The Los Angeles Rams, due to their midseason trade for star cornerback Jalen Ramsey, were unable to make a selection in Thursday night’s highly anticipated first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. It was an excellent night filled with surprises and great players getting picked, but the Rams likely feel happy with their haul of Ramsey.
Friday night will be busy for L.A., as they have two picks in the second round and two picks in the third. One of those second-round picks comes via the Houston Texans in the Brandin Cooks trade. With these picks, the Rams could go a number of ways.
Here, we will go through a full seven, or six-round, mock draft in an attempt to figure out just what Sean McVay and Les Snead could do on Friday and Saturday. Will they begin to restock their linebacker core early, will they focus on grabbing a speed receiver to replace Cooks, or could they continue to bolster their offensive line? Some of those questions could be answered here.
Some logistics before beginning: we will be starting at the top of the second round, where the Cincinnati Bengals hold the 33rd overall pick. The only trades that could be made are trades involving the Rams. No other trades will be made. So without further ado, let’s get this going.
33. Trevon Diggs, CB, Alabama
34. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU
35. Josh Jones, T, Houston
36. AJ Epenesa, EDGE, Iowa
37. Xavier McKinney, S, Alabama
38. Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
39. Yetur Gross-Matos, EDGE, Penn State
Through seven picks, seemingly no surprises. All seven of these guys could have feasibly been first-round picks but fell due to other team needs. While seeing a tackle and two edge rushers off the board hurts, it was unlikely those guys would have fallen to 52 anyways.
40. Grant Delpit, S, LSU
41. Julian Okwara, EDGE, Notre Dame
42. Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
43. Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado
44. Zack Baun, EDGE, Wisconsin
45. Jaylon Johnson, CB, Utah
46. Jordan Elliott, DT, Missouri
47. Michael Pittman Jr., WR, USC
This grouping may hurt more than the last, especially with Pittman coming off the board just five picks before the Rams. Losing two more edge rushers and three receivers is a tough pill to swallow, but there should still be plenty of talent for the Rams.
48. KJ Hamler, WR, Penn State
49. Antoine Winfield Jr., S, Minnesota
50. D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia
51. Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
Nothing too game-changing off the board prior to the Rams first pick of the draft. And with the Rams officially on the clock, they have a number of options to go with.
They received no calls for this pick, meaning it will not be traded and L.A. will be welcoming their first new rookie to the team.
With the 52nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select Ezra Cleveland, Tackle, from Boise State.
Perhaps the Rams biggest weakness lies in their offensive line. Jared Goff received major scrutiny for his regression from the Super Bowl year to 2019, but a lot of that fell on the line.
Goff had almost no time in the pocket, and is not a good enough with his feet to make something out of nothing on a regular basis. Cleveland will fit in perfectly with this offensive line and give Goff some necessary time.
53. Curtis Weaver, EDGE, Boise State
54. Marlon Davidson, EDGE, Auburn
55. Neville Gallimore, DT, Oklahoma
56. Jonah Jackson, G, Ohio State
The Rams are back on the clock at No. 57. The only team interested in dealing for this pick is the Tennessee Titans, who are at 61. With my top target, Davidson, off the board, engaging with the Titans seems like a no brainer.
The Titans agreed to trade picks No. 61, 174, and 243 in exchange for 57. Easy decision for Snead and McVay.
57. Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M
58. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin
59. Damien Lewis, G, LSU
60. Netane Muti, G, Fresno State
The Rams are back on the clock at 61, and despite some interest from the Bengals at 65, it’s in the Rams best interest to stay put.
With the 61st pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select Terrell Lewis, EDGE, from Alabama.
Lewis would have been gone by 65, and getting an edge rusher felt like the right move at this point in the draft. The Rams have now added a tackle and an edge rusher, meaning they still need to get some linebackers, receivers, and perhaps some corners to solidify the secondary after Ramsey.
Let’s quickly finish out the second round.
62. Malik Harrison, LB, Ohio State
63. Chase Claypool, WR, Notre Dame
64. Tyler Biadasz, G, Wisconsin.
That does it for the second round of the draft. We’ll only be covering the Rams picks the rest of the way.
The Rams next pick comes at No. 84. With L.A. getting a tackle and an edge rusher in the second round, they certainly have other holes to fill here. Because of this, they don’t trade down with the Pittsburgh Steelers for pick No. 102.
With the 84th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select Troy Dye, Linebacker, from Oregon.
Going linebacker at this spot was an easy choice, and it likely won’t be the last linebacker selected by the Rams in this draft.
The Rams are back on the clock at 104. The New England Patriots made an offer for the Rams to drop down to No. 125, but the Rams have some pressing issues they need to take care of.
With the 104th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select Logan Stenberg, Guard, from Kentucky.
Adding depth to a struggling offensive line is always a good thing. And while it is a weak year for interior offensive linemen, Stenberg is a solid choice to get at this point in the draft.
The Rams are now done with Day 2 of the draft, adding two offensive linemen, an edge rusher and a linebacker. Due to the trade with the Titans, the Rams will have five picks in day 3.
L.A.’s first pick of Day 3 comes in at No. 126. No team is interested in trading, which means the Rams will keep the pick and make this selection. Luckily, there’s a perfect fit at the top of the board.
With the 126th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select Jacob Phillips, Linebacker, from LSU.
Phillips join Dye as the two linebackers selected by the Rams in this draft as the team is in desperate need of them. Outside of Leonard Floyd, this team is unbelievably weak at this position and could use some draft day reinforcements.
The Rams, after a long wait, are back on the clock at 174. Nobody is interested in trading.
With the 174th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select Michael Ojemudia, Cornerback, from Iowa.
The options weren’t too strong at this point, but Ojemudia is a solid corner that could help give the Rams some depth.
At pick 199, the Rams now can look at some offensive options after two straight defensive guys.
With the 199th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select Quintez Cephus, Wide Receiver, from Wisconsin.
Wisconsin isn’t known for their receivers. However, that’s largely due to their usual situation at quarterback. Cephus isn’t the fastest receiver, but his hands are great and is great at catching 50-50 balls.
The Rams already have a solid replacement for Cooks in Josh Reynolds, but can certainly use some depth at the wide receiver position.
Now, on to pick 234.
With the 234th pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select Josh Metellus, Safety, from Michigan.
With this pick, the Rams add more reinforcements in the secondary, and now have one final pick in the draft at 243.
With the 243rd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Rams select Joshua Kelley, Running Back, from UCLA.
It’s unclear if Kelley will actually be available at this point, but the local running back is a perfect fit in the Rams offense, and could be a pleasant surprise for Rams fans.
This concludes the Rams 2020 NFL Draft. Overall, the Rams improved in all the places they needed to, getting reinforcement at all of their weakest positions, especially at linebacker and offensive line. Not having a first round pick is difficult, but this haul would show that they were prepared for that.
Ezra Cleveland, T
Terrell Lewis, EDGE
Troy Dye, LB
Logan Stengerg, G
Jacob Phillips, LB
Michael Ojemudia, CB
Quintez Cephus, WR
Josh Metellus, S
Joshua Kelley, RB
Traded No. 57 for No. 61, 174, and 243 (Lewis, Ojemudia, Kelley)