The Rams draft
12th Man Rising: What did you think about the Rams draft? Los Angeles ended up with 9 draft picks (the Seahawks had just three) and how many of them do you expect to make an impact by 2022?
Bret Stuter: The LA Rams are very good at drafting on day three, and the 2021 shopping list was pretty comprehensive, particularly on defense. Entering the draft with a handful of picks, many expected the team to trade back for more draft picks. This was an unusual draft, and it was clear that talented players would fall. I was surprised that despite wholesale defections by almost all of the defensive free agents, the Rams focused so heavily on the offensive side of the ball in the draft.
The impact is a relative term, as the Rams clearly wanted to raise the overall athleticism of the roster, and improve special teams’ play. But do rookies who play on special teams impact the team? That is a grey area.
I do think that the Rams will get some play this year from rookie ILB Ernest Jones, DL Bobby Brown, CB Robert Rochell. The Rams typically do not use rookies very often on the offense, but I believe that TE/WR Jacob Harris could be the exception this year as a red zone offense subpackage.
The Rams spent their most valuable pick on WR Tutu Atwell. Will he pan out? I haven’t a clue still, and it’s the one player everyone is most interested in knowing whether or not the Rams will use him this season. He will likely be DeSean Jackson’s understudy, so if DJax gets hurt, he may see some playing time.