The Los Angeles Rams used the 189th pick in the sixth round of the 2017 NFL Draft to select Tanzel Smart out of Tulane.
It’s been a busy last three days with the Los Angeles Rams in the 2017 NFL Draft as the team has been taking the necessary steps to make sure they bounce back from a disastrous 4-12 finish last season. After focusing on offense early on to provide Jared Goff with more weapons in the passing game, the last two picks by the Rams have been used to help improve the defensive side of the football, with the latest being Tanzel Smart from Tulane.
The defensive tackle was selected by Los Angeles with the 189th pick in the sixth round, as the team has two picks remaining over the final two rounds, assuming a late trade doesn’t take place. Not only has Smart been praised for constant pressure on opposing quarterbacks after recording 5.5 sacks during his final season at Tulane, but he’s proven to be very effective when it comes to stopping the run, which the Rams have to absolutely love heading into the 2017 season.
After high expectations on defense at the beginning of last year following a successful 2016 campaign, Los Angeles hopes to get back on track on the defensive side of the football now that Wade Phillips is on board as a member of Sean McVay‘s coaching staff. The former Denver Broncos defensive coordinator already had one of the league’s best weapons to work with in Aaron Donald, and with the latest addition of Smart, Phillips and the Rams hope this turns out to be one of the best value picks of the sixth round.
One of the most exciting features of these later rounds in the draft is figuring out which underrated players have the potential to turn into steals, and Los Angeles clearly sees something special in what Smart can bring to the table. Only time will tell when it comes to whether this move pays off, but this seems like a safe bet for the Rams when it comes to Smart.