Can LA Rams avoid drafting for need in the 2023 NFL Draft?
By Bret Stuter
Here comes the 2023 NFL Draft and the Rams draft this year could have significant importance, not just for 2023, but for the foreseeable future. After all, we love to talk about the LA Rams and a selection process that focuses on choosing the Best Player Available (BPA). But the truth is that even BPA is a subjective valuation that places some positions in the draft at a much higher value than other positions in the draft. What does that mean?
Well, if the LA Rams believe that their roster has sufficient numbers of offensive tackles on the roster but suffers from a shortage of cornerbacks (just to illustrate how this process works), the personnel department would not weigh offensive tackles prospects as heavily as they weigh cornerbacks. On draft day, the Rams might select a cornerback that some draft analysts consider of lesser value to an NFL team, but because the Rams weighed the cornerback position more heavily, they will say that they chose the highest rated player on their board, and would be stating the truth.
That is how some teams end up drafting a quarterback at number one, while other teams would not touch a quarterback at all in the draft. It's not that they believe every quarterback in the draft is not worth a selection, but rather that their roster has no place for one more hurler.
Rams roster is swiss cheese atm
Therein lies the problem for the LA Rams draft, and the current state of the Rams roster. While many fans want the Rams to prioritize drafting offensive linemen, the Rams roster as of March 27, 2023, has nine offensive linemen signed to contracts to play in the 2023 NFL season. That's nine out of 44 players, or better than 20 percent of the roster. Nine offensive linemen are already set to play for the LA Rams in 2023.
Of course, other positions are rather robust as well. The LA Rams have seven wide receivers under contract for the 2023 NFL season, although it's almost a certainty that the LA Rams will release WR Allen Robinson before the opening kickoff.
As we forge ahead with our strong and passionate opinions, keep in mind that what we view as team needs may or may not be shared as team needs by the Rams personnel department or the coaching staff.
For another example, will the LA Rams use four draft picks to ensure that the team lands a punter, a placekicker, a long snapper, and a punt/kick return specialist in this draft? Or will the team take a chance at signing several after the draft and holding open competition for the starting role? In my mind, the latter is the more effective strategy, because it provides options to the Special Teams Coordinator and allows for competition to dictate who earns the starting role, rather than a draft profile.
The LA Rams still need to add 46 players to this roster, and the team only has 11 draft picks to use to accomplish that. Will the Rams draft to fill roster holes, or select the best player available when the team makes their selection? I suppose you could argue with so many open roster slots heading into the 2023 NFL Draft, how could anyone know the difference?