Los Angeles Rams General Manager Les Snead Provides Interesting Take When Discussing NFL Draft

Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Rams are one day away from likely selecting in the first round of the NFL Draft for the first time since 2016.

It really is stunning just how little of an impact general manager Les Snead and Co. have had on the initial round since picking Jared Goff in that aforementioned draft.

Slated to pick 19th overall, there are a number of different directions the Rams could go in. Recent reports link them to a potential future heir-apparent to quarterback Matthew Stafford in Round 1.

Either way, we weren’t expecting Snead to provide media with a full account of the Rams’ plans as he gave his pre-draft press conference. He didn’t.

“All three of those options are probably as real as it can get, in a reality, for sure, and we’re going to explore all three,” Snead on whether the Rams will trade down, stand pat or move up from 19.

So, a big nothingburger from Snead. That’s until we read a bit further into his Q&A with media on Tuesday.

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Los Angeles Rams’ Les Snead Says Team Is Focusing On “Subset” Of Players

Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When talking about who the Rams met with ahead of Thursday’s NFL Draft, Snead noted that it’s “probably common sense” to spend more time with a certain subset of players given that Los Angeles has not picked in the first round since 2016.

“And even in years past, even if you set aside a subset to say, ‘We probably should spend less time with these players,’ if one of them did slip to within striking distance if we weren’t picking in the first, you’d have Friday morning ’til probably 4 o’clock pacific to be a little more intentional about, ‘wait a minute, we weren’t expecting this to occur, let’s now fast-forward it, let’s cram for the exam,'” Snead said.

It was last week that the Rams’ brass flew out to Happy Valley to meet with former Penn State EDGE rusher Chop Robinson. Los Angeles has also been linked to Laiatu Latu of the UCLA Bruins.

One really has to wonder whether this “subset” of players is primarily focusing on the EDGE pass-rush position or players who can make an immediate impact.

Latu is highly unlikely to be available at 19. Meanwhile, the common belief is that Robinson will be selected somewhere in the 20’s. Hence, Snead talking about a potential trade up or trade down Thursday night from Detroit.

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Robinson is the only EDGE prospect that has taken a top-30 visit with the Rams heading into the 2024 NFL Draft. Here is a look at the list, courtesy of Walter Football.

  • Karsen Barnhart, Offensive Tackle, Michigan
    Audric Estime, Running Back, Notre Dame
    Troy Fautanu, Offensive Guard, Washington
    Jaylan Ford, Outside Linebacker, Texas
    Bo Nix, Quarterback, Oregon
    Mark Perry, Safety, TCU
    Andru Phillips, Cornerback, Kentucky
    Norell Pollard, Defensive Tackle, Virginia Tech
    Chop Robinson, Outside Linebacker, Penn State

They also met with Michigan defensive end Jaylen Harrell during the NFL Scouting Combine.

What does this all mean? Not much. But it does seem like Los Angeles has all options on the table with the 19th selection. It could very well be dictated by a combination of need and value. That’s ideal for teams in the NFL Draft.

“We have a depth chart, and what’s the vision for the player early?” Snead said. “But really, you’re looking at, what do you think this player is going to be when he gets to the NFL, when he gets settled, when we develop him, all of that? Where’s he fit on the depth chart? And at that point, you make your decisions.”

Based on these comments, need could take precedence over value. It’s certainly something to pay attention to as the draft approaches.