Did the Rams land another sleeper in the 2022 NFL Draft? PFF thinks so

2022 NFL Draft, LA Rams
2022 NFL Draft, LA Rams / Kevin Sabitus/GettyImages

The LA Rams have been forced to focus their scouting and data analytics on Day 3 of the NFL draft for some time. Even as the team has engaged in commerce that involves sending future draft picks in round 1 to another team to acquire a player who can contribute instantly, the need for rookie play-makers has not subsided.

Pro Football Focus contributor Jonathon Macri wrote an ambitious piece naming early breakout candidates for all 32 NFL teams in 2024. While that often falls short of the mark when addressing some rising star on the Rams roster, Macri may have hit the mark this time

Here is what he shared about the LA Rams and young defensive back Quentin Lake:

"Lake didn’t emerge on the Rams defense as a consistent contributor until about Week 6 of his second year in the league, where he began fulfilling the nickel corner duties for the defense. Lake struggled throughout this first year as a starter but eventually started to play better and increase his playing time, ultimately leading to a strong 70.0 overall PFF grade, 77.2 PFF run-defense grade and 66.6 PFF coverage grade, including the playoffs. The 2022 sixth-round pick appeared to perform well enough to potentially hold down that starting job for 2024"

PFF Jonathon Macri

You could almost tell that Decobie Durant and Quentin Lake were going to leave their mark on the NFL from their early interview just after getting drafted by the team. It was a crowded defensive backfield at the time, but the front office knew that they had to add DBs in 2022 because the well would run dry in 2023. The Rams drafted four DBs in 2022, and just one DB in 2023.

Ultimately, the gamble paid off. Not only did the team stockpile talented defensive backs in the secondary, but the team appears to have found a starting safety in 2024 with the 212nd pick of the 2022 NFL Draft. As often as the Rams seem to find quality starters late in the draft, it's a rare phenomenon in the NFL. And yet in 2022, the Rams found RB Kyren Williams in Round 5, and DB Quentin Lake in Round 6.

Will Quentin Lake prove to be a quality starting this year? I think so. After all, he is the son of versatile All-Pro defensive back Carnell Lake. He understands his role, and the plays as they develop. And he has a chance to prove himself on the football field this season.

I like his chances.