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 196th pick

. . . the LA Rams select Jalyx Hunt, edge rusher, out of Houston Baptist.

There is a lot to love about 6-foot-4 252-pound edge rusher Jalyx Hunt. So let's start with the obvious. Hunt is a former safety who outgrew his role as a defensive back and moved up to the outside linebacker role to better leverage his size and tremendous power. Due to his defensive back experience, he is gifted in pass coverage, and can stay with tight ends and running backs as they navigate their routes.

He is a bit raw at the line of scrimmage, which can be coached at the next level. Because he grew throughout his college career, he has plenty of frame to add another 10-15 pounds of muscle. In two seasons, he put up 133 tackles, 20.5 tackles for a loss, 13.5 quarterback sacks, and one interception. He broke up five passes, forced five fumbles, recovered three fumbles, and even blocked a punt.

Even if he does not earn a rotational role on defense, he makes an ideal player on special teams coverage units. He has all of the right foundation to have a long and successful NFL career.

With the 209th pick

. . . the Rams select Joe Milton III, quarterback, out of Tennessee.

It's difficult not to get a bit excited and optimistic over Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton III. After all, he stands 6-foot-5, weighs 235 pounds, and can throw the football from endzone to endzone without breaking a sweat. All of these qualities are simply not something you can coach in a quarterback prospect.

He has played six season in college football. Three years with Michigan, and three years with Tennessee. But it was not until his final two college seasons that he began to show signs of improvement. And even now, many draft boards have him late on Day 3 because all the power of throwing in the universe means very little if he cannot throw with accuracy, touch, and make his progression reads quickly enough to be effective.

As an example, one draft profile cites that he completed just 38.6 percent of his throws beyond 10 yards (per Pro Football Focus) in 2023. That is enough to scare off most teams. But the Rams loaded up the coaching staff with offensive coaches whose forte is developing quarterbacks. And I think that they have a player like Joe Milton III in mind in doing so.

The Rams have time to spend on a quarterback prospect with limitless upside like Joe Milton. He is the quintessential prospect who needs coaching and patience to grow into a future NFL franchise passer. The front office cannot expect to draft high enough to land a top QB prospect in any future draft. So they must settle for a build-a-bear option, and Joe Milton III is perfectly positioned for that investment.