LA Rams past draft whiffs now present roster woes
By Bret Stuter
I don’t know any NFL fans who cannot link the LA Rams general manager Les Snead to the paradoxical emoji “F*** Them Picks!” that has become quite the popular phrase now employed by multiple NFL teams. The logic behind such a devaluing manner of treating a limited supply of draft picks is as simple as the logic behind bypassing the garden store for high-quality seeds and going directly to the grocery market to buy the best fresh produce.
Sometimes you need help now, and you cannot wait for the right mixture of time, sunshine, rainfall, and in some cases, the random nature of genetics, to provide it. The Rams have simply found a cheat code to find the best NFL talent at the time, and it involves trading uncertain draft picks for certain high-production players.
Nearly a year ago, we asked the theoretical question that is very real right now: What happens when other NFL teams mimic the LA Rams’ “F*** them picks” strategy? Now we know the answer.
The strategy itself was effective and quite innovative. That is until the Rams found that competition began to multiply from other NFL teams.
Rams falling thanks to past draft failures
So where are we? Well, the LA Rams are plummeting this season, having fallen to a record of 3-6, now dead last in the NFC West Division, in a three-game losing streak, and no reason to expect anything close to a late season rally. No, the sky is not falling. And no, the LA Rams should not start handing out pink slips to start over.
While the culprit this season is a rash of injuries that have hit the team hard on the offensive line, running back, and defensive back positions, with little to no depth worthy of stepping up to hold the course until starters could rehab, rest, recover, and return.
But what appears to be an injury situation on the surface is perhaps a deeper problem. Something happened to the team’s ability to draft quality depth and potential NFL starters after 2019, and the impact is showing up now. What do I mean? That 2019 NFL Draft class includes DB Taylor Rapp, RB Darrell Henderson, DB David Long Jr., OL Bobby Evans, DT Greg Gaines, OL David Edwards, DB Nick Scott, and LB Dakota Allen.
Of that group, all but Allen remain on the Rams roster, many in a starting or significant rotational role, and all have contributed this season. Allen, if you recall, was signed by the Oakland Raiders in 2019 as the Rams pared the roster to fit the 53-player maximum. So what of the subsequent draft classes? Let’s take a look.