LA Rams January Mock Draft ‘smokes’ the secondary
By Bret Stuter
One of the more difficult tasks of mocking any 2022 NFL Draft results for the LA Rams is the number of unknowns that the team will face on Days 2 and 3 of that important restocking of young talent. With a roster facing a number of players exiting the team from the offensive line, linebacker, and secondary positions, the LA Rams will have a ready-made shopping list long before the team can make any selections.
But what about the depth at the tight end position? How dependable will the players be coming back from a 2021 season spent on injured reserve?
For that matter, will any younger players improve through the off-season to a point where they will satisfy the roster needs for next year? Perhaps. The Rams have made it a habit of finding ways to do exactly that.
Can eight picks make a difference?
So when do the LA Rams pick? Let’s revisit our LA Rams future draft picks article, and cite the rounds of their projected eight picks in the 2022 NFL Draft. Keep in mind that the order in which the teams select in the draft from playoff teams is determined in the reverse order of how far that team advances. Regardless of season record, the Super Bowl runner up always selects 31st, and the Super Bowl winner always selects 32nd in each round:
- Round three – one
- Round four – one
- Round five – one
- Round six – three
- Round seven – two
The trouble with drafting so late is that both the LA Rams organization and the fans must set realistic expectations. Drafting so late means that the LA Rams will most certainly need to be patient with prospects, and plan to redshirt them for at least half of the 2022 NFL season before finding any meaningful contribution from them.
Of course, a player or two can surprise us. But for the most part, the Rams will simply promote backup players to starting roles, and shift the remaining rotational roles to cover game time needs. With the Rams projected to enter the new season with 46 players under contract, and the likelihood of extending eight or more free agents in 2022, this team could be entering the draft already knowing who they will likely have for the 53-man roster.
Not only will the Rams be returning plenty of players who earned valuable playing time in the 2021 NFL season, but seven or more players will be returning to the active roster after rehabilitating through injuries suffered this year. While we will all wait patiently to determine who the Rams can extend, we can peek around the corner to see who the team will draft. Let’s get right to it…