The Rams are coming off a successful season in Sean McVay's second year at the helm but with a disappointing ending, ultimately falling short in the Super Bowl. After reinforcing the defense with veterans like Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews, the Rams enter the draft without many pressing needs. Will they be able to find the talent to get them over the hump in 2019?
Below, you can check out which picks the Rams currently have, along with our projection of their top positional needs. I'll then build a war-room big board based upon players I think have some kind of chance of making it to their first pick before sharing multiple draft classes that make sense for the team from myself, Ryan Wilson and Chris Trapasso.
As for the actual draft, you'll be able to stream our live coverage right here on CBS Sports HQ (or download the CBS Sports app for free on any mobile or connected TV device) breaking down all the picks and everything you need to know during draft weekend.
Current draft picks
The CBS Sports NFL writing staffto identify needs for each team heading into the draft. A helpful guide: any position group that had an average ranking worse than 16.0 (on a scale of 1 to 32) was considered a "need," while any that ranked worse than 23.0 (bottom-third of the league) was considered a "pressing need."
Like their L.A. brethren, the Rams have one of the deepest, best rosters in football. Jared Goff might not be an elite QB, but he's a pretty good one, and the Rams have an excellent offensive line, the best defensive player in the league, a stud running back (if he's healthy), and deep and versatile groups at receivers and defensive back. They basically only have one linebacker (Cory Littleton), though, and not much beyond Dante Fowler and Clay Matthews on the edge. They're not necessarily in a great draft range for those spots, though, so they could elect for another interior defender or a guard to take the place of the departed Rodger Saffold, building on top of their strengths.
War room big board
At No. 31, the Rams are at the mercy of the teams in front of them and seem unlikely to land an impact player at linebacker. But they could find an interior linemen after losing two of their starters from last year, or further fortify the other levels of their defense. Here's how I'd project the Rams' draft board for their first pick, considering only players I feel have some chance of making it in range:
- G Cody Ford, Oklahoma
- C Garrett Bradbury, NC State
- DL Dexter Lawrence, Clemson
- G/C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
- DL Jeffery Simmons, Mississippi State
- OL Dalton Risner, Kansas State
- CB Byron Murphy, Washington
- OL Kaleb McGary, Washington
- S Johnathan Abram, Mississippi State
- G Chris Lindstrom, Boston College
- C Elgton Jenkins, Mississippi State
- CB Deandre Baker, Georgia
Seven-round mock drafts
|G/C Erik McCoy, Texas A&M
|RB Darrell Henderson, Memphis
|ILB Vosean Joseph, Florida
|CB Jamel Dean, Auburn
|NT Dontavius Russell, Auburn
|OT Martez Ivey, Florida
|OLB Wyatt Ray, Boston College
|OLB Malik Reed, Nevada
I know the Rams like their replacements on the interior of the line, but as a Super Bowl contender, there needs to be a plan B. That's McCoy, who can play either guard or center and has what it takes to hold his own against fearsome interior rushers like Aaron Donald and DeForest Buckner.
The Rams then have to wait a bit to pick again as they're shut out of Round 2, but they land some quality Todd Gurley insurance in the third round in the form of Henderson, whose big play ability should allow him to be a key part of the offense and perhaps not overwork Gurley as much even when he is healthy. A few picks later the team comes right back for Joseph, who can compete for snaps inside at linebacker and should benefit from learning under Wade Phillips.
Dean is big and fast -- so fast that he ran a 4.3 40 at the combine -- and could easily outpace his draft slot if he can stay healthy. After trading back for an extra pick, the Rams grab a solid nose tackle prospect in Russell who can compete to replace Ndamukong Suh, then add some depth at tackle in Ivey, who has a chance to develop into a starter once the Rams lose one of their bookends. The team's final two picks are used on guys who can improve depth at edge rusher while also contributing on special teams.
More seven-round mocks:
(*) indicates pick acquired via trade
Check out more first-round mocks from CBS Sports.