Poor draft results
Sustained success in the NFL requires that any NFL team, including the LA Rams, continue to add strong young players to the talent pipeline to ensure that players who develop into solid performers and sign lucrative contracts to play elsewhere are easily replaced. The Rams 2017 NFL Draft yielded two players who are on the Rams roster today: WR Cooper Kupp and S John Jonnson III. Similarly, the 2018 NFL Draft yielded two players who are on the Rams roster now: OT Joe Noteboom and IOL Brian Allen.
But the 2019 NFL Draft was less promising, as RB Darrell Henderson Jr. is the lone player from that draft class. The 2020 NFL Draft is equally less productive, with just TE Brycen Hopkins, S Jordan Fuller, and IOL Tremayne Anchrum remaining with the team. Of the group, only Fuller is a meaningful contributor to the team this season.
Bad drafts lead to bad teams
Those two drafts, and the inability to land future starters for the LA Rams roster, created a hiccup in the team's ability to sustain success. While no draft class can be expected to yield a host of starters, the need for one or two players to become starters out of each draft class is imperative to allow the Rams front office to build around those players in future NFL drafts or the NFL Free Agency market.
While that all sounds and seems horrible, the opposite is true as well. Great drafts lead to great teams, and the LA Rams have at least five rookies from the 2023 NFL Draft who are excelling as starters this season:
- IOL Steve Avila
- OLB Byron Young
- NT Kobie Turner
- WR Puka Nacua
- P Ethan Evans
Not only are these players demonstrative NFL starters this season, but thanks to their affordable rookie contracts that last through 2026, the Rams can loosen their purse-strings to sign game-changing free agents in the future as well.