The 2017 NFL season is officially over. The Los Angeles Rams made the playoffs for the first time since 2004, but they still need to improve for next season. With the Rams it has always been about building through the draft and that won’t change this year. Here is a Rams-centric seven round mock draft, post Super Bowl Edition:
*Note: This is what I think the Rams would do, not what I would personally do. The Rams also do not have a 2nd round pick due to the trade for Sammy Watkins at the beginning of last year. Rams also don’t have a seventh round pick.
Round 1 (Pick 23): CB Mike Hughes
Mike Hughes was the pick in my full 32-team mock post Senior Bowl and that doesn’t change here. Hughes enters this draft cycle as an underrated cornerback nobody is really talking about. That may change with an invite to the combine.
The cornerback from Central Florida is small, but physical and fits exactly what the Rams want to do on defense in the secondary. He reminds me of Chris Harris in Denver.
Round 3 (Pick 87): C Frank Ragnow
Ragnow has played both guard and center, which is a plus, and he is the perfect transition from John Sullivan. The Rams took a center out of the SEC in Barrett Jones awhile back, but Ragnow has a ton more upside and has the power and size for the position.
He’s coming off of an injury, but he was playing well before the injury. Ragnow was considered one of the top center prospects of this class before he went down. Ragnow brings a ton of upside here.
Round 4 (Pick 126): RB Akrum Wadley
Todd Gurley is an outstanding running back. He won the AP Offensive Player of the Year award for a reason. However, the Rams also signed Lance Dunbar for a reason last season and due to injuries, that didn’t work out.
Wadley excels coming out of the backfield on third down and would fit perfectly in Sean McVay’s offense.
Round 5 (Pick 162): ILB Micah Kiser
The Rams need a thumper in the middle of the defense. They also need someone who won’t get bullied in the run game. Kiser is that guy. A tackling machine at Virginia, Kiser amassed 145 tackles in 2017 alone. The bottom line is Kiser is a tough run defender, who works best in a 3-4 scheme. He is a perfect fit.
Round 6 (Pick 197): CB MJ Stewart
I’m going to take the standout of the Senior Bowl here. MJ Stewart showed that he was one of the best cornerbacks in Mobile, and he is another perfect fit in the Rams’ scheme. In the sixth round, teams are not looking for a starter, but depth and a guy that can play special teams. Stewart is that guy, who will provide good depth after drafting Hughes in the first round and bring a physical presence for Coach Bones.
Round 6 (Pick 198): TE Tyler Conklin
The Rams interviewed three tight ends at the combine including Conklin. Gerald Everett is obviously the tight end of the future, and Higbee maybe set in stone at No. 2. However, after Temarrick Heminway’s injury in the preseason, McVay may be looking for a tight end that he can develop.
This wouldn’t be a terrible draft for the Rams. They get a potential N0. 1 cornerback in Hughes, their future center in Ragnow and then fill in with depth on the back end. With only six picks, it would not be surprising for Les Snead to try to trade back in the first round as well.