Bold Prediction I: Rams will not draft a ST player
The LA Rams roster needs a punter, a placekicker, a long snapper, and even a designated punt and kick returner. For the Rams to be at this stage of the calendar year with no special team specialists, you may expect the team to focus one or more draft picks at a talented punter or kicker. But the more I think about it, the more I believe in the LA Rams scrambling to sign multiple special teams players at each open position after the 2023 NFL Draft, and allowing competition during training camp to determine the team's starters.
Even as the team has a lot riding on the performance of the special teams this season, my gut instinct leads me to believe that the Rams are willing to risk lesser than average play out of the special teams units in 2023, in the chance that a lesser investment into the group will pay off with a bigger reward.
In short, I believe the Rams will sign multiple kickers, punters, long snappers and even return specialists after the draft and let training camp competition sort it all out for the team.
Dicker opened the Rams eyes about ST competition
Keep in mind that the team did sign punter/kicker Cameron Dicker to the team after the 2022 NFL Draft. The challenge he faced is that because he played as both the kicker and the punter for the University of Texas, he did not get the same experience at taking a long snap and setting the football up for another place kicker. As a result, he did not beat out veteran punter Riley Dixon.
But he did prove to the LA Rams front office and coaching staff that talented place kickers and or punters can be signed after the NFL Draft, show up at training camp, and represent themselves in a very professional and competitive manner. I believe that the Rams will double down on their 2022 experience, and sign multiple special team specialists after the draft. Perhaps not all will be NFL rookies, but I do not anticipate the Rams naming a punter, kicker, or long snapper during the 2023 NFL Draft.