3 worst-case scenarios for the LA Rams in the 2023 NFL Draft

LA Rams, 2023 NFL Draft
LA Rams, 2023 NFL Draft / Saul Young/News Sentinel / USA TODAY

The LA Rams are gearing up for what promises to be one of the most important drafts in franchise history. The organization is entering a new era — one that they hope will be spearheaded by some of the players they add in the 2023 NFL Draft.

Jalen Ramsey is gone, the old guard is getting...well...old, and the Rams are in need of cheap foundational players for the next era of the franchise.

Although they don't have a pick in the first round, the Rams possess 11 total selections in this year's draft. That's more than enough ammunition to do some serious damage.

But just because a team has draft picks, doesn't mean they're going to use them well. The Rams have a mixed recent history of draft classes, but they could certainly use a home-run class this year.

What if everything goes wrong, however? What if the Rams fail to capitalize on their draft capital and fall short of expectations? Let's take a look at three of the worst-case scenarios for the Rams in the 2023 NFL Draft.

3. The LA Rams don't draft a tight end at all

This year's draft is loaded with talented tight ends. From projected Day 1 picks like Dalton Kincaid and Michael Mayer to mid-round targets like Tucker Kraft and Darnell Washington, this is one of the strongest groups of tight ends we've seen in years.

That's good news for teams like the Rams that could really use some tight end help. Tyler Higbee is entering the final year of his deal in 2023. Former fourth-round pick Brycen Hopkins is still hanging around and the Rams acquired Hunter Long in the Jalen Ramsey deal.

Long has some upside, but the Rams could absolutely still use a young tight end on their roster to develop. There's really no excuse not to add one in this year's draft.

Tight end is a position of need. This class is loaded with tight ends. It would be a failure if the Rams didn't draft a tight end this weekend.

2. The LA Rams draft a QB at pick 36

The Rams have just one quarterback on their roster entering the draft. Baker Mayfield signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, while John Wolford and Bryce Perkins remain free agents.

With Matthew Stafford's future beyond 2023 uncertain, it might make sense for the Rams to draft a quarterback at some point. The team has reportedly done their homework on some potential Day 2 or 3 prospects as well.

That said, the Rams can't target a quarterback with their first pick in the draft. Even if Tennessee's Hendon Hooker is still on the board, the Rams would be much better off waiting until next year to look for their quarterback of the future.

This year's quarterback class isn't a particularly strong one. The Rams would be foolish to target a second-tier QB early in the second round — especially one that might preclude them from taking a QB next year.

A Day 3 quarterback makes sense, especially given the absence of depth on the roster. But at 36? The Rams should absolutely go in a different direction.

1. The LA Rams don't draft an edge rusher early

The Rams lack depth at a number of positions, but following the departure of Leonard Floyd this offseason, perhaps no position needs more help than edge rusher.

At the moment, the Rams' projected starting outside linebackers are 2022 seventh-round pick Daniel Hardy and converted defensive lineman Michael Hoecht. That's not exactly an inspiring group.

The Rams seem likely to target an edge rusher at some point, but it would be a mistake if the team didn't add one early. While positions like cornerback and even tight end are needs, drafting an outside linebacker early should be a top priority.

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If the Rams don't come away with an edge rusher with any of their three Day 2 picks, they would have made a mistake.