Los Angeles Rams Post Free Agency 2022 Seven Round Mock Draftby Jack Gaffney April 14, 2022 0 comments
It is no secret that the Los Angeles Rams have been lacking in the draft picks department in recent years. However, Les Snead’s strategy of simply acquiring elite talent while sacrificing draft pick capital paid off in spades this year with a Lombardi Trophy. What may come as a surprise to some, is that the Rams have still managed to bat well in the draft without a first-round selection since 2016. Cooper Kupp, John Johnson, and Van Jefferson are just some of the notable selections they’ve had since the Jared Goff draft. This year however is a bit different. Currently, the Rams have eight selections, but just one in the opening three rounds. What can Snead do with the hand he currently has dealt to him?
To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Team Mock Drafts.
Round 3, Pick 104: Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
Without question, finding a replacement for Andrew Whitworth at left tackle is priority one for the Rams. With that said, where the board currently is at the value for a left tackle isn’t there. Here Snead opts to beef up the edges fresh off the loss of Von Miller. The projection for where Sanders goes in this draft depends on who you talk to, but there is undeniable talent here. He picked up 13.5 sacks in his final three years with the Bearcats, along with 24.5 tackles for loss. There are some run game concerns, but the Rams could start him out as a rotational pass rusher.
For more on Sanders, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 4, Pick 142: Braxton Jones, OT, Southern Utah
Just shy of 40 picks after their opening selection, the Rams add a potential solution at left tackle in Jones. The pride of Southern Utah picked up a pair of First Team All-Big Sky Honors in 2019 and 2020, with a third-team selection in 2018. With Joe Noteboom currently in as the Rams starting left tackle, Jones will be in his rearview mirror as a failsafe option if the former struggles in place of Whitworth.
Round 5, Pick 175: Cade Mays, IOL, Tennessee
The Rams also could look at improving the interior of the offensive front in a couple of weeks. Mays would be a tremendous option, as he has experience at all five spots on the line, mainly from his 2019 season at Georgia. This most recent year at Tennesse, Mays spent all of his time at right tackle, but at 6-foot-4, his best fit in the NFL is along with the interior. The versatility to play any of the three spots would make him an excellent backup option to open up his career. Perhaps down the line, he could wind up starting at one of the guard spots.
Round 6, Pick 211: Matt Hankins, CB, Iowa
The loss of Darious Williams leaves a notable hole on the Rams’ cornerback depth chart. Hankins has brings a ton of experience from his tenure at Iowa, playing 44 games over five seasons. At 6-foot-11 and just 175 pounds, some bigger receivers on the outside, where Hankins spent the bulk of his time at Iowa, could potentially give him some trouble. However, his ability to play zone defense makes up for that. Far from a bad depth option at this point in the draft, with the potential to make an impact early.
Round 6, Pick 212: Matt Araiza, P, Arizona
Johnny Hekker is a thing of the past, and Riley Dixon is a short-term solution at punter for the Rams at best. The latter’s 2021 season wasn’t spectacular by any stretch either. Araiza would be a better and cheaper option for the Rams here at pick 212. His 51.2-yard average punt would have led the NFL in 2021, as would his season-long punt of 86 yards. Have we mentioned that Araiza can place kick as well? He was less impressive in that area in 2021, but that gives Sean McVay the best emergency kicker option in the NFL if anything were to happen to Matt Gay.
Round 6, Pick 218: Josh Ross, LB, Michigan
Bobby Wagner was given huge money by the Rams just a few weeks ago, leaving the No. 1 linebacker spot a non-issue for the next few years. The Rams also only have four linebackers on the roster currently, so another body couldn’t hurt. In the sixth round, getting someone like Ross, a multi-time captain at Michigan, is nice value. He is more of a run defender than a coverage linebacker, but having a dedicated run-stopping linebacker is never a bad idea. Ross also spent time playing special teams at Michigan as well, adding another way he could contribute to the Super Bowl Champions.
Round 7, Pick 238: Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor
If you like speed, then Thornton is your type of receiver. The Baylor product made waves at the combine by running a 4.28 40-yard dash. That speed for a 6-foot-3 wideout makes him an enticing late-round selection for Los Angeles, but there’s a reason he lasted to this point. The entire route tree isn’t available to him and he only weighs at 182 lbs most notably. With the raw speed he possesses, however, taking a flyer on Thornton in the seventh round is worth the gamble.
Round 7, Pick 253: Joey Blount, S, Virginia
With their final pick, the Rams go back to the secondary and grab Blount, who spent time all over the place in the Cavaliers’ defense. He doesn’t possess great speed for the position and can tend to be over-aggressive, but by no means is he a bad coverage safety. Most likely, Blount will have to carve out a role on special teams to make the final roster, with the Rams currently employing a half dozen safeties.
Follow Jack Gaffney on Twitter @JackGaffneyPTST
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images