What does Rams Les Snead mean by 'follow the stack' in the 2024 NFL Draft

NFL Draft, Rams GM Les Snead
NFL Draft, Rams GM Les Snead / Alika Jenner/GettyImages

The insight that LA Rams GM Les Snead can provide in terms of how he and the team approach an NFL Draft is always worth a view and a listen. That is even more true this year, after the Rams enjoyed arguably the best rookie class of the 2023 NFL Draft. There is always something new to learn from Snead, a man who may talk around the team's direct strategy, but who let's enough slip through to elevate anyone's understanding of the variables and objectives involved in an NFL Draft.

The Rams did not trade up in the 2023 NFL Draft, despite being tempted to do so by the virtues of TE Dalton Kincaid. That discipline allowed the team to be in the right place at the right time to draft IOL Steve Avila, OLB Byron Young, NT Kobie Turner, and even WR Puka Nacua.

Snead shares how actions taken in free agency can affect their 2024 NFL Draft strategy. As he relates, do the Rams still take a player at 19 if they address the position in free agency? That is the reality of the team's draft board, and he continues to reveal a command of the high-altitude perspective, all the way down to the minutia of details at the grass level.

Snead talks Rams 2024 draft strategy

The discussion of the Rams draft strategy begins at 22:50, and Les Snead admits that the team already holds a very good idea of when rookie prospects hold optimal value on the team's 2024 NFL Draft Big Board. The Rams create 'pods' of players at each pick, in each round. The order of players in each pod will change with circumstances, but the overall composition of players in each pod will remain relatively stable from now until draft day.

How prepared is the Rams front office for the 2024 NFL Draft? I believe the front office has vetted the 2024 rookie class extensively, both in terms of pure draft value of the rookie prospects, and in terms of trade value of picks in terms of acquiring veterans from less traditional avenues.

Do the Rams plan to trade up or trade back during the draft? Snead begins to discuss those scenarios at the 6:20 mark in the video (above). Snead balances the value of what the team gives up versus what the team might acquire in any trade scenario. The Rams even have two categories: "Dream" players vs. "Realistic" players at each pick.

Snead opens up about how the Rams follow the draft at the 8:10 mark when he talks about the Rams following the board or the vertical stack. Viewing the draft in terms of the vertical stack - which not only considers who remains on the draft board, but the current temperature of teams who are depleting position groups before the Rams step up to the draft podium.

Snead uses that vertical stack to discuss the possibility of trading back with multiple option with the original draft pick, and the likelihood of one of more of those options remaining on the draft board when the team makes their next pick.