The 2023 NFL Draft will occur in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, on April 27, 2023. The Los Angeles Rams will be without their 1st round pick, sixth overall, which they traded to the Detroit Lions, their 2022 1st round pick, and quarterback Jared Goff in exchange for Matthew Stafford.
However, the Rams hold 11 picks, including an additional third-round selection acquired in the March 15 Jalen Ramsey trade with the Miami Dolphins, three compensatory picks in the fifth round, and two additional picks in the sixth round acquired in the Robert Woods and Corey Bojorquez trades. With these picks, the Rams hope to rebuild their roster after a lackluster 2022-23 season and improve on their +6000 odds for a Super Bowl win, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Cam Mellor, an analyst at Pro Football Network, recently conducted a mock draft spanning the first seven rounds and 259 selections across the 32 NFL franchises. While mock drafts are purely speculative, Mellor based his predictions on each team addressing their pressing needs. For the Rams, this means bolstering their lineup after a surprisingly dismal season, especially considering their 2021-22 Super Bowl championship.
Having only won five regular-season games last season, the Rams’ odds for the 2023-24 NFL season are significantly lower than those of the reigning Super Bowl champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. In the coming weeks, Rams’ general manager Les Snead will be hard at work to provide head coach Sean McVay with a competitive roster that could potentially shorten their Super Bowl odds for the 2023-24 season.
According to Mellor’s mock draft, the Rams could potentially secure three recruits from the University of Georgia to strengthen their offense. Here’s a rundown of the 11 picks Mellor has projected for the Rams.
Picks for the Rams’ 2023 NFL Draft
The Rams’ first pick will be in the second round. It could be Georgia Tech’s edge rusher, Keion White, who is set to visit a string of franchises, including the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Tennessee Titans. Some have labeled White a possible first-round pick. However, his lack of “X-Factor” could mean he slips into the second round and the Rams’ hands.
Cornerback Darius Rush from South Carolina is tipped to be the Rams’ first of two third-round picks, followed by offensive tackle Warren McClendon. At the NFL Scouting Combine, Darius Rush ran the 40-yard dash in just 4.36 seconds, which caught the eye. Meanwhile, 22-year-old McClendon wants to make the most of his chance after surviving a deadly car crash earlier this year.
The Rams also have a trio of fifth-round picks in the bag. Mellor believes they will wait until round five to consider an alternative quarterback option, with Fresno State’s Jake Haener in the bag. Haener has admitted he expects to be selected between the third and fifth rounds, so this looks like a conservative forecast on Mellor’s part. Reports suggest that Haener made a big impression on a visit to the San Francisco 49ers, who have shown strong football IQ despite a perceived lack of size or arm power.
The remaining two fifth-round picks in Mellor’s mock draft for the Rams are running back Kenny McIntosh – also of Georgia – and tight end Luke Schoonmaker of Michigan. McIntosh was a stalwart in Georgia’s backfield, while Schoonmaker has opted to forego his final year of eligibility at Michigan to try and turn pro. He’s ranked in the top five of tight-end prospects in this year’s draft.
Other notable inclusions in Mellor’s list of mock picks for the Rams in the upcoming draft include Atonio Mafi, dubbed one of the leading run blockers in the entire NCAAF. Maryland’s wide receiver Rakim Jarrett demonstrated exceptional hands, including one eye-opening sideline catch during the University’s Pro Day.
One thing is for sure; the Rams need this draft to provide their roster with fresh legs and impetus to put the 2022-23 season firmly behind them and reassure fans that 2021-22 was anything but a freak campaign.