The LA Rams have won their fourth game in ten attempts. While the Rams are not suddenly any direct threat to compete in postseason play, the Rams have all but ensured that this team will not be in position to draft one of the two top quarterback prospects in the 2024 NFL Draft: USC quarterback Caleb Williams, or North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye.
And to be honest? I am perfectly okay with that.
Top-rated rookie quarterbacks may excite and thrill NFL fans, generate a lot of football buzz, and become instantaneous fountains of optimism for desperate fans who are clinging to any vestige of hope. But let's be perfectly honest with ourselves. For every rookie quarterback like Houston Texans QB C.J. Stroud, there is another rookie quarterback like Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young.
The problem is that nobody can know which quarterback prospect will succeed until well into their first NFL season. Three quarterbacks were selected in the first four picks in the 2023 NFL Draft. By the end of Day 2 of the draft, five quarterbacks were selected. So how are they performing in their rookie seasons?
Of course, the LA Rams did dabble with their quarterback position by selecting Stetson Bennett on Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft, but he was placed on the IR/NFI list under mysterious circumstances. Even now, the odds of his return for the 2023 NFL season are fading quickly.
Trust the Rams front office to choose wisely
Drafting a competent quarterback is never an easy task in the NFL. The problem is that even as many teams seem to need help at the position each season, the odds of hitting on a rookie quarterback are not great. Even the definition of what constitutes hitting on a rookie prospect is subject to interpretation.
For LA Rams fans, drafting a quarterback, any quarterback, is not an instant fix for the offense at all. Just look at the struggles that Bryce Young, the first overall player selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, is experiencing with the Carolina Panthers. Would Rams fans be content with a rookie quarterback whose record in 1-7, and who has thrown for nine touchdowns to eight interceptions?
While Will Levis did not hear his name called out until Round 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, You could make a compelling argument that he is having a better rookie season than Young. In the end, it's not about picking first in the NFL Draft, but rather choosing the best fit.
To that point, the Rams appear to have chosen the best wide receiver in Puka Nacua (177th overall), edge rusher in Byron Young (77th overall), an excellent left guard in Steve Avila (36th overall) and nose tackle in Kobie Turner (89th overall). None of the Rams top rookie performers were selected in Round 1, and yet all have performed as well or better as players who were.
Top selection in the NFL Draft are not always the best performers in the NFL. It's okay for the Rams to learn how to win games this season. And who knows? The best quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft could be the prospect who plays for the LA Rams and HC Sean McVay.