Los Angeles Rams Draft: Best Defensive Linemen Targets In All 7 Rounds

Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams lost Aaron Donald and even before that the depth along the defensive line was suspect. Les Snead even went so far as to say, “I think what we will do is in the draft, every time we go to pick we will definitely look at the defensive linemen on the board — whether they are more our 4i, our nose tackle, our three-tech.” as reported by The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue.

That was a big peek behind the curtain of the Rams draft process. They know they can’t replace Donald, but they are also aware that they need defensive linemen and they will be looking from the first round to the final round to fill out the depth chart at that position. Outside of Kobie Turner, they don’t have a bonafide starter on the roster right now.

Best Defensive Line Targets for the Los Angeles Rams

Syndication: Austin American-Statesman
Los Angeles Rams Draft Prospect: Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK Credit: Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Round 1:

Byron Murphy, Texas: The only question about Murphy is if the Rams can get him at 19 or trade up to ensure they get the hyper-athletic, 6’1″ 308-pounder.

In his debut season as a Longhorns starter, Murphy led the team with 45 pressures and topped all FBS interior defensive linemen with a 19.6% pass-rush win rate. He bursts off the line to create pressure and uses his hands effectively to shed blocks and hold his ground. Murphy’s effort and technique compensate for his lack of size.

T’vondre Sweat, Texas: Sweat is the other Texas D-lineman in the draft. If the Rams want to mix it up and go with a true big man in the middle, he’s your man. 6’4″, 362 lbs. Opposing offenses will need to allocate resources to contain him, making it challenging to execute inside running plays without accounting for his presence.

He would allow the Rams to move Turner off the nose and into a three-technique. The Rams would ideally draft him after trading back to the late first round.

Round 2:

Kris Jenkins, Michigan: At 6’2″ and 299 lbs, Jenkins could be the second most athletic DT in the draft behind Murphy. A hard worker and captain of the Michigan Wolverines, Jenkins has a relentless motor, but won’t be a one-man wrecking crew

Round 3:

NCAA Football: Virginia Tech at Florida State
Los Angeles Rams Draft Prospect: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Braden Fiske, Florida State: Fiske had an impressive season after transferring from Western Michigan to Florida State. In 13 games he racked up 43 tackles, nine for loss, and six sacks.

Fiske relies on his explosive get-off and sheer strength and determined grit to drive and disrupt blocking schemes. His relentless effort remains consistent whether he’s taking on double teams or holding his ground at the line of scrimmage.

Round 4:

Currently No 4th Round picks for the Los Angeles Rams

Round 5:

Maason Smith, LSU: His size and athleticism make him an intriguing prospect. At 6’6″, 306 lbs, and 35-inch arms, he runs a 5.0 40-yard dash and has a 31″ vertical. But he will need plenty of refinement to earn starting reps in Week 1 of 2024.

NCAA Football: McNeese State at Louisiana State
Los Angeles Rams Draft Prospect: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Round 6:

Justin Rogers, Auburn: Similarly to Sweat, Rogers is big and tough to move, 6’2″, 330. He would fit in as a nose tackle, allowing Turner to rush the passer.

Rogers is a sturdy nose tackle who excels at holding his ground against blocks, though he struggles to consistently shed them. Despite his limitations, he’s valuable to the Rams as run-stopping depth in the trenches.

Round 7:

Keith Randolph Jr, Illinois: One of his strengths is his leadership as a team captain and active tackling skills for his position. He effectively utilizes his strong outside hand to control blockers. As a pass rusher, he comes equipped with a few well-honed techniques.

However, he struggles from a speed and explosivity standpoint. Additionally, struggles shed block sheds can be moved off the mark.