Whatever the Rams intend, they may optimize value of 2024 draft picks
By Bret Stuter
While there continues to be optimism in some circles over the ability of the LA Rams to compete in the 2023 NFL season, the team seems to be content to put all roster additions on hold for the time being. And at 45 players in mid April 2023, with the need to add 45 more players to the roster, that feels like a pretty risky strategy.
I suppose risk is in the eyes of the beholder, right? After all, if the goal is to win games in the 2023 NFL season, then the fact that the LA Rams do not have at least eight players on the Rams roster who will ultimately be part of the 53-player team this season is a very risky strategy. That is compounded by the fact that even if all 45 players make the team, there are 16 players who the team has not yet added to the team who will make up their 2023 16 player practice squad.
45 players signed, 24 players remain to be added. And those unidentified, unknown, and unsigned players will have huge roles to play for this team throughout the 2023 NFL season. That creates a lot of uncertainty and unknown variables for a Rams team that some suggest are capable of earning an NFL Playoff berth this year.
Rams 2024 NFL Draft picks looking better all the time
The more the LA Rams struggle in 2023, the more valuable the LA Rams picks become in the 2024 NFL Draft. So what do the LA Rams' future draft picks look like?
- Round 1– The Rams hold their first-round pick
- Round 2– The Rams hold their second-round pick
- Round 3– The Rams hold their third-round pick
- Round 4– The Rams hold their fourth-round pick
- Round 5– The Rams hold their fifth-round pick
- Round 6- The Rams hold their sixth-round pick
- Round 6– The Rams have obtained the Denver Broncos-sixth round pick
- Round 7- No Pick. The Rams traded their seventh-round pick to the Broncos
Per projections from Over the Cap.com and our own projections, you can add four more picks
- Round 6- Awarded for losing K Matt Gay
- Round 6– Awarded for losing QB Baker Mayfield
- Round 7- Awarded for losing DB Nick Scott
- Round 7- Awarded for losing DT Greg Gaines
The LA Rams 2024 NFL Draft could be crazy good
The result is that the LA Rams 2024 NFL draft is likely to hold 11 draft picks, the same number of draft picks that the LA Rams currently own in the 2023 NFL Draft. If the Rams choose wisely, the 2024 LA Rams roster, even the 53-man active roster, could be primarily comprised of rookies or second-year players.
For discussion purposes, let's presume that the LA Rams finish the 2023 NFL season with a similar record as that of 2022, at 5-12. With that type of finish, the LA Rams would hold 11 picks in the NFL draft, with a sixth pick in each of the first six rounds, and then five more picks in the last two rounds of the NFL Draft.
There is already a great deal of buzz about the depth of the 2024 rookie class at the quarterback position. The running back class is also causing a stir from 2024, and there is even some buzz over wide receivers in next year's rookie class.
If I had to lay a wager, based on the depth of each rookie draft class, I'd lean to the LA Rams selecting a TE, an OL, and load up on defensive players in the 2023 NFL Draft. Next year, I would look for the Rams to use that first round pick on a top quarterback prospect, then add a running back and at least one wide receiver to surround him with young talented weapons.