Rams Mock Draft: Les Sneads loads up roster with play-makers

NFL Draft, Roger Goodell
NFL Draft, Roger Goodell / Al Bello/GettyImages
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With the 83rd pick

. . . the LA Rams select Austin Booker, edge rusher, out of Kansas.

Fans did not get to applaud the selection of UCLA edge rusher Laiatu Latu's selection by the Rams in this mock draft, but there is no shame is adding one of the hottest rising stock's in the 2024 NFL Draft at the edge rusher position.

Austin Bookier is a rare combination of what can only be described as unlimited upside with very limited on-field production. He played three seasons in college football, but it was not until he played for Kansas in 2023 that he performed to the level of an NFL-quality pass rusher. In one season, he put up 56 tackles, 8.0 quarterback sacks, and even broke up a pass play. But he has only played 505 defensive snaps.

He stands 6-foot-5 and weighs 240 pounds. But his wingspan is like that of an albatross, stretching beyond 81 inches. From his height and wingspan alone, he presents tremendous upside at breaking up passes, and getting his hooks into the quarterback with his Stretch Armstrong-reach as he passes by. Best of all, he has the frame to add another 20+ pounds of muscular armor that will not detract from his speed or agility.

Edge rusher. Austin Booker. Austin Booker. player. NFL Draft profile. Austin Booker Draft profile. 83. 51. NFL Draft Buzz. Kansas

While light on football experience at the position, Booker is not a complete novice. He has great football instincts that keeps him near the point of attack, as well as a passion for the sport to keep him playing hard until the whistle blows the play dead.

He projects as a rotational player when the season begins, with greater work load waiting as his experience grows. Because he is incredibly talented, he will not remain on the board for Day 3. Because he has so little competitive experience, he will fall to Round 3.