take the best available player regardless of position. I do not know who will be there when the Rams are on the clock but if any of the players mentioned above are still available I think that would be a steal for the Rams. Last year, Los Angeles selected DT Desjuan Johnson with the very last pick of the Draft (Mr. Irrelevant) and he made the final roster so that is a tremendous value pick. San Francisco selected their starting quarterback Brock Purdy with the last pick of the 2022; making him the biggest steal of that draft. If whomever the Rams take in round seven makes the final roster that should be considered a huge success.


The Rams have a first round pick for the first time in the Sean McVay era and it is yet to be determined if the team actually uses that pick. GM Les Snead is always willing to make trades and Los Angeles could have a lot of options when the draft unfolds. The Offense is solid after the free agent signings and I think the Rams addressed their need for defensive backfield help with their free agent additions. An edge rusher or defensive lineman should be the first round selection but that is just my opinion. The Draft is on April 25 and a lot could happen before the Rams are on the clock. I want to give one last THANK YOU to DT Aaron Donald for ten unbelievable seasons. Aaron says he no longer has the fire to gear up for a long season but maybe he can regain the passion for a December playoff run! Love and blessings to my family; miss you Pops and Scratch! Aloha!



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