LA Rams 2023 Mock Draft featuring 3 blue chip OL prospects

Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports /
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LA Rams Draft Chris Rodriguez Jr.
Mandatory Credit: Kentuckyvanderbilt 20 /

Round 5: Pick 173 (Projected Comp Pick)

You have to believe that the Rams will be drafting a running back in this draft. But unlike other seasons, this time the team opens with a bigger-bodied rusher out of the University of Kentucky, RB Chris Rodriguez. We projected Rodriguez to be a Day 2, Round 3 projection, so simulating his name being called at the end of Round 5 seems like a true value.

Standing 5-foot-11 and weighing 224 pounds, he is a big body who can power through arm tackles but does not easily surrender making optimal use of his blockers. Best of all, because he has a year playing for Liam Coen as the UK’s offensive coordinator, much of the LA Rams’ offensive schemes and plays will already be part of his vocabulary and body of work.

I would love to get a college player like Chris Rodriguez in the Rams backfield. While he may not be a burly bruiser running back, nearly 75 percent of his rushing yards came after initial contact. He is not going to fall down at the first swipe. That is something I would relish in the Rams’ running game, as the team has turned more and more to small elusive running backs. Of course, those players have a role to play. But if the Rams truly intend on improving their bottom-of-the-barrel rushing, they need to have a sturdier type of athlete in the backfield.

Rodriguez should be as close to a plug-and-play rookie prospect as they come.  Because he’s played for OC Liam Coen, who has himself served on the LA Rams coaching staff on two separate occasions on the offensive side of the football, he already is plugged into the Rams’ offensive schemes and philosophy. That is a significant head start for a rookie, and he should be able to make a strong case for playing time in the season opener.