The LA Rams are not drafting on Day 1 of the 2022 NFL Draft, and by all accounts are not really diving into the pool of rookie talent available this year until Day 3. But that does not mean that the Rams will not participate in NFL headlines. Nor does it mean that the Rams front office will be stuck in the effort of finding special teams players in this draft.
While I may not have put in as many hours as some, my time devoted to analyzing, mocking, and simply investigating the rookies who fill the 2022 NFL Draft left me very impressed with this group of NFL hopefuls. While this draft class may not yield All-Pro quarterbacks, there are certainly plenty of talented players in positions. So deep are some positions, that there could be starters signed to NFL rosters after the draft ends.
That is awfully encouraging news for the LA Rams, whose draft picks are almost entirely embedded in Day 3.
Bold Prediction V: The LA Rams will draft a quarterback
The LA Rams are infamous for doing the unexpected during the course of an NFL Draft, and nobody expects the Rams to draft a quarterback. That’s why I think they do. After all, the LA Rams have not drafted a quarterback since trading up to select Jared Goff with the first overall pick of the 2016 NFL Draft. Now the Rams are running their offense under the leadership of veteran QB Matthew Stafford.
But why waste all of that wisdom and experience? The two other quarterbacks on the roster – John Wolford and Bryce Perkins – are mobile quarterbacks that threaten defenses with their legs as well as their arm. But the Rams like to have four quarterbacks in training camp, and this draft has a number of raw prospects who could benefit greatly by playing alongside Stafford.
Bold Prediction IV: The LA Rams will trade back
Predicting any trade in this draft is pretty bold. The LA Rams’ arsenal of draft picks is so far back that there may be little to no interest from other teams in trading for any of their picks at all. But the Rams will most certainly get inquiries for Pick 104, and perhaps some of the offers will give the Rams reason to accept.
The Rams view the value in this draft by the number of picks, as well as the value of each pick. So any team that dangles multiple picks to the Rams for that pick in the third round will have the Rams’ attention. After all, if the Rams group of players they value at 104 are gone, the team will welcome a chance to trade back, regroup, reset their board, and be ready to go full throttle on Day 3.
Bold Prediction III: The LA Rams will select 10+ players in this draft
Some will comment that selecting 10+ players in this draft is not a bold prediction. I stand by the claim because over the course of the draft teams can trade back for more picks, and then reverse course and trade back up for a coveted player who is still available.
I expect some unusual moves by some teams. After all, so many teams control the early rounds in this draft, they will be saturating their roster at some key positions early, and will likely be reaching for players to round out their needs. That could result in solid players tumbling to Day 3, where the Rams will be more than happy to call out their names.
Bold Prediction II: The LA Rams will not select P Matt Araiza
There are so many great punters in this draft class that using their top pick for a punter may not be the LA Rams’ top priority. Even if the Rams want to select Araiza, there are any number of teams that have more than five picks before the LA Rams step up to the podium. Drafting a punter for any one of those teams is simply a luxury pick.
Thankfully, there are plenty of NFL-quality punters in this draft class. I expect the LA Rams to add a punter, but as I emphasize in each draft, don’t fall in love with a specific player because 31 other teams have an opportunity to select him.
Bold Prediction I: The first player selected by the LA Rams in the 2022 NFL Draft will be an offensive ball handler
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Even with the LA Rams in need of reinforcing their defense, I cannot believe that the Rams will not select either a wide receiver, a running back, or a tight end with their first player selection. The Rams love versatile players, and any prospect who can handle the football from this draft class will be automatically in consideration for a role on special teams.
Drafting a running back could be step one of a multi-step effort to add draft picks by trading a rusher. The same could be said of either a tight end or a wide receiver as well. We know that LA Rams head coach Sean McVay loves new weapons for his offense. We also know that GM Les Snead will do whatever it takes to arm McVay’s roster with whoever or whatever he wants.
The LA Rams will be very active, entertaining, and thorough throughout the 2022 NFL draft. Just sit back and enjoy the show.