LA Rams Draft: Top 50 Rams Big Board for 2023 NFL Draft

Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Draft Chris Rodriguez Jr.
Mandatory Credit: Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports /

2023 NFL Draft Big Board: 11-13 RBs features Chris Rodriguez Jr, Sean Tucker, and Deuce Vaughn

Why are we paying so much attention to the running back position? Well, let’s not kid ourselves, in the past three drafts, the Rams have added a running back to the roster in each of the past three NFL drafts. The Rams added Cam Akers with the 52nd pick in the 2020 NFL Draft,  Jake Funk with the 233rd pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and Kyren Williams with the 164th pick of the 2022 NFL Draft.

How important is the running game to the LA Rams right now?  If you have a definitive answer, please share. The Rams traded up in the 2022 NFL Draft to select Notre Dame RB Kyren Williams. But that was sandwiched by the team allowing competent RB Sony Michel to walk away in free agency, and outright releasing RB Darrell Henderson Jr. With those mixed signals, do the Rams intend on drafting a running back?  If they do, they have an excellent assortment of prospects to choose from:

11  Chris Rodriguez Jr., Running Back, Kentucky

Perhaps one of the most logical fits for this LA Rams offense is the 5-foot-11, 224-pound Kentucky Wildcats running back named Chris Rodriguez Jr. He has the size and power that this Rams offense has so desperately needed. While he does not flash elite speed, he has excellent vision to find, pivot, and burst through practically any seam he gets. He has great balance, is extremely productive between the tackles, and is the go-to guy on short-yardage scoring opportunities.

669 of his 904 yards came after initial contact, a quality that the Rams need to acquire in their backfield. While he has plenty of power, he needs to exhibit more patience with his blocks and try to extend his career by not abandoning his offensive linemen to take on defenders directly and single-handedly. His best season came when he played in Rams OC Liam Coen’s offense. Could history repeat itself, this time for the LA Rams?

12 Sean Tucker, Running Back, Syracuse

The LA Rams had lost two running backs, Darrell Henderson Jr. and Jake Funk, through the course of the 2022 NFL season. Now, the team needs to restock the running back room, as the team will need more options One legitimate prospect to join the ranks is 5-foot-10 205-pound Syracuse RB Sean Tucker. A bit like Henderson, Tucker has the ability to run big when need-be between the tackles, but he can get small and slither through like a smaller runner.

Tucker truly excels in the passing game, where his soft hands combined with his grab-and-go burst make him very effective. He is a former track star, and those powerful strides learned and mastered as a sprinter are evident when he kicks in the overdrive. If the Rams insist on smallish running backs who are true assets as receivers, then Sean Tucker leads them all and checks all the boxes.

13  Deuce Vaughn, Running Back, Kansas State

The LA Rams have gravitated to smaller running backs, so I don’t want to ignore viable small prospects due to my own bias. One of the more dangerous running back prospects in this draft class is 5-foot-6 176-pound Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn. While he has all of the expected limitations of a small running back, that is, not reliable on pass blocking and durability concerns, this young man is awfully productive with the football in his hands.

As good as he is as a running back, he possesses nearly elite skillsets if he becomes a receiver. He has an excellent command of a robust route tree, and he has those soft dependable hands that will outclass all but the best receivers. He often makes the first defender miss, and if he sees daylight he truly is off to the races. He is not a three-down offensive weapon, but his ability to scamper through even small creases makes him an ideal candidate for a return specialist on special teams as well.