Should LA Rams draft QB in the 2021 NFL Draft, and when?
By Bret Stuter
Day Three Targets
Of course, if the Rams elect not to draft a quarterback in either round two or three of the 2021 NFL Draft, the likelihood of finding a 2021 impact player drops dramatically. Instead, the Rams will likely seek to develop that prospect behind both Jared Goff and John Wolford for the 2021 NFL season, with the goal for him to compete for playing time in 2022. Of course, that future factor complicates the Rams’ chances of hitting on this pick.
Wake Forest QB
The first prospect is 6-foot-4 230-pound quarterback Jamie Newman. Newman transferred to Georgia from Wake Forest in 2020 but has subsequently opted out for this season. His ties to Wake Forest gives the Rams a solid advantage to vet the young man, as backup quarterback John Wolford is a graduate from the Demon Deacons. His lack of 2020 playing time will certainly sink Newman’s draft stock. But he has plenty of talent to make his NFL prospects very intriguing.
He is a raw prospect, and the lack of football in 2020 has made him a high risk but high reward draft option. He has accuracy problems on deeper passes but has plenty of arm strength. And despite his threat to run, he needs to polish his footwork and throwing mechanics. He played quarterback in a rushing offense, which means coaching to give him a pass-first mindset
The next day two prospect is 6-foot-3 230-pound quarterback Sam Ehlinger from Texas. He is a fearless leader on the field, a confident young man who amplifies his play on the field with the ability to shine in the brightest spotlights and the biggest stages. He is another quarterback who can play within a structure. But when the plays break down as they often do, he is a master of making something positive out of nothing. A true improviser.
He is a four-year college player, which is a huge plus these days. So why is he a day-three prospect? He has inconsistent accuracy, and his arm strength does not match his size. In short, he dominated collegiate play, but there are deep questions if he can translate into the NFL. His college production of 11,276 yards, 93 touchdowns to just 27 interceptions suggests that he is worth it.
The third and final day three quarterback is 6-foot-1 200-pound quarterback Malik Cunningham out of Louisville. While he is also a dual-threat quarterback, his height may prove to be a factor in his draft selection. He has rather good arm-strength and accuracy for a mobile hurler, he tends to track his receiver with his eyes, allowing defensive backs to close to the ball more often than they should. He is also rather reckless with his body when leaving the pocket. He takes unnecessary punishment by not choosing to slide in a timely manner.
While not the biggest and baddest quarterback on this list, he is very similar in stature and style to backup quarterback Wolford. And if the Rams are so enamored with his performance, they’ll certainly take a hard look at Cunningham. Unlike other quarterbacks, Cunningham has demonstrated positive development in each successive year in the NCAA.