LA Rams uncanny success on Draft Day 3 proves it's where the action is at

Los Angeles Rams, Sean Mcvay, Les Snead
Los Angeles Rams, Sean Mcvay, Les Snead / Wesley Hitt/GettyImages

If you skeptical about the configuration of their 2024 NFL Draft picks, that is completely understandable. After all, the Rams have one pick on Day 1 (like most NFL teams), three picks on Day 2 (better than most teams), but save seven picks for Day 3, which is far better than most teams on that day. But with no picks in Round 4, and only one pick late in Round 7, the team will be quite busy in Rounds 5 and 6.

Most teams merely target special team prospects on Day 3. The LA Rams seem to target future stars.

Well, let's correct that. The Rams have become so efficient at finding gems without having a Round 1 pick since 2016 that they look for future NFL starting calibre talent with every player added to their roster in Day 3 of the NFL Draft or later. Thanks to that shrewd and discipline approach, this team has identified and developed 15 NFL starting players in the past four years, many of whom are among the best at their position.

It's that fact and their ridiculously inexpensive prive that has allowed this team to pay NFL superstars like Aaron Donald, Matthew Stafford, and Cooper Kupp to remain in place as 'weight-bearing walls' in 2023.

How do the Rams find these superstars?

So the question that we are all asking ourselves is an obvious one. How does the Rams front office find these superstars? Well, I believe that the key gatekeeper of that secret sauce is Rams GM Les Snead himself. Before he pulls the trigger on a player, he inevitably asks the question: What will we do with him if we add him to the roster?

If he believes that there is a vision for this player, the decision is made. Green light, go.

By the time Day 3 of the LA Rams 2023 NFL Draft arrived, the team had already landed some key contributors. Whether or not the fans recognized that, the coaching staff was enthusiastic about keystone players like IOL Steve Avila, OLB Byron Young, and NT Kobie Turner. In the moments before GM Les Snead made the 177th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft in Round 5, he quizzed HC Sean McVay. When McVay rattled off the checklist of what he wanted in a WR prospect, Snead was convinced:

"You have got a vision for him. (pause) We are going to nail that pick"

Rams GM Les Snead

And I don't think that there is any doubt in any mind of NFL analysts, pundits, or fans that that is exactly what the team did with that pick.

The Rams have historically been sneaky good on Day 3 and beyond, somehow finding players who rise through the ranks on the roster to earn starting time on the team. While you could write a dissertation on the factors that allow the team to do so, all roads lead to and through GM Les Snead.

Just check out the success that the Rams have enjoyed later in the past four draft, knowing that even now, there are players not mentioned from the 2023 NFL Draft that may earn starting roles this year or into the future?

NFL Draft year

Rd 4 starter

Rd 5 starter

Rd 6 starter

Rd 7 starter



0 picks

2 picks

4 picks

1 pick



Puka Nacua

Ethan Evans

Alex Ward


Cobie Durant

Kyren Williams

Quentin Lake, Derion Kendrick

Russ Yeast

Keir Thomas, Jake Hummel


Bobby Brown III

Alaric Jackson


Jordan Fuller

Michael Hoecht, Jonah Williams

The Rams have averaged nearly two Day 3 starters per season from the past four drafts, as well as nearly two UDFA starters/key contributors per season as well. That is an amazing streak of success, and is something that other NFL teams can only hope to emulate.

While the 2024 NFL Draft is the first time in eight years that the LA Rams have used a Day 1 draft pick, don't allow yourself to be distracted from the fact that the team finds starters on Day 3. The Rams may be making seven picks on Day 3, but you can bet they will be just as important to the team's future as anyone selected on Day 1.

As always, thanks for readiing