How important is it for the LA Rams to land a top punter in the 2023 NFL Draft?
By Bret Stuter
One of the decision points that may seem of little value to debate at this moment in time is how valuable a punter position will be for the LA Rams in terms of building the right foundation in 2023 to springboard from in 2024. After all, the punter position is not exactly one of the early-round drafted positions in the NFL Draft, and for good reason. The position is not assessed as high value when it comes to the number of plays in a game that can be impacted by that position.
Still, in a game of inches, the punter position can be a make-or-break point for a team. In a battle of field position, a strong legged punter who possesses the ability to nail a coffin corner kick can be the difference between winning and losing.
So who might the LA Rams target as a punter prospect in 2023? Well, like many items of value, that all depends on how much the LA Rams want to spend or not spend in terms of NFL Draft currency. The top punter could come off the board as early as Round 5, but I would not look for the LA Rams to invest into a punter that early. This is an LA Rams team that possesses eight picks in the 2023 NFL Draft on Round 3, and those picks fall as follows:
Rams Day 3 picks
The LA Rams have eight picks on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft, but the Rams front office will need to kick in into overdrive as the team has six picks over the span of 24 selections on Day 3. The Rams begin selecting on Day 3 with the 167th overall pick, and continue to pick nearly at one in four intervals until reaching the 191st pick, their ninth pick in the draft.
- Round 5 - 32 (167th overall)
- Round 5 - 36 (171st overall)
- Round 5 - 42 (177th overall)
- Round 6 - 12 (182nd overall)
- Round 6 - 14 (189th overall)
- Round 6 - 5 (191st overall)
- Round 7 - 6 (223rd overall)
- Round 7 - 34 (251st overall)
If the player grades assess on the 2023 NFL Draft big board are accurate, then the Rams will be seeking their punter in Round 7 of the draft. The top two punters in the 2023 NFL Draft class are Rutger's punter Adam Korsak and Michigan State's punter Bryce Baringer. My favorite punter in the rookie draft class of 2023 is Oklahoma punter Michael Turk, who is the nephew of NFL punter Matt Turk.
While the Rams could wait and sign promising punter prospects after the 2023 NFL Draft ends, investing a Round 7 pick ensures that the team gets their guy if he is still on the board.
Is it worth an investment in a punter this year to ensure that the role is filled for 2024 and beyond? I think so, yes. Not only does the addition of a solid NFL-ready punter in 2023 fill a huge need in the Rams roster, but a punter is a solid foundation piece who should only improve over time.