The last time the Los Angeles Rams drafted in the first round, they selected Jared Goff in the 2016 draft. Oddly enough, they have still been able to produce young talent at a surprising rate. In my Rams mock draft, I covered the hits that the Rams drafted over the years before giving my selections. The Rams have used their fantastic scouting department to their advantage despite rarely having a top 50 pick. Players like Sebastian Joseph-Day, John Johnson, Cooper Kupp, Greg Gaines and, Jordan Fuller have all turned out to be great day two or three picks. With that being said, you won’t hear much hype about this draft class in the offseason. Many of these guys are “under the radar”, and some of those who are in the media may not know who they are. So, here’s the rundown on the players the Los Angeles Rams drafted in 2022.
Round 3 Pick 104: Logan Bruss G (Wisconsin)
Los Angeles opted not to draft any offensive linemen last draft and went a completely different route this year. The Rams drafted Austin Corbett’s potential long-term replacement, now that he is in Carolina, when they selected Logan Bruss. The Rams clearly love their Wisconsin offensive linemen. They already have two starting Badgers on their line (Rob Havenstein and David Edwards). Bruss has experience playing both tackle and guard but played the majority of his snaps at RT. He could end up fighting for the starting RG spot in camp.
Round 4 Pick 142: Decobie Durant CB (SCSU)
While many thought the Rams would address corner with their first pick, that was not the case. They did, however, address it with their second pick when the Rams drafted cornerback Decobie Durant out of SC State. Durant earned the AP FCS All-American and the MEAC Defensive Player awards in 2021. In twelve starts, Durant logged 3 INTs, 12 PBUs, and 38 tackles. The HBCU product has great instincts for the ball and should compete for reps as a slot corner this year. He is a tad undersized, but his skill set should make up for that.
Round 5 Pick 164: Kyren Williams RB (Notre Dame)
Drafting a running back typically raises eyebrows. I personally expected it. However, I didn’t expect the Rams to draft one this “early”. I do understand it though, Williams was a very good pass catcher, and was arguably the best pass protecting RB in the draft. His versatility will likely be put on display at some point this coming season, but the young back does have concerns. He isn’t very explosive and had a fumbling issue. He is likely to be a 3rd down back and can develop into a larger role as time goes on.
Round 6 Pick 211: Quentin Lake S (UCLA)
Lake is a legacy pick; his father was a Pro Bowl DB who made the NFL All-90s team. Quentin Lake was second-team All-Pac12 last season, recording 3 INTs, 6 PBUs, and 54 tackles in eleven games. He is a high IQ safety and has the size to be effective. He will likely take on a backup/special teamer role, but we all know how the injury bug can bite position groups at any given time. Lake has versatility, making him an interesting addition to Raheem Morris’ defense.
Round 6 Pick 212: Derion Kendrick CB (Georgia)
Derion Kendrick could end up as a steal. But a few things have to go right. Kendrick signed with Clemson as a top 5 WR in the nation but later moved to CB the following spring. He earned second-team all-conference in his first year at the position. Derion Kendrick was dismissed from the team after not following team rules in February of 2021. He was arrested for unlawful possession of a gun and marijuana that March. Kendrick then transferred to Georgia, where he won a national title and earned himself second-team all-SEC. He isn’t fast, which could limit his production at the next level. The new Rams corner is lockdown though, he didn’t allow a single TD as a primary defender last season. Expect to see him fighting up the depth chart as a boundary corner.
Round 7 Pick 235: Daniel Hardy EDGE (Montana St.)
Edge rusher Daniel Hardy put up an eye-popping amount of production in his first year as a starting edge rusher. Hardy put up 24.5 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks in 2021. He also had 2 forced fumbles and 3 PBUs. Pair that production with a 4.64 40-yard dash and a 40-inch vertical, there is a lot to be excited about in this prospect. He is raw and doesn’t have much experience at the position. Yet he should be able to carve out a rotational role this season.
Round 7 Pick 253: Russ Yeast S (Kansas St.)
Russ Yeast is another legacy selection. The Rams drafted another piece for their secondary, totaling four new additions. Yeast had 4 INTs and 10 PBUs last season. Russ Yeast has shown he has good reaction time and can knock balls loose. He will likely serve as a backup/special teamer but will have the chance to impress coaches in camp.
Round 7 Pick 261: AJ Arcuri OT (Michigan St.)
The Rams drafted AJ Arcuri with their final selection in the 2022 NFL draft. He is not expected to start anytime soon, and will probably need to gain a little more weight to match up with NFL-level athletes. The Rams needed more offensive line depth this offseason, and I think they did pretty well in the draft doing so.
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