Final Rams Mock Draft: Defense dominates in this outstanding Rams draft haul

2024 NFL Draft
2024 NFL Draft / Mark Cunningham/GettyImages
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With the 19th overall pick

The Los Angeles Rams select Jer'Zhan 'Johnny' Newton, defensive tackle, out of Illinois. Despite speculation for the Rams to trade up and grab a top-tier offensive tackle, tight end, or wide receiver, the team stands pat at 19 and one of the best defensive linemen in this draft class falls right into their lap. Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 304 pounds, Jer'Zhan Newton is the ideal prospect to be selected in Round 1, and here's why:

The LA Rams hired new DL Coach Giff Smith, but have practically ignored the defensive front so far. Well, Coach Smith will be overjoyed with DL Jer'Zhan Newton. Newton is a compact powerhouse who dominates confrontations at the line of scrimmage. He is strong enough to stuff the run, agile enough to terrorize quarterbacks, and savvy enough to understand the best tactics to use to excel at both roles.

ESPN's NFL draft analyst Jordan Reid loves what Newton brings to a defense. Just check out the video below and tell me that you cannot picture Newton thriving in the Rams defensive line.

Newton is versatile for an NFL defense not just in the multiple positions that he can slide into and start at, but in his ability to stop the run, rush the passer, gobble blockers, and create so much chaos for the offense at the line of scrimmage that no play is assured of success.

NFL Draft Buzz profile. 1st pick Draft Profile. player. Jer'Zhan Newton. 1. 51. Jer'Zhan Newton Draft Profile. Jer'Zhan Newton. Defensive lineman. Illinois

Jer'Zhan Newton has enjoyed a very productive college career, showing development and growth each season. In 2023, Newton generated 52 tackles, 8.5 tackles for a loss, 7.5 quarterback sacks, broke up two passes, force a fumble and recovered a fumble. He loves to tackle and dominate at the line of scrimmage.

Because he is so versatile, he can be counted on as a rotational player at all three defensive line positions, but I see his best performance as competing head on for playing time at nose tackle. He is incredibly dangerous at both run and pass defense, and I can see Newton and Kobie Turner racing after the quarterback to see who gets the sack.