It’s almost time for the 2018 NFL Draft, which means the Rams aren’t on the clock for Day 1. The Rams don’t select until pick No. 87. There aren’t too many holes to fill thanks to a flurry of transactions this offseason, but which prospects should they target?
ILB Josey Jewell- Iowa
The Rams lack in one position, linebacker. Currently, the Rams have only one of the remaining starters at linebacker from the 2017 season, Mark Barron. Picking up a technically sound linebacker like Jewell would be ideal. He’s a student of the game and relies on instincts to make plays. His biggest flaw is that he lacks the speed needed for the NFL level. Still, Jewell possesses enough talent to keep many teams interested, and there’s a possibility that he may not fall to the Rams at pick No. 87. His stats speak for themselves: he earned 132 tackles and 4.5 sacks this past year.
DE Duke Ejiofor- Wake Forest
Who doesn’t like raw power? Ejiofor uses his size and natural strength to his advantage and brings the pain if left unblocked. His athleticism is limited; he doesn’t own breathtaking speed and is often slow off the snap. He somehow managed to make plays in the backfield though, earning 43 tackles, 17 of which were for a loss, and compiled seven sacks this past season. Placing Ejiofor on the edge would be an intimidating matchup considering the powerhouse defensive front the Rams now feature.
DE/OLB Chad Thomas- Miami
In terms of physical ability, Thomas should be a Day 1 pick, but it’s possible to see him drop to the third round. He possesses the desired size, standing at 6’5” and the strength to go along with it. Thomas’s power is intriguing to place him on the edge. Despite lacking in speed, technique and instinct, the Rams could use his strength to their advantage. His physical ability didn’t translate to his performance on the field, only securing 41 tackles and 4.5 sacks.
C/OT Austin Corbett- Nevada
Yes, the Rams need linebackers, but the Rams could use depth at the offensive line, particularly at center. Corbett played mostly left tackle, but standing at 6’4” it would benefit him and the team for him to move toward the inside at guard or center. His football IQ is off the charts, and he handles pressure well. Corbett is not the strongest guy on the field, so he will need to add bulk. John Sullivan isn’t getting any younger, so drafting a potential protégé wouldn’t be a bad thing.
RB Rashaad Penny- San Diego State
Seriously, don’t be surprised if Les Snead pulls the trigger on a running back with the third-round pick. A running back like Penny might be too good to pass up. Todd Gurley took the bulk of the carries last season and will likely do the same this season. However, Penny could reduce some of his load and can be effective receiving target as well. Last season with the Aztecs, Penny produced monster numbers, finishing with 2,248 yards and 23 touchdowns. Another weapon in backfield couldn’t hurt, especially if Snead takes the best player available approach.