The Los Angeles Rams addressed needs in their front seven during the fifth round of the 2018 NFL Draft on Saturday, April 28. They also traded wide receiver Tavon Austin to the Dallas Cowboys for a sixth round (192 overall) pick.
Rams take Kiser
The Rams landed Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser with 148th overall pick. Kiser compiled 145 tackles, including 50 solo and 9.5 for a loss in 2017. He also recorded five sacks and two fumble recoveries to earn third-team AP All-American and first-team All-ACC honors.
Known as a run-stopper, Kiser is exactly what the Rams need in the middle of the defense. He’s incredibly intelligent and makes the best of his limited range in the box. Kiser’s coverage skills are limited, but the Rams likely won’t expect him to cover much with one of the league’s best secondaries behind him.
Trade for Okoronkwo
Los Angeles traded up for the 160th pick to select Oklahoma defensive end Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. The Rams needed an edge rusher and selected one that many fans thought would land in the team’s lap. Instead, the Rams went and got him when he dropped into the fifth round.
Okoronkwo shared the 2017 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year with Texas’ Malik Jefferson. He also earned AP second-team All-American honors after recording 76 tackles, including 17.5 for loss, and eight sacks.
The former Sooner will get the opportunity to learn from one of the best defensive coordinators in the NFL today, Wade Phillips. There is a good chance that Okoronkwo will develop into a starter for the Rams in the future.
Finally, the Rams ended the Tavon Austin experiment when they traded him to the Dallas Cowboys for a sixth round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft. A large portion of Austin’s salary will remain on the books for the Rams this season, but Austin will be a free agent next year.