Los Angeles Rams Mock Draft 2024: Upgrading The Roster After Free Agency

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams made several big splashes in NFL free agency, improving on both sides of the ball. However, the retirement of Aaron Donald and a few remaining team needs means it’s time for a new Rams mock draft 2024.

Before diving into our Rams mock draft, here’s a quick rundown of everything you need to know.

Los Angeles Rams Draft Picks 2024

Here are the Rams draft picks in the 2024 NFL Draft, as per the Pro Football Focus simulator.

  • 1st Round, 19th overall
  • 2nd Round, 52nd overall
  • 3rd Round, 83rd overall
  • 3rd Round, 99th overall:
  • 5th Round, 154th overall
  • 5th Round, 155th overall
  • 6th Round, 196th overall:
  • 6th Round, 209th overall:
  • 6th Round, 213th overall:
  • 6th Round, 217th overall:
  • 7th Round, 254th overall

Related: Los Angeles Rams QB Stetson Bennett takes step toward return

Rams mock draft 2024: Creating an elite defense

First round, 19th overall: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas Longhorns

Los Angeles Rams mock draft 2024, Rams 7-round mock draft
Feb 29, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Texas defensive lineman Byron Murphy (DL18) works out during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

There is no replacing Aaron Donald. Not only is he the best defensive player of his generation, but he’s arguably the best defensive lineman in NFL history. Unfortunately, his retirement creates a glaring hole on the interior defensive line and it will also have further fallout later in our Rams mock draft.

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Byron Murphy II is easily the best defensive tackle in the 2024 NFL Draft and we’ll start by highlighting his athleticism. Murphy earned an excellent 8.95 Relative Athletic Score in the pre-draft process and he’s been one of the fastest-rising prospects this offseason.

It’s easy to why, especially when you examine his production. In his final season with the Texas Longhorns, Murphy, led all defensive tackles in Pro Football Focus’ pass-rushing grade (91.5) thanks to an FBS-best 19.6 percent pass-rush win rate with the fifth-most pressures (45) at his position. Murphy, who has drawn NFL comparisons to Ed Oliver and Grady Jarrett, could become a perennial Pro Bowl player on the Rams’ defensive line.

Second Round, 52nd overall: Marshawn Kneeland, EDGE, Western Michigan

Los Angeles Rams mock draft 2024, Rams 7-round mock draft
Feb 29, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Western Michigan defensive lineman Marshawn Kneeland (DL41) works out during the 2024 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Donald’s retirement doesn’t just create a hole on the interior defensive line, it also makes it even more important to improve this pass rush. Los Angeles ranked 14th in ESPN pass-rush win rate (42 percent) last season, but Donald’s 20 percent pass-rush win rate and 63 percent double-team rate highlights the impact he had for this unit.

Related: Fastest players at NFL Combine 2024

After adding Byron Murphy at defensive tackle, we’re now doubling down on the front seven. Marshawn Kneeland isn’t one of the biggest names in the 2024 NFL Draft, but his production last season was outstanding. In addition to his 37 total pressures and 17.3 percent pass-rush win rate, Kneeland was credited with 7.5 tackles for loss in 10 games.

While the 6-foot-3 edge rusher is a bit undersized for his position, he makes up for it with athleticism. Kneeland earned a 9.53 Relative Athletic Score and he is also well-regarded for his strength and playing style. Kneeland can be a three-down player at the next level and while he might not offer the highest upside, he’d be an ideal complementary edge defender for Los Angeles.

Third Round, 83rd overall: Max Melton, CB, Rutgers

Los Angeles Rams mock draft 2024, Rams 7-round mock draft
Oct 7, 2022; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Rutgers Scarlet Knights defensive back Max Melton (16) celebrates after an interception during the first half against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at SHI Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

At this point in our Rams mock draft, it came down to offensive tackle or cornerback. Unfortunately for Los Angeles, there wasn’t a left tackle at this point worth a top-100 pick. However, cornerback Max Melton stood out both as BPA and as a solution to one of the problems on the Rams’ roster.

Related: Los Angeles Rams’ signing viewed as one of best deals in NFL free agency

While Darious Williams will start immediately in his Los Angeles return, Melton delivers flexibility. The 6-foot defensive back moved around at Rutgers, primarily playing on the perimeter but he also lined up in the slot and even playing in the box. He is a premium athlete (9.57 RAS) who displayed consistent year-to-year improvement in college. Melton could line up in the slot immediately and eventually develop into a No. 2 cornerback for the Rams.

Third Round, 99th overall: Calen Bullock, S, USC

Los Angeles Rams mock draft 2024, Rams 7-round mock draft
Sep 2, 2023; Los Angeles, California, USA; Southern California Trojans safety Calen Bullock (7) against the Nevada Wolf Pack in the first half at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY SportsCredit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A defensive-heavy draft might not be especially popular considering there are long-term needs on the other side of the ball. However, our priority here was making up for Donald’s loss by creating one of the most well-rounded defenses in the NFL. Adding Calen Bullock would complete the secondary for Los Angeles.

Related: Best NFL players of all time, see where Aaron Donald ranks

Kamren Curl is going to be the do-it-all defensive back for the Rams. While he’s not elite in any single facet of his game, the ability to both play well in coverage and be a highly effective run defender makes Curl the type of player you want playing all over the field.

That still leaves a spot open for a center fielder playing deep. Enter USC Trojans safety Calen Bullock, the only standout on that defense in 2023. Bullock offers an excellent nose for the football, routinely showing the ability to either create a takeaway or cover significant ground and then deflect the football away to prevent a would-be catch. He would be the playmaker in Los Angeles who can erase any mistakes deep downfield made in coverage by the Rams’ cornerbacks or he can help take away throwing windows downfield. Curl and Bullock would complement each other nicely, rounding out a top-10 defense.

Los Angeles Rams 7-round mock draft

  • 1st Round, 19th overall: Byron Murphy II, DT, Texas Longhorns
  • 2nd Round, 52nd overall: Marshawn Kneeland, EDGE, Western Michigan
  • 3rd Round, 83rd overall: Max Melton, CB, Rutgers
  • 3rd Round, 99th overall: Calen Bullock, S, USC
  • 5th Round, 154th overall: Javon Foster, OT, Missouri
  • 5th Round, 155th overall: Marcus Rosemy-Jackstaint, WR, Georgia
  • 6th Round, 196th overall: Steele Chambers, LB, Ohio State
  • 6th Round, 209th overall: Josh Wallace, CB, Michigan
  • 6th Round, 213th overall: Trente Jones, OT, Michigan
  • 6th Round, 217th overall: Cam Little, K, Arkansas
  • 7th Round, 254th overall: Sam Hartman, QB, Notre Dame