LA Rams draft Kyren Williams: Here are 2 prospects left on the board

Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams hit the floor running with their fifth-round pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.  In fact, the team was so obviously enamored with this pick that despite discussing trading back for more picks in this draft, the team actually traded multiple picks to trade up for this selection.

With the 164th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, the LA Rams selected running back Kyren Williams from Notre Dame. Clearly, the Rams felt that he offered far more value on their roster than his location deep in that fifth round. Be that as it may, selecting him meant that they valued him over anyone else on the board at that time.  Here are two prospects they could have taken that they left on the board.

The Los Angeles Rams took Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams, who has a lot of promise himself as a productive player in the Rams offense. The running back position has been marred by injuries and inconsistent play over the last few years, as Darrell Henderson and Cam Akers have both struggled to stay healthy.

That being said, Williams offers some power running inside of the tackles with good explosive ability to hit the hole with intensity. His power comes mostly from that and the fact that he runs so low to the ground.

What if the Rams had chosen someone else? How could it have changed the way that they addressed their draft? Let’s speculate.

RB Ty Chandler, North Carolina

Was Kyren Williams the best running back on the board? That’s very debatable, as I had Ty Chandler very highly rated going into this draft. He ran a 4.38 forty-yard dash, and he’s a capable player in all three facets of the game (as a runner, receiver, and pass blocker). My notes on him were very strong:

"North/south style of runner. Very tough and is a matchup problem in the secondary. Strong, powerful runner. Shows good contact balance in power situations. Good run strength. Runs too high to be as effective as he could be. Chandler shows good hands and is capable as a receiver out of the backfield. Has a decent catch radius. Doesn’t run through the catch point, which makes it harder on himself trying to track a ball while on the move. Good power when working into a block. Impressive."

Chandler’s versatility is what makes him a valuable prospect. He played last year at North Carolina after spending four years at Tennessee in a crowded backfield. He was good in his Shrine Bowl appearance this offseason, where he cashed in on his invite. He ended up going five picks later to the Minnesota Vikings.

In the end, the Rams think that Kyren Williams is the better selection, which leads me to believe that they have a plan for him going forward. But, it’s fun to think of what could have been had the Rams taken Chandler.

TyChandler. 164. player. 838. Draft Buzz. North Carolina. NFL Draft. RB

OT Braxton Jones, Southern Utah

Braxton Jones took his Senior Bowl appearance to the next level, showing everyone that he was capable of playing with the big boys. His career was held at Southern Utah, which isn’t exactly a program that produces a lot of NFL talent. The concerns coming out were that he would struggle against top-end competition and that he used his size to dominate against subpar talent.

His career at Southern Utah was impressive, but my notes showed that he’s a bit more of a developmental prospect who has some bad habits to break:

"Works well into his anchor. Has the bend to hold up against power rushes fairly well. Overall, seems fairly stiff. Doesn’t show a consistent recovery ability. Flashes the ability to recover, and tries to cut off the angle the defender will take. The issue with Jones seems to be getting under the linemen that he faced against, and lacking the flexibility to get the push he needs from the snap. Really struggles with the inside move. Very average run blocker. Doesn’t consistently get that push off the snap. Does cut back well to create the run lanes that is needed."

The Rams would end up addressing this position in the seventh round, taking Michigan State’s AJ Arcuri with the second-to-last pick of the draft. Jones was selected four picks later and ended up with the Chicago Bears. Still, Arcuri and Williams will be good players for the Rams, it’s just fun to speculate on what could have been.

In the end, the LA Rams landed the player that they valued most. But in doing so, they said no to other players. These are two rookie prospects who may have worked out well for the LA Rams just as well.

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