Les Snead 2023 NFL Draft recap: LA Rams roster and Rams draft review

Les Snead
Les Snead / Cindy Ord/GettyImages

Okay, we have been sifting through the Rams' 40+ new players added during and after the 2023 NFL Draft, and are starting to get that sense of why we should and why we shouldn't plan to see each of them contribute to the team in the 2023 NFL season. But before we start down that path, let's take the opportunity to view a post-draft recap of the LA Rams roster by Rams General Manager Les Snead.

The perspective of the Rams roster assembling from Les Snead adds a bit of framework to the understanding answers to the most basic NFL Draft question: Why him? After all, we witnessed draft day trades that added picks by moving back in the draft, draft day trades that subtracted picks by moving up in the draft, but the motivating factors that compelled the Rams to do the draft day hokey-pokey continue to elude us. All we have, until now, are the outcomes of the Rams internal discussions in the form of the prospects added to the Rams roster.

Is there more to it?

I think so. Listen to how GM Les Snead described the Rams process:

Snead talked about having about 5-6 players in a batch in Round 5 of the 2023 NFL Draft. Those picked players from that 'pod of players' that he referred to in the discussion are the following:

Snead's Pod of Players

  1. Round 5 161st overall - OLB Nick Hampton
  2. Round 5 174th overall - OT Warren McClendon Jr.
  3. Round 5 175th overall - TE Davis Allen
  4. Round 5 177th overall - WR Puka Nacua
  5. Round 6 182nd overall - DB Tre Tomlinson
  6. Round 6 189th overall - OLB Ochaun Matthis

The conversation pivoted to a rather lengthy discussion about Rams backup rookie quarterback Stetson Bennett, a rookie chosen by the Rams in Round 4 with the 128th overall pick. Snead loved his decision-making process and big-game success. If you listen to Snead discuss Bennett, he refers to the fact that the Georgia Bulldogs lost many of their defensive players to the 2022 NFL Draft the previous year, and had to pivot to focus on a team led by a dominating offense.

In that description, Les Snead referred to the fact that Bennett stole the show and that the Georgia quarterback kept making memorable plays to help his team. Snead appeared to know that there was a Day 2 quarterback in the mix, but that it did not work out. So when the Rams stood pat as the New Orleans Saints jumped to 127 to select quarterback Jake Haener, that prompted the Rams to pull the trigger on adding Stetson Bennett.

Other fun facts about the LA Rams draft class

Snead did offer a humorous anecdote, as he studies so much college film to prepare for the draft that he never learns the names of rookie prospects, but he knows them by the team they played for and the jersey number on that team. That's pretty funny, as it shows you to what length of study Les Snead goes to prepare each season for a new NFL Draft.

How about working with players who make up the youngest team in the NFL? Snead reassures everyone that the Rams have consistently been a team among the Top-5 youngest teams in the NFL for some time. In short, the Rams roster has always been a young team for Rams Head Coach Sean McVay. It has been a calling card of the Rams roster of late, and not by accident. By assembling a team built on rookies and paying out the money on those rookie contracts, the Rams have been able to compensate some of the NFL's elite players and still fall under the annual NFL salary cap.

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Does that add some solid framework? If not, feel free to view the embedded interview multiple times to glean as much 'good stuff,' from Snead as possible. I don't know that you will believe this LA Rams team to be the best in the NFC West. But you may see this team as very competitive once again, and that is a start.