LA Rams Draft: Top 50 Rams Big Board for 2023 NFL Draft
By Bret Stuter
2023 NFL Draft Big Board: 37-40 features Brenton Cox Jr., Cam Hart, Tiawan Mullen
By the time the LA Rams near the end of Round 6, the objective begins to pivot from roster needs to player potential. At this point in the draft, the team can be less worried over how quickly a prospect will be able to make a positive contribution to the Rams roster and more focused upon how easy it will be to bring them patiently to a productive NFL level of play.
37 Brenton Cox Jr., EDGE, Florida
If you want to roll the dice, then the 6-foot-3 252-pound outside linebacker from the University of Florida named Brenton Cox Jr. is likely to be in your crosshairs. The son of former Miami Dolphin standout Brian Cox, Brenton Cox was dismissed by the Florida Gators in October 2022. Details for that dismissal have not been readily available, but he was arrested in the spring of 2019 due to possession of marijuana, and promptly transferred from Georgia to Florida. Reports that surfaced out of Georgia following his transfer cited repeated clashes with the coaching staff. That pattern seems to fit the reasons for his release from Florida, where the only confirmed details were a ‘cumulative effect.’
If you can get comfortable with off-field concerns, Brenton Cox Jr. will give you plenty to cheer on the football field. He is technically sound, a productive and downright punishing tackler. He understands the role and can provide adequate pass coverage, defend the run, set the edge, and rush the quarterback as well as you can hope for. He is a huge risk/reward prospect. He could live up to his potential and be a rookie NFL Pro Bowler. Or he could cause conflict with coaches and teammates.
38 Taylor Grimes, Wide Receiver, Incarnate Word
If you like digging into small school football programs for a potential diamond in the rough, then you will be drawn to a 5-foot-10, 190-pound wide receiver out of Incarnate Word named Taylor Grimes. While you may not have heard of him, even casual football fans will appreciate his 2022 production of 60 catches for 1,002 yards and 13 touchdowns. While not overly fast, he did record a 4.55-second 40-yard dash.
There is not much scouting being done on Grimes just yet, and that may stay the same until draft day. If I had to sum up his potential, I would compare him to a young and shorter Cooper Kupp. He has great hands, good speed, a solid route tree, the ability to create separation, and an instinctive way to feel his way into the soft spots of zone coverage. His skillset translates to both offensive and special team return specialist roles.
39 Cam Hart, Cornerback, Notre Dame
You should be interested in any defensive back who has a background as a former wide receiver, which is one of several reasons why a 6-foot-2, 198-pound defensive back out of Notre Dame named Cam Hart catches the eye of the LA Rams scouting department. A former teammate of RB Kyren Williams at the Fighting Irish, Hart is another tall-bodied DB who has impressive speed at a 4.45-second 40-yard dash combined with solid size and wing span. He has the ability to play man on swift slot receivers, can analyze the route options, and jump the route occasionally. So what doesn’t he do well? He is not a natural back-peddler, sometimes getting caught in his own stride. He is also not a great tackler, which is surprising due to his size. He has a solid upside but will need patience and coaching to get there.
40 Tiawan Mullen, Cornerback, Indiana
Another defensive back who could be intriguing enough to lure the LA Rams into calling out his name is a 5-foot-10, 181-pound defensive back out of Indiana named Tiawan Mullen. Mullen burst onto the scene his freshman season, as he opened his career with 13 pass breakups. He has the skill set to play either outside or the slot, and he flourishes in zone coverage (all huge plusses). He can jam at the line of scrimmage, and then shadow that receiver throughout the route, allowing him to succeed in man and press-man coverages as well. Great ball skills, balance, and a natural ability to flip his hips when backpedaling to running in any pursuit are all solid. The hurdle is his lack of NFL size and the concerns over durability in the NFL. But 28 passes broken up in a four-year NCAA college football career is tough to pass up this late in the draft.