New LA Rams trade-filled mock draft swells roster with young talent
By Bret Stuter
With the 212th pick
With the 212th pick of the 2023 NFL Draft, the LA Rams use a bit of unique intell acquired from their former offensive coordinator and select Chris Rodriguez Jr., a running back from the University of Kentucky. What I love about Rodriguez here is the fact that, due to his familiarity with the offensive concepts of OC Liam Coen, the Rams have a pretty easy transition of deploying Rodriguez in their own offense.
If the LA Rams are willing to move on from veteran RB Cam Akers, but wish to replicate his production, then running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. is an ideal rookie prospect to add to the Rams roster. He stands 5-foot-11, weighs 224 pounds, and is awfully difficult to bring down. He is considered in some draft profiles to be a big back, due to the fact that he is powerful in his approach and is very effective in short yardage situations.
There has been plenty of talk recently over the fact that the Rams rushing attack has got to forge itself into a dependable option once more, and a running back whose legs never stop churning for yardage like Rodriguez is a great option for doing just that. Recently, the Rams had begun to pivot to smaller running backs in the hope that they could effectively attack the perimeter of defenses. But defenses have quickly learned that the Rams cannot run between the tackles with small running backs.
Drafting Rodriguez places those between the tackle runs back on the offensive menu. And no matter where you fall on the spectrum of what the Rams intend to do with veteran RB Cam Akers in 2023 and beyond, Rodriguez is a nearly perfect heir to Akers' role in the LA Rams offense. That is particularly important as Akers contract is due to expire at the end of the 2023 NFL season. The Rams love to double up at a position in the final year of a player's contract, and Rodriguez checks all boxes as the ideal successor for 2024.