Top 10 sleepers for LA Rams heading into 2023 NFL Draft

Les Snead Los Angeles Rams
Les Snead Los Angeles Rams / John McCoy/GettyImages
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LA Rams Draft 2023 NFL Draft Tyjae Spears
Tyjae Spears Tulane / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

Sleeper III: Tyjae Spears, Running back, Tulane

It's not often that you will see me tout a running back as a sleeper candidate, as the NFL has devalued the role to the point that Day 3 rushers have nearly as much of a chance of a long and successful NFL career as the running backs chosen in Round 1. But Tulane running back Tyjae Spears may be the exception to the rule in more ways than one. Spears is an LA Rams type of rusher, a running back who could explode for the Rams in the passing game.

Rd 3. player. 51. NFL Draft Profile. NFL Draft Buzz. Running back. Tulane. Tyjae Spears

What I don't like about him: At 5-foot-10 and 201 pounds, he is more along the lines of a Darrell Henderson Jr.-type running back. While that in itself is not a bad thing, it opens the question of durability in the NFL, a question that is even more uncertain due to a 2020 ACL injury that made him question whether or not he wanted to return to play football. Those durability concerns will only amplify in the NFL.

What I do like about him: If you had the opportunity to custom build a running back to the exact specifications of LA Rams head coach Sean McVay, he would be the identical twin to Tyjae Spears. For starters, he is incredibly productive, scoring 21 touchdowns in 2022 alone. He has the ability to plant his foot, pivot, and head off into open daylight to the dismay of defenders who though they had him dead to rights. He is as comfortable with the ball in the air as with the ball in his hands, a graceful receiver who has an upper classman's route tree and the soft hands to rival even the best receivers on the team.

He can attack a defense's perimeter, has a great knack of getting optimal effect out of his blocker convoy, and is as slippery when running with the football as he is fast. Of course, he is not a big-bruising back that I would love to see on the Rams roster. But try as I might, the Rams tend to gravitate to the less physical and more elusive style of rusher. While I'm not thrilled about it, I would be happy to have Tyjae Spears end up on the Rams roster.