Ranking the LA Rams' last 10 first-round draft picks

2013 NFL Draft, Roger Goodell
2013 NFL Draft, Roger Goodell / Al Bello/GettyImages
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II: 2011 - First round DE Robert Quinn (14th overall)

While the LA Rams defensive front was changed forever by the arrival of All-Pro defensive lineman Aaron Donald, fans have too easily forgotten just how dominating his predecessor, DE Robert Quinn, played before Donald arrived. Quinn dominated the defensive line of scrimmage, at one point recording 57 tackles and 19.0 quarterback sacks. He even recovered two fumbles, returning one for a touchdown.

Quinn stood 6-foot-4 and weighed 245 pounds. He was the prototypical quarterback nightmare, a player who was all muscle, had the ability to get low and bend like Gumby, and had the power and speed to close the distance on quarterbacks before they could settle into the pocket.

Quinn was a wrecking ball, but his play suffered from a string of injuries. That decline in on-field production was further complicated by a lucrative extension that paid him $66.5 million over four season that the team signed in 2014. The team traded Quinn to the Miami Dolphins in 2018 for a fourth-round and a sixth-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. Quinn would continue to harass quarterbacks, getting 11.5 quarterback sacks in 2019 for the Dallas Cowboys and 18.5 quarterback sacks in 2021 for the Chicago Bears.

I: 2014 - First round Aaron Donald (13th overall)

Did you have any doubts that the top first-round pick of the Rams football team would be anyone but Aaron Donald? The fun fact is that while Aaron Donald was selected in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft, he was not the first player selected by the Rams in that draft. And where Robert Quinn left off, Aaron Donald picked up.

Donald changed the perspective of NFL general managers permanently. Prior to Aaron Donald's success, personnel offices would handicap any defensive lineman who stood less than 6-foot-3 as too shoort, and anyone defensive lineman who weighed less that 300 pounds as too light. Well, 6-foot-1 280-pound DL Aaron Donald changed that perspective.

You can view Aaron Donald's statistics here. He was a ten time Pro Bowler and nine time All-Pro. He not only played elite football, but his production elevated the level of play of those around him. For the first time since 2013, the Rams defense must line up without him. That will make the 2024 NFL season quite thrilling in many ways.

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