The Los Angeles Rams war room will be sweating it out on days two and three of the 2021 NFL Draft.
They only have 6 picks (includes their two compensatory picks) to add depth to a few positions that desperately need help.
I can’t sit here and say giving the Jaguars a few draft picks was not worth it since the Rams received one of the best CB’s in the game, Jalen Ramsey.
With a Rams loss tonight. The Jaguars have now secured the 25th pick in 2021 NFL Draft.
— William Anderson 😷 (@wcainfla) January 17, 2021
The trade helped the Rams lockdown a position of need from a season ago, but it leaves holes in other places that are now harder to fill.
Positions of Need:
All of the Rams issues can be summed up into two words: The Trenches.
The offensive line has a free agent center, a 40-year-old tackle, and zero-depth at the left guard position.
On the other side of the ball, their premier pass rusher is an interior lineman and the depth at OLB is depressing at best.
Anyone in the football world will tell you the game is won and lost in the trenches and that is why we see the Rams struggle in big-time games.
Either Jared Goff is enduring relentless pressure or the opposing QB has 4+ seconds to throw the ball in a clean pocket.
Don’t get me started on what happens when the RB breaks through the Rams front 4 and challenges the second level.
Usually turns out poorly for the Rams.
First Draft Pick – OLB/EDGE:
The Packers were laughing at their pass rush.
Matt LaFleur on what #Packers offensive line did to Rams defensive front: "Our O line really answered the ball. That's a really good front, and a really good scheme."
— Ryan Wood (@ByRyanWood) January 17, 2021
Aaron Donald was injured in the Divisional playoff game vs the Packers and boy did it show.
Elgton Jenkins, a second-year guard, was handling Donald by himself which is unheard of.
Normally, you have to double or even triple-team Aaron Donald which creates mismatches elsewhere on the line.
If the Rams lose that advantage, they can’t hit the QB.
That is why, with their first pick in the draft, they need to look at Dylan Moses from Alabama.
Moses played more MLB at Alabama but can move into an OLB/EDGE role with his speed and size.
He flies off the ball in pass-rushing scenarios, but he reads the run beautifully which comes from his experience at MLB.
The Rams can really get it all with this pick as long as Moses can stay healthy, which is the only major concern.
Second Draft Pick – OT:
Everybody in the NFL loves Andrew Whitworth, and if someone tells you they don’t they are lying to you.
He is going to be 40 years old come the 2021 season which is unheard of for any position other than QB.
Unfortunately, the Rams might make him retire before he decides he wants to call it quits.
— NFL (@NFL) January 16, 2021
This video shows a few issues with the Rams offensive line, but Whitworth did not know who his block was.
He pushes Za’Darius Smith to the inside, expecting Blythe to pick him up.
Whitworth has all the talent in the world, but father-time catches everyone at some point, whether that is physically or mentally.
Looking at the bright side, Whitworth looks like he will return for the 2021 season, so he can help groom his replacement, Jalen Mayfield.
The 6’5″ 319-pound man out of Michigan has a lot of raw talent with only 15 games under his belt from college.
Whitworth can take that raw talent and turn him into the Rams next rock at OT when he does retire.
Third Draft Pick – Center:
I already mentioned Austin Blythe above, but let’s talk about him a little bit more.
Blythe is a solid player and acts as the QB of the offensive line as the center.
Keeping your center is key to consistent play from your offensive line.
I know the Rams want to bring him back, but with the cap issues they are facing, Blythe being a free agent, and other teams having an interest, I don’t think they can hang onto him.
Taking a look at what the Rams OL might look like next year and it's scary. Whitworth could retire. Rams could lose Austin Blythe at C. Rob Havenstein very easily could be a cap casualty. That's three potential replacements.
— BGrisakDTR💭 (@bgrisakDTR) January 24, 2021
If they do move on from Blythe, then this position becomes more of a need than before, so they should draft a center earlier.
If that is the case, then Creed Humphrey out of Oklahoma is a top option.
This is a big man at 6’5″ and 315-pounds but he is quick off the ball, his football IQ is through the roof and you love to watch guys finish blocks, right?
Creed Humphrey (56) finishing down field. pic.twitter.com/xNiYRvAQKG
— michael crawford (@abukari) January 23, 2021
Humphrey can easily fill this hole, but he is considered a top 3 interior offensive linemen in the draft.
If Blythe moves on, the Rams will need to consider him at pick #57.