The LA Rams have a lot at stake after the 2023 NFL Draft
By Bret Stuter
When it comes right down to it, the LA Rams have a lot at stake when the team makes their 11 selections throughout the 2023 NFL Draft. But perhaps we should focus a bit on what happens after the draft? After all, if the Rams stand pat on their current picks, the team's 45-player roster will only swell to 56 players. The Rams will still need to sign 34 more players after the 2023 NFL Draft.
That is near 38 percent of the 90 player roster that the team will have throughtout training camp. In the most conservative estimates, 13 of those players will land on the Rams 16 man practice squad. Curiously enough, that is 38 percent of the 34 players signed to the Rams roster after the 2023 NFL Draft.
That's why I believe that the LA Rams have a lot at stake after the 2023 NFL Draft, and why we should mention it now.
Past undrafted rookie classes
The LA Rams are certainly doing it their way this season, as the Rams roster remains idling at 45 players in mid-April 2023. That has made some fans a bit nervous, while others are too frustrated to think about it and as a result, do not like to talk about it. But it's a curious topic, a new wrinkle to NFL roster building that appears to be another LA Rams innovation, a casting of a huge net to add as many new faces to the team as possible.
Much like gold prospectors panned the silt of freshwater streams for a gold nugget or two, the LA Rams appear to be prepared to dredge the banks of the 2023 NFL Draft class for as many raw rookies as possible. Once on the team, the plan seems to be to coach them up, sort through the best of the bunch, and play the 2023 NFL season with an abundance of rookie talent.
The Rams have had success with undrafted rookies in the past. Here are the results of the past undrafted rookies since the team hired Head Coach Sean McVay:
- 2017 Undrafted Free Agent Rookies - 11 players
- 2018 Undrafted Free Agent Rookies - 11 players
- 2019 Undrafted Free Agent Rookies - 14 players
- 2020 Undrafted Free Agent Rookies - 22 players (with player evals)
- 2021 Undrafted Free Agent Rookies - 14 players (with player evals)
- 2022 Undrafted Free Agent Rookies - 17 players
Rams have had success with undrafted rookies
Just for trivia, the LA Rams 2022 UDFA rookie class identified WR Lance McCutcheon, and OLB Keir Thomas, and had DT Elijah Garcia before he was poached by the Denver Broncos. That's a 20 percent hit rate.
In the same manner, the LA Rams 2021 UDFA rookie class identified OT Alaric Jackson, That's a 9 percent hit rate.
But perhaps the best of the recent bunch is the 2020 UDFA rookie class. That rookie class has resulted in OLB Michael Hoecht, DE Jonah Williams, and ILB Christian Rozeboom. That's a 14 percent hit rate, and ignore the fact that RB Xavier Jones, WR Triston Jackson, WR J.J. Koski, and more actually stuck with the Rams active roster or practice squad in 2020 and 2021.
While we discuss and debate the LA Rams 2023 NFL Draft selections, keep in mind that for every player selected in that draft, three undrafted rookies will be signed to the Rams roster. That's a major segment of the LA Rams roster, and we will be breaking out our crystal balls and attempt to forecast how the Rams will address that critical area thie season.