Rams should love these 2 draft prospects because the feelings are mutual

Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams
Les Snead, Los Angeles Rams / Ric Tapia/GettyImages

There is always a mystery that comes with every new NFL Draft. Because the options of which players may prove to add the most to the LA Rams roster, the various scenarios of how the team might choreograph their selections are as mystifying as a great Hollywood whodunnit script. Should the team aim at a skill player for the offense? Should the team aim for secondary support? Or should the team insist upon upgrading the beef at the line of scrimmage?

I suppose it all comes down to who is available when the team steps up to the NFL Draft podium, doesn't it?

But if there was a lesson to be learned from the success of the Rams 2023 rookie class, perhaps the best lesson that I took away from the experience is that the team stumbled onto something in last year's selection strategy. Rather than take the prospect who was the highest rated prospect on the board, the team targeted mature players whose passion for the game was unequaled among their peers.

Can the same lightning strike twice for the team? I think it can. As an experiment, here are two prospects that are rising rapidly in my estimation of best suited to play for the Rams, and neither were on my windshield as potential prospects as recently as two weeks ago.

IOL Jackson Powers-Johnson

The very thought of selecting a center in Round 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft was not something I had entertained. After all, the history of the NFL Draft is such that certain positions are more readily targeted on Day 2 than Day 1, and offensive centers are no exception to the rule. The Kansas City Chiefs did not select star offensive center Creed Humphrey until Round 2 of the 2021 NFL Draft, with the 63rd overall pick.

But that was then, this is now. And Oregon center Jackson Powers-Johnson is already getting projected as a late Round 1 prospect. In theory, that opens up the opportunity for the Rams to trade back in Round 1, pick up a Day 2 or multiple Day 3 picks, and still have a real chance to select JPJ in Round 1.

And he is all for it:

Rams fans have been bitterly disappointed over the fact that the team had the chance to draft IOL Creed Humphrey in 2021, and failed to do so. If there is one player in the 2024 NFL Draft who can make the fans forget missing out on Humphrey, Jackson Powers-Johnson is that guy.

Even knowing that the team has so many holes to fill, Jackson Powers-Johnson just appears to be an elite offensive lineman who would be a perfect teammate to left guard Steve Avila. If he were selected, the Rams' offensive line could be well on its way to being ranked among the Top-5 offensive lines in 2024. Projection: Round 1

QB Spencer Rattler

While the LA Rams may be shopping for a quarterback from the 2024 NFL Draft, that does not mean that the team needs to dedicate a Top 100 pick to adding a solid rookie prospect. Even as the team struggles to figure out where and when 2023 rookie QB Stetson Bennett might fit into the depth chart, South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler is ready, willing, and able to suit up and compete for a spot on the Rams roster, and I believe he has all the makings of a good NFL quarterback.

Although he may not tower above the rest of the field, he is certainly a player who could be an excellent addition to this offense. He even made it a point to cite Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford as an NFL quarterback who he tries to model his game after:

Standing 6-foot-0 and weighing 218 pounds is not going to excite many NFL GMs. But if you review his performance, he has the panache of an NFL quarterback through and through. He is a dual-threat quarterback who is not afraid to sit in the pocket and wait for the play to develop. He has the speed that is dangerous enough to force defenses to plant a spy on him in case he scrambles out of the pocket.

He has the arm strength to make throws all over the football field, and his quick release is jaw-dropping. He has incredible accuracy, and displays a natural touch that can either zip the ball to a receiver by threading the needle, or drop the ball into the receivers hands on fade routes.

He has all of the tools to excel in a Sean McVay offense. The more I see of him, the more I like him. Projection: Early Day 3