The Los Angeles Rams face an interesting situation as they prepare to make their pick at 36 in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft. With several talented players still available and holes in their roster, the Rams may be considering trading down to acquire additional picks, given the depth of talent that has slipped in the draft. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top talents to watch for as the Rams make their decision:
Rams Draft Picks
Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame
Michael Mayer has showcased his skills as an excellent route runner throughout his college career, using his physicality to create separation out of his breaks. He is highly adept at locating soft spots in zone coverage and has a remarkable ability to win contested catches. Mayer’s strength with the ball in his hands and his tenacity as a blocker make him a potential successor to Tyler Higbee if the Rams decide to strengthen their tight end position.
Joey Porter Jr., CB, Penn State
According to ESPN’s Steve Muench, A tall and technically sound press corner, Joey Porter Jr. runs well and employs physicality to reroute receivers effectively. His playmaking instincts are impressive, although his ball skills appear to be average. Porter Jr. is an aggressive and physical presence in run support, even if he’s somewhat inconsistent with his tackling. Should he still be available and not picked by the Steelers at 32, the Rams would be wise to consider adding him to their secondary.
Hendon Hooker, QB, Tennessee
Although the Rams don’t have an immediate need at quarterback, Hendon Hooker could be an exciting developmental prospect for the future. Steve Muench says, He possesses a smooth, compact delivery, and can change his arm angle as needed. His accuracy at all levels of the field is solid, and he has shown improvement in driving the ball with velocity in 2022. Hooker’s athleticism and ability to elude defenders make him an enticing option for a team looking to plan for the future under center.
O’Cyrus Torrence, OL, Florida
O’Cyrus Torrence has earned a reputation as one of the most dominant interior offensive linemen in the country. He has excellent size, consistently gets movement in the run game, and possesses big hands that allow him to control defensive linemen while moving laterally as a zone blocker. Torrence is also a reliable pass protector, making him a valuable addition to a Rams offensive line needing improvement.
BJ Ojulari, EDGE, LSU
The Rams’ need to address their edge rush has become more pressing with the loss of Leonard Floyd. BJ Ojulari is a highly technical pass-rusher who wins in various ways and understands how to tempo his rush. His explosive speed, bend, and suddenness when changing directions put significant pressure on offensive tackles. Ojulari’s range and effectiveness in backside pursuit against the run, as well as his experience dropping into coverage, make him an attractive option for the Rams.
John Michael Schmitz, C, Minnesota
John Michael Schmitz is a powerful drive blocker who consistently finishes plays. He excels as a zone blocker, understanding angles and pressing the play-side shoulder effectively. Schmitz’s pass protection skills are noteworthy; he quickly sets up, rewraps his hands, and rarely gives ground to bull rushers. His great awareness and good balance help compensate for his average mirror-and-slide quickness.
Kelee Ringo, CB, Georgia
Ringo’s NFL draft profile highlights his impressive college career, where he demonstrated his ability as a tall press-man corner with excellent speed. At 6’2″ and 207 lbs, Kelee Ringo has the size and athleticism to match up well with bigger wide receivers.
According to Steve Muench of ESPN, ‘His ability to locate the ball and pluck it out of the air makes him a dangerous threat against opposing quarterbacks. In addition to his ball-hawking skills, Ringo excels at contesting jump balls and batting down passes without forcing contact. However, his tight hips can lead to some redirection slowness, and his lack of change-of-direction quickness may allow for too much separation at times.”
As the Rams weigh their options at pick 36, they have an array of talent to choose from, addressing various needs on their roster. Whether they decide to trade down or select one of these top prospects, the future of the Rams’ roster is starting to take shape in the 2023 NFL Draft.
With the potential of adding top-tier talent in the second round, the Rams’ front office must be pleased with the depth of the draft class. In addition to the players listed above, there are likely several other prospects on the Rams’ radar, making their decision even more complex.
Trading down could be a strategic move for the Rams if they believe they can still secure one of their preferred prospects while acquiring additional draft capital. Considering the talent available, other teams might be willing to trade up in the draft to select a player who has fallen unexpectedly. In this scenario, the Rams could potentially fill multiple holes on their roster by trading down and selecting multiple prospects in later rounds.
However, if the Rams identify a player they believe can make an immediate impact, it may be in their best interest to use their pick at 36 to select that prospect. With the potential to add a difference-maker on either side of the ball, the Rams could bolster their roster and improve their chances of competing in the tough NFC West division.