Los Angeles Rams, NFL Draft 2019

2019 NFL Draft: L.A. Rams gear up for another Super Bowl run

The L.A. Rams will add seven more picks to a young roster that’s already got Super Bowl experience as they prep for another run at the Lombardi.

Expectations are sky-high for the Los Angeles Rams after a Super Bowl run with such a young roster. As they head into the draft, the team will likely focus on adding some depth in key places along with a focus on the trenches.

How much better can the Rams look than they do already?

State Of The Team

Contending: Football fans never could have imagined two years ago that the Los Angeles Rams would reach the Super Bowl in Sean McVay’s second season as head coach, but here they are as defending NFC champions. Losing to the New England Patriots the way they did, by failing to score a single touchdown in Super Bowl 53, has given the Rams plenty to think about this offseason, but all signs point to this team continuing to be a top contender in the NFC.

What McVay has been able to accomplish in only two years has been truly amazing for Rams fans to witness, and the best part is they only seem to be scratching the surface of their potential. Even more exciting, thanks to some key moves made last year involving extending players like Aaron Donald and Brandin Cooks to hefty deals, the Rams are build to be serious contenders in the NFC for years to come.

Competing in the NFC West may not be as easy as last year since the other three teams are each having a successful offseason with numerous key additions, but as long as the Rams can stay healthy, McVay should love his team’s chances in being a top contender for a third year in a row.

Total Draft Picks

The Los Angeles Rams currently have seven picks in the 2019 NFL Draft.

  • Round 1: No. 31 overall
  • Round 3: No. 94 overall
  • Round 3: No. 99 overall
  • Round 4: No. 133 overall
  • Round 5: No. 169 overall
  • Round 6: No. 203 overall
  • Round 7: No. 251 overall

Top 3 Draft Needs

Linebacker: While it was great to see the Rams bring Dante Fowler Jr. back on a one-year deal so the linebacker can prove himself worthy of a potential hefty contract down the road, the defense did decide to release Mark Barron to free up some salary cap space. Even with Cory Littleton having a career year in 2018 by combining for 125 tackles with four sacks and three interceptions, Los Angeles still needs help at inside linebacker, and the good news is the draft will have plenty of strong candidates for them to choose from.

Offensive Line: Hearing Andrew Whitworth‘s decision to return to the Rams for at least one more year was the best news that Los Angeles could have received this offseason, but even they know the veteran isn’t getting any younger at 37. Take this into consideration along with the fact that Rodger Saffold was too expensive to keep around after the guard ended up signing with the Tennessee Titans, the Rams realize the importance of adding some depth to the offensive line. Not to mention, Los Angeles made what seemed like an easy decision to part ways with John Sullivan by not exercising his 2019 option, showing the offensive line will look a bit different next season.

Defensive Tackle: Any player on defense would love the opportunity to play alongside Aaron Donald when seeing how the two-time Defensive Player of the Year winner continues to find new ways to get better with experience. Los Angeles was able to fill their need at defensive tackle in 2018 by convincing Ndamukong Suh to come on board with a hefty one-year deal, but the unit needs someone that is going to be around for the long run like Donald instead of focusing on short-term answers.

Top 3 Draft Targets

Jerry Tillery

DL, Notre Dame

With the Rams meeting Jerry Tillery at the combine back in February, the Notre Dame product will be worth keeping an eye on if he happens to fall late in the first round. Whether it was his massive strength that gave him an extra advantage over opponents or simply the defensive tackle setting a career high as a senior with the Fighting Irish after recording seven sacks, Tillery seems ready to make the leap to the NFL. Even if Tillery has a few areas in need of improvement like most young players, the opportunity to work with Wade Phillips along with playing next to Aaron Donald could benefit the rookie in one of the best ways possible.

Brian Burns

EDGE, Florida State

Brian Burns happens to be one of those players in which the Rams would be foolish to pass on in the first round if the Florida State star somehow managed to slip to No. 31, and still be available. Plenty of teams in need of adding another defensive weapon in the first round will be looking into the possibility of Burns, and rightfully so since his speed alone makes him an amazing prospect. Burns rightfully watched his draft stock rise a bit after an impressive outing at the combine in Indianapolis, but maybe Los Angeles would get lucky enough to see the defender fall, or even consider the possibility of trading up if the interest were high enough.

Garrett Bradbury

OL, Boston College

Now that John Sullivan is officially out of the picture following two seasons, the Rams will be considering all options as a potential replacement, one of which could be Garrett Bradbury. Leading up to the NFL Combine, Bradbury wasn’t really considered to be a first-round pick, but the center impressed teams enough during his trip to Indianapolis to make this scenario become more realistic. The 4.92 in the 40-yard dash on top of the 34 repetitions in the bench press looked impressive at the combine, but now it’s up to Bradbury over these next couple of weeks to show teams, whether it’s the Rams or someone else, that he is in fact the real deal.

Decision Maker (Or Who To Blame If Things Go Wrong)

Isn’t it crazy to think how the Rams have drafted the last two years without a first-round pick thanks to previous trades involving Jared Goff and Brandin Cooks? After watching them win back-to-back NFC West titles along with a trip to the Super Bowl this past season, it’s been incredible to watch Los Angeles still manage to find success in the draft over the last two years, despite appearing to be at a disadvantage over not having first rounders. Sean McVay and Les Snead have received high praise for their ability to find solid draft picks in the mid rounds since the two started to work together in 2017, so fans should expect the same for 2019.

Best/Worst Pick In Current Draft Slot

Historically, who was the best pick and the worst pick based on where the team is currently picking. 

Best Pick: Robert Thomas, DL, No. 31 in 2002 NFL Draft

Back in 2002 when the Rams had the No. 31 pick after coming up short in the Super Bowl, the team selected Robert Thomas to help boost the defensive side of the football. Right away, the UCLA product wasted little time making an impact as a rookie after starting 10 of 16 games as a rookie, and would end up spending three seasons with the team before a trade sent him to the Green Bay Packers. Moving on from Thomas after a short period of time was tough, but it seemed right for the Rams at the time to help them fill another need at cornerback in 2005 with Chris Johnson.

Worst Pick: Trung Canidate, RB, No. 31 in 2000 NFL Draft

By using a first-round pick in 2000 on Trung Canidate, the Rams had hopes of the Arizona product one day becoming a top running back in the league, even if Marshall Faulk was still part of the picture at the time. Instead, Canidate quickly became a bust at the NFL level by only rushing for six yards on three carries as a rookie. Canidate certainly improved in his sophomore campaign after rushing for 441 yards with six touchdowns in 2001, but the 48 rushing yards on 17 carries the following season was part of the reason why the Rams were willing to give up on him in 2003 by trading him to the Washington Redskins.

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