LA Rams: Notable third round NFL draft selections

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4 notable round 3 selections by the LA Rams in the NFL Draft

The LA Rams have a treasured NFL history. Many former Rams players have made their marks on history both on the field and off the field. Former Rams running back  Wendell Tyler, chosen from the 3rd round in the 1977 NFL Draft, played very well in San Francisco after six seasons in LA.

There were two drafts where the Rams first selection was in the third round. In 1948, they selected defensive back Tom Keane. In 2018, they picked offensive tackle Joseph Noteboom.

The LA Rams are no strangers to wheeling and dealing with draft picks.  In fact, trades are generally the reason why LA did not have draft picks to use in the early rounds of the NFL Draft. Also, trades resulted in  LA possessing multiple round 3 selections. Compensatory picks are another reason why the Rams may have multiple draft picks in a certain round.

Value and longevity are traits for third round selections. LeRoy Irvin, corner, was taken in 1978. He played ten seasons in LA. Remember how great he was in the secondary?

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Sometimes wearing the Rams uniform allows for other off-the-field opportunities. Defensive lineman Merlin Olsen parlayed his tackling ability into a Hollywood role. Quarterback Roman Gabriel experienced Hollywood after his quarterback days ended. There is another that you might know know about.

Four Notable Round 3 Selections by the LA Rams

First, the LA Rams selected a wide receiver from New Mexico State in 1960 by the name of Pervis Atkins . Atkins played three seasons in LA. He caught 54 passes for 634 yards with two touchdowns from 1961-63.

You might not remember his Rams playing career but you might remember his best movie role. In 1974, Atkins had a key role in “The Longest Yard” starring Burt Reynolds. His character propelled the mean machine offense against the guards.

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Second, running back Lawrence McCutcheon was taken in 1972. The big running back played eight seasons for the Rams. He rushed for 6186 yards with 23 touchdowns.

McCutcheon appeared in five consecutive Pro Bowls from 1973-77. He is the fourth leading rusher in yards gained in Rams franchise history. McCutcheon has his place in Rams history.

Third, defensive lineman Leonard Little was drafted in 1998. Little played 11 seasons for the St. Louis Rams. He was really an outstanding pass rusher.

Little is the Rams franchise leader in sacks with 87.5. Expect him to hold that title for only a few more years. Defensive tackle Aaron Donald will surpass him soon.

Fourth, offensive tackle Jackie Slater was picked in the 1976 draft. Slater played from 1976 through 1995. Has there ever been a more talented offensive lineman in league history?

Slater was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2001. He made seven Pro Bowls teams. One of the most dominating players to have put on the Rams uniform.

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There is talent in the third round. Hall of fame talent and Hollywood talent is there for the taking. Perhaps this years third rounder is a little of both. Let’s watch and see.