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NFL Draft 32 for 32 - Los Angeles Rams


Even though the Rams' season ended in a disappointing Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, this team enjoyed a fruitful 2019. The offense was one of the more explosive in the league, headed by Jared Goff and the passing attack. Goff continues to improve as a passer each year (4,688 yards and 34 total TDs) but he also has games at times that can cripple your fantasy lineup and his interceptions rose from seven to 13 last year. He might be more successful due to the quality of weapons around him, but truth is that Goff can be a serviceable option as a starting fantasy QB if drafted late. Pairing Goff with another option at QB and playing the matchups could be the key to a successful year.

The trio of receivers at Goff's disposal (Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Cooper Kupp) all are qualified and solid players in fantasy. Both Woods and Cooks were over 1,200 yards last year and if Kupp had not gotten injured, he too would have posted solid numbers. Much like in 2018, there will be much debate on which of these receivers have a better value. All three are currently going inside the top 24 in best-ball drafts. Woods and Kupp are safer options in PPR formats, while Cooks will always have the home-run ability that standard scoring prefers.

Stud running back Todd Gurley, last year's overall top pick, is facing a bit of uncertainty from fantasy owners this offseason. After a highly productive regular season (1,251 rushing yards and 21 total TD), Gurley sustained a knee injury that hampered him throughout the playoffs. Rumors continue to swirl that he is not fully recovered, which will affect his draft stock for sure as we enter the summer. The Rams seem adamant that he will be fine, evidenced by their decision to let C.J. Anderson go in free agency. Slipping down boards into the back half of the first round, some owners may get a steal with the pick of Gurley if he is indeed healthy. His role on this offense is a trusted one which gives him the ability to be one of the higher scoring backs in fantasy. That should be the case yet again in 2019. A healthy Todd Gurley is worthy of the top overall in drafts, but with the lingering questions, look for him to fall just a bit.

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Top Three Projected Selections

First Round- Jachai Polite, DE Florida (31st overall)
Third Round- T.J. Edwards, LB Wisconsin (94th)
Terrone Prescod, OG N.C. State (99th)

Remaining Picks
Fourth Round- 133rd
Fifth Round- 169th
Sixth Round- 203rd
Seventh Round- 251st

 

Needs Analysis

Heading into the draft, the Rams are in a similar position as the Chiefs. All the pieces are in place on offense, but the defense could use some depth and re-tooling. That is what I expect for them to do. The team could use some help in the pass rush department as well as an inside complement to Aaron Donald. Otherwise, the team will be in the "best player available" mentality with this draft.

Jachai Polite is a player with mixed reviews, but one thing is for sure is he has a knack for getting to the QB. He is an instinctive rusher that has a natural feel and ability to get to the pocket. His less than impressive workouts have given some scouts a reason to look the other way, but Polite would make for a solid pick here. He could give the Rams another rusher opposite of Michael Brockers. That addition could improve the front of the defense, setting up more man coverage for the corners and potentially more turnovers. Making this unit one of the first ones that will be drafted in fantasy.

T.J. Edwards will be another solid pick for this Rams defense. A four-year starter in college, Edwards progressed each and every season. He has the ability to line up close to defend the run but also can creep back in coverage with terrific ball skills. His speed can be a little lacking but he makes up for it by being in the right position on most plays. He will initially become a backup LB on this team, but if he progresses well enough he can become a starter.

Terrone Prescod looks the part when it comes to an interior lineman. Being selected by the Rams, he could come in and compete for a spot in training camp. But ultimately he will be best suited in a backup role early on as he integrates himself to the NFL. He has more ability as a pass blocker than in the running game, which could set him back. But with the right coaching, his drive will help him to become a better and more relied upon run blocker. The Rams could use the help inside the line and Prescod could be a player that will help contribute. Opening holes for Gurley and protecting Jared Goff are the top priorities for the Rams front office.

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