3X the LA Rams failed to improve the team in the 2021 NFL Draft
Strike III: Choosing WR Tutu Atwell over OC Creed Humphrey
Who did the Rams leave on the board by selecting Tutu Atwell is a tough one, because the entire fanbase was livid over the fact that the team glossed over the best center of the class of 2021 to select a wide receiver who many expected to be on the draft board well into Day 3. We had Creed Humphrey scouted well, and our mock draft proved how sold we were on the guy.
Instead, the LA Rams chose wide receiver, Tutu Atwell, a position that nobody suspected the Rams to prioritize that quickly in the draft. The LA Rams left Humphrey on the board, but he did not get past the Kansas City Chiefs, and they were more than happy to add him to their offensive line
It was a huge plus. He has played lights out, earning an unheard of 90.5 grade from Pro Football Focus for the first 10 weeks of 2021. And this is just his rookie season. The LA Rams, thanks to all veteran center contracts expiring in 2022, definitely were in the market for a young offensive center, whether they understood that need or not. And the fact that Jim Nagy endorsed him without any reservations made it clear that he was indeed the guy to pick in this draft.
So why didn’t the Rams select him?
It was clear from the way the LA Rams had drafted that offensive linemen were not on the shopping list. But everyone knew that offensive center was a clear need for the team. Even if not in 2021, then in 2022. And every indication was that Creed Humphrey was absolutely worth the pick.
And yet, the LA Rams failed to grab a player many predicted to be a sure-fire long-term starter. But what about the offense? Tutu Atwell seems to be a mismatch in this Rams offense. Even if Atwell pans out in future years, the Rams whiffed on a chance to have an elite offensive center right out of the gates.
Do the Rams fail in the NFL Draft? Sometimes even the LA Rams’ ability to identify Day 3 talent misses the mark. In a year where the Rams are clearly out to win now, not only did they miss on some great NFL talent, but missing in the draft cost them valuable draft picks later in the season.