Analyzing the financial impact of the LA Rams 2022 draft class
The LA Rams formally selected eight rookies from the 2022 NFL Draft class. But this was no normal draft. This was the first NFL Draft for the Rams after winning their first NFL Championship for the city of Los Angeles. As such, there was pressure coming from all sides in this one.
For starters, I don’t think there is much to debate over the fact that the Rams traded 2022 NFL Draft picks for 2021 success. The Rams converted the first-round draft pick into veteran quarterback Matthew Stafford. The Rams exchanged their second-round and third-round draft picks for a rental of outside linebacker Von Miller.
They had to pay their fourth-round draft pick to the Houston Texans as the final installment of the trade that sent WR Brandin Cooks to them for a 2020 second-round pick. Finally, the Rams sent a sixth-round pick to the New England Patriots as an installment payment for renting RB Sony Michel.
The LA Rams traded draft picks away, leaving the team just eight draft picks to restock the roster this year, a fact that far too many casual NFL analysts weigh in to judge far too harshly. Why do I say that? It’s simple fact. The NFL/NFLPA collective bargaining agreement (CBA) has already allotted that each rookie coming into the league is compelled to sign a rookie contract that includes a predetermined value. That value, a slotted deal, based on when he heard his name called out in the draft. Contract values, therefore, are based on the NFL Draft and do not vary based on positional value.
This is just one of the reasons why the LA Rams shun that first round. The amount of money obligated by teams to players selected in the first round is substantial. Over the Cap does a great job of estimating the cost of rookie salaries based on where they are chosen. Because the LA Rams did not hold a Top-100 pick, they have no rookies earning more than $1 million per year. That allows the team to commit money to their elite players. Smart, eh?
But nobody seems to stress that aspect of the LA Rams roster-building strategy. So for a change of pace, let’s consider the financial impact of the LA Rams 2022 NFL Draft class?