LA Rams end wild ride draft with intriguing trio at the end
By Bret Stuter
The LA Rams never do things the easy way. At least, that is the way that it feels sometimes. But on the other hand, the 2021 NFL Draft was never about doing things the easy way, was it? After all, this was a draft with medical data arriving very late in the process, about the comparison of completely different rookie data sets, and with the inability to meet face to face.
This year’s draft was bound to be a head-scratcher.
The two driving forces for the Rams draft this year were advanced data analytics and special teams. Throughout the draft, the two were the reason behind the selection. The Rams post-game interview with GM Les Snead and HC Sean McVay pointed to the first three picks as ‘Pool Party’ picks to the Nerds Nest. As we scratched our heads, they were ecstatic as all three were ‘best in show’ in a number of analytics categories.
The Rams employed data analytics in their draft process at a level that I was unprepared for. In the past, I had considered the efforts of the data analytics folks to supply the information. But in the Rams 2021 NFL Draft, it seemed as though the roles reversed. Amidst the fog and obscurity of so little corroborating evidence, it seems as though the Rams own data team took the lead in the draft.
But we’ll talk about that later.
For now, let’s talk about those late three draft picks. While many saw those picks as ‘developmental only’ roles, the Rams approached the seventh round as the place to get special teams specialists. While that perspective was not limited to those final three picks, it certainly was the spotlight for those late seventh-round picks. Who are they? What do they bring to the team?