LA Rams 2021 NFL Draft shopping list continues to grow

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams draft
Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The defense

The Rams have undergone an overhaul in each of the last three seasons. And each year, it seems that the Rams lose a tremendous amount of talent on the defensive side of the ball. That happens once more in 2021, as the Rams are projected to lose: OLB Leonard Floyd (starter), DB Troy Hill (starter), S John Johnson III (starter), DB Darious Williams (RFA starter), DE Morgan Fox (rotational player), OLB Samson Ebukam (starter), and DE Derek Rivers (rotational player).

Seven players, five starters, gone. Poof!  Right now the Rams have 64 players on the current roster and six picks. The number of remaining roster spots is 20, which will be made up by either veteran free agents before the draft, or undrafted rookies signed after the 2021 NFL Draft. Last year, the Rams did sign 20 players after the draft, many of whom return to the team this year.

Well, the team has been stockpiling talent on defense as well. The team managed to draft OLB Terrell Lewis, DB Terrell Burgess, and DB Jordan Fuller in the 2020 NFL Draft, and all appear to have large roles in store for this year. Thankfully, the 2021 NFL Draft runs deep in talent for the areas of need for the Rams, so you can look for a healthy dose of player signings after the draft as well.

Could Floyd be back?

The Rams will most certainly need to sign a veteran outside linebacker, and like last year will need to pair him up with a drafted rookie. Don’t write off the Rams bringing back OLB Leonard Floyd, who was everything PLUS what the team needed at that position. There has also been a strong push by Ohio State’s Jordan Fuller to get his alma mater’s OLB Jonathon Cooper on the Rams’ radar, and it makes a lot of sense. Pittsburgh’s Patrick Jones II and Northern Iowa’s Elerson Smith could be targeted too.

The Rams need cornerbacks. Not want, need. With both Troy Hill and Darious Williams (pending any tender offer) leaving via free agency, the Rams will be down to Jalen Ramsey, David Long Jr., Donte Deayon, and Tyrique McGhee on the roster. No others. That stands in stark contrast to the team carrying seven safeties on the roster. There are several solid coverage DBs in this draft class, but the Rams so far have been targeting cornerbacks with a day three or priority UDFA grade.

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Yes, the Rams have a lot of places where the team wants to add depth and talent. But with fewer options of obtaining that list of wants, the Rams will need to settle for what they need.  That may not splash the headlines, but it’s the best strategy.