We have made it through rounds 2, 3, and 4, and now it is time to get into round 6 (Rams don’t currently have a 1st or 5th round pick).
Make sure to choose your favorite Round 6 selection in the poll at the end of the article!
Who To Take At 199? Predicting The Rams 6th Round Pick
Pick 52: Austin Jackson, OT – USC
Pick 57: Michael Pittman Jr., WR – USC
Pick 84: Darrell Taylor, Edge Tennessee
Pick 104: Amik Robertson, CB Louisiana Tech
Pick 126: Logan Wilson, LB Wyoming
Pick 199: Geno Stone, S Iowa
With Eric Weddle’s retirement, the Rams find themselves with a lack of depth at safety. After Taylor Rapp and John Johnson, there is a huge drop off in experience and talent. Geno Stone won’t replace Weddle, but it definitely won’t be from a lack of his effort.
Stone works harder because he has to. A word often used to describe Stone is stubby, which isn’t a compliment for a safety. It means he lacks length, which means he just can’t make some plays that longer guys can. But, like many of us that aren’t gifted with gazel-like extremities, Stone has to rely on his head. Stone has a high football IQ, seemingly reacting to QB’s before they even make their initial move.
A high FBIQ won’t help you when you are getting outrun or can’t get up to tip the ball away, so, Stone will be a liability in some circumstances. He will lose jump balls, get beat on deep passes, and will miss some lateral tackles. But, again, like we who are vertically challenged often do, Stone plays with a chip on his shoulder. Coming out of high school, Stone was overlooked by Penn State and Michigan State but eventually earned a starting role for the Hawkeyes.
Stone is smart and has grit. A good combination on the football field and one that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Pick 52: Damon Arnette, CB – Ohio State
Pick 57: Julian Okwara, Edge – Notre Dame
Pick 84: Bryan Edwards, WR South Carolina
Pick 104: Evan Weaver, LB CAL
Pick 126: Darrynton Evans, RB Appalachian State
Pick 199: Rodrigo Blankenship, K, Georgia
For the first time since 2012, the Rams kicking job is open. So far they have added Lirim Hajrullahu, CFL kicker, and Austin MacGinnis of the AAF and XFL. Given those bonafides, adding one more leg to compete for the position is advisable.
Blankenship isn’t a flawless kicker, (his kicks launch at a low angle resulting in blocked kicks) but he shows potential to develop into a starter. He went 80 for 97 in his college career, nailing 6 of 9 from beyond 50 yards and holds the Rose Bowl record with a 55-yard field goal against Oklahoma. He, also, hit all 200 of his extra points. He can boom it out of the back of the end zone, but also has a knack for onside kicks.
With all that said, his biggest drawback might be the deal-breaker. He has choked when the pressure was at its highest. He missed a 30-yard chip shot in the 2018 SEC championship and in 2019 he missed an overtime game-tying field goal in an overtime loss against South Carolina. Certainly, NFL coaches have no patience for those kinds of mistakes.
Without Greg Zuerlein to rely on and no money to go snap up a seasoned NFL kicker the Rams need to be open-minded and aggressive and Blankenship is worth the shot, especially in the sixth round. Furthermore, he’s a good fit for the fan base. He is charismatic and has a penchant for spitting rhymes. LA is going to love him.
Pick 52: Josh Uche, Edge – Michigan
Pick 57: Damon Arnette, CB – Ohio State
Pick 84: Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB LSU
Pick 104: Evan Weaver, LB CAL
Pick 126: Calvin Throckmorton, G Oregon
Pick 199: James Proche, WR Southern Methodist
11 yards per catch isn’t bad, but it does point out the biggest disparity in Proche’s game. Before and after the catch Proche is average, but at the catch point, he is one of the best in the game. Last season, he topped the leaderboard in catches (111), he was 13th in total yards (1,225), and fourth in touchdowns (15)
In order to succeed in the NFL Proche will need a dictator of a coach to get him to tighten his route running. If the Rams take him they should see if J.K. Simmons can take some time off from Farmer’s Insurance to reprise his role from ‘Whiplash.’ AGAIN! AGAIN! AGAIN!
But if a team is able to get him to be more disciplined, his ball skills will shine. At the catch point, he is focused, maintains body control, and often comes down with the ball even in tight coverage. His great hands make impossible catches look easy. Diving, one-handed, over the back, jump balls, rotating, falling, hands in the face, toe drags. You name it, Proche is going to catch the ball.
This year’s draft is stacked with receiving talent and Proche is undersized, so he is going to be available late on day three. The Rams’ solid receiving corps will offer Proche an opportunity to be mentored and develop into a more well-rounded WR. In the immediate, Proche could be an under-the-radar goal line threat and used in short-yardage situations to haul in first downs. His sure hands and focus also make him useful as a punt returner.