Why much of this won’t matter
For this one moment in time, let’s choose to agree with the worst possible draft grade in that previous matrix – an outright F awarded by Thor Nystrom of NBC Sports Edge. His top grades were awarded to the New York Jets and the Baltimore Ravens.
In the 2021 NFL Season, the LA Rams finished with a regular-season record of 12-5, and a post-season record of 4-0. That’s 17-5. Due to the F, the LA Rams can expect no help from their rookie draft class in 2022. That’s a 12-5 record once more.
The Baltimore Ravens finished with a regular-season record of 8-9. Now, an argument could be made that the Ravens struggled with injuries. But many teams do. How many more wins will be the result of this draft class in 2022. Let’s be generous and say 2. So the Ravens end up the 2022 season as 10-7.
The New York Jets finished with a record of 4-13. Let’s be equally as generous and add 2 more victories to their record based on their outstanding rookie class. That’s now 6-11.
The value of draft grades right now is zero
Draft class grading immediately after the draft ends means nothing. How many times do those same Sports Edge analysts go back and admit they were wrong? Case in point, Thor Nystrom handed out an A+ Draft grade to the 8-8 Chicago Bears and handed out a D grade to the 10-6 LA Rams. The 2021 result? The Rams went 12-5 and won the Super Bowl, while the Bears tumbled to a record of 6-11.
Here is his view of the LA Rams:
"“The Rams entered another draft with very little draft capital due to their wont of trading for established veteran players. This strategy appears likely to end in a dystopian future.”- Thor Nystrom as per NBCSportsEdge"
There is little objectivity to be gained from considering the opinion of an NFL analyst who starts every draft at oppositional odds of the methods that the LA Rams use to build a roster. Weighting that bias into any score for the Rams’ draft effectiveness is simply an exercise in futility.
Sometimes you don’t need to be able to disassemble and then reassemble an automobile to enjoy the smooth dependable ride. Perhaps it’s time for the critics of the LA Rams to throw in the towel. It’s okay to say “I don’t know what the hell they are doing, again. But it always seems to work out for them, doesn’t it?“.
Eventually, anyone who mocks a draft or sets up a Draft Big Board always seems to reach the same conclusion. The LA Rams scouting department, Nerds Nest data analytics, and personnel department led by GM Les Snead do not operate like other teams. But they always seem to get the jump on the competition. That should earn them the benefit of the doubt.