When the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft began, the LA Rams had no first-round picks. In fact, the only two occasions for any teams in the NFC West to step up to the podium would be the Seattle Seahawks with the ninth overall pick. The other occasion would occur at the 23rd overall pick when the Arizona Cardinals were slated to step up to the podium to make their first pick of the NFL Draft.
Before they made their pick, the Arizona Cardinals traded their 23rd overall selection to the Baltimore Ravens for the 100th overall pick and wide receiver Marquise Brown. What does this mean for the LA Rams?
Anything can happen during the NFL Draft. Tonight, we were reminded of that when Marquise Brown, not Deebo Samuel, was traded during the draft. Samuel has requested a trade from the San Francisco 49ers and reportedly wants out, but he is still awaiting his trade to go down.
Instead, the Baltimore Ravens moved back into the first round, trading the 100th selection in the NFL Draft and their former first-round pick, Marquise Brown, to the Cardinals for the 23rd selection. Brown is a speedster who didn’t run a 40-yard dash coming into the NFL due to a foot injury but was estimated to run a 4.35-second 40 due to his previous performances.
There’s a lot to unpack from this trade. What does it mean for the LA Rams?
What does this trade mean for the Los Angeles Rams?
I think it’s very clear that the Arizona Cardinals needed to replace Christian Kirk, who the team had lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars in free agency. While Brown has a similar playing style, the former Oklahoma Sooners receiver has struggled to consistently catch the football. He’s dropped 16 passes over his three-year NFL career, according to PFF advanced statistics, (Subscription required) which is 7 percent of his receptions. It’s not a good number. He has also had a pattern of minor but numerous injuries.
The Cardinals needed to replace Kirk, as their starting receivers were going to be the aging AJ Green, DeAndre Hopkins (coming off an injury), and the young slot weapon, RonDale Moore. Kirk caught 83 passes for the Cardinals last year and was the standout receiver after Hopkins’ injury.
It means that Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray has a young, fast, and electric receiving corps that will test their secondary over the next few years. Brown has been ever-increasing receiving yards, an area the Cardinals will definitely need this year.
What can the Rams do to defend Marquise Brown?
The Rams’ secondary has shown the ability to hold up against electric receiving units over the last few years, mostly because of the versatility and pure talent the Rams have had on their back end. Now, they’re a little bit thinner on the back end than they were last year, but they still have Jalen Ramsey and the very talented safety group.
I think it wouldn’t hurt the Rams to think about taking a cornerback once they start getting to their picks and continue to build the depth on the back end.
Or, they could just pray that Brown will continue to drop passes when going deep.