New LA Rams trade-filled mock draft swells roster with young talent
By Bret Stuter
With the 202nd pick
With the 202nd pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the LA Rams reinforce their secondary once more by selecting Mekhi Garner, a promising cornerback out of LSU. He is a big corner, standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 220 pounds. He has been blessed with all of the physical tools to become a great NFL defensive back. The challenge is that he has relied upon his height too often in college football, and as a result needs a bit of spit polish to refine his techniques to match his height and power.
Garner is another prospect with huge upside, but who will likely fall because he is a bit raw in his technique. That has led his on-field production to be inconsistent, and that will ward many NFL teams away in search of more refined prospects. But keep in mind that there will be perceived flaws in any prospect who remains on the board well into Round 6, and players who are selected here are chosen as development projects or special team contributors (unless you are Jordan Fuller)
Garner faces being dscounted with the standard package of 'wish he had's,' that you find whenever a potential NFL rookie is graded for a Day 3 selection. In Garner's case, he is cited as not having elite speed, not having great production, and a lack of refined technique. But he is a huge cornerback, and that potential is there in the right system. I believe that the LA Rams are that right system.
I believe that the key to success in the 2023 NFL Draft is not to be so hellbent on the belief that any single prospect can deliver the goods. This is a draft that is deep, and the best method to find NFL starters is to select rookie candidates at positions in need of depth multiple times. The Rams have gone heavy on paying elite players on the Rams roster, and so the team must balance their financial commitments by infusing a lot of young and inexpensive talent who can contribute but who do not break the bank in 2023 and throughout their rookie contract. Garner is one of those young players whose potential to deliver for the Rams far outweighs the risk of him being unable to do so.