It’s clear that the Los Angeles Rams wanted Greg Gaines from the start. As a result, the Washington Husky pipeline continues. For the most part, many seem to support this pick. The few that do not simply don’t see Gaines as a value pick.
Admittedly, Gaines is a bit of reach if you go by mock drafts. Some didn’t even see him taken until the seventh round. To that I’ll say that the Day 3 prospects are difficult to evaluate. There are concerns with Gaines, which is why he fell to Day 3. That said, there is plenty of upside too.
Did the Rams reach for Gaines?
It depends on your definition of “reach.” Keep in mind that this is Day 3 of the 2019 NFL Draft, so most players here are experimental at best. If a team truly loves a prospect, they are likely a good fit in their system. If they are a true match, it may benefit both parties. That’s essentially what the Rams are hoping for in Gaines.
The main reason experts thought Gaines would go lower is because of his size. He is undersized standing at 6’1″ but really that doesn’t matter as much as you might think. All things considered, Gaines is slightly taller than Aaron Donald. Now, I’m not saying they are equal talents, but I am saying is that he can still have a successful career. What is beneficial for Gaines is that he can learn from Donald and Wade Phillips.
What exactly do they have in Gaines?
They have a relentless defender with a high motor. He keeps his feet moving and commands a lot of attention from offensive linemen. That’s exactly the type of player defenses desire to create more opportunities for linebackers. Gaines is a true nose tackle and if he continues to learn, the Rams definitely might have a steal. Keep this in mind, if Gaines pans out to the disruptive interior defensive lineman that he can potentially be, the Rams’ defensive line is going to be scarier. Measurables from the NFL Combine and Pro Days are good to know, but somethings these stats don’t add up.
This isn’t to say that Gaines will step in Week 1 and dominate. Gaines will have to learn how to adjust at the NFL level, and that isn’t easy. These offensive linemen are massive and are elite. Gaines will need to be able to adjust and win battles early to prevent from being swallowed up at the line.
Both sides of this argument are valid, but seeing Gaines’s potential firsthand, I think the Rams will be happy with this acquisition. It may take a little time, but I expect Gaines to be a contributor at some point in his career. The Rams probably did reach, but overall, it is solid pick for them. I give this a solid B+.