The Los Angeles Rams were drafting this year from a new and unique position. After finally catching their white whale, Los Angeles has its first Super Bowl title ever. Years of cap restructuring and electric football led coach Sean McVay and his team to the pinnacle of American sport.
Coming into the weekend, the Rams were one of eight teams without a first-round pick, and in fact they lacked a second as well. They obviously thought it was worth it, but it was an interesting position to be in regardless. They would end up selecting eight players, and without further ado, here’s a grade on all of them.
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Los Angeles Rams 2022 NFL Draft Grades
Round 3, Pick 104 — Logan Bruss, IOL, Wisconsin: A-
It was a bit of a surprise to see the Rams stick and pick at 104 rather than moving up. It’s not like they care much for future draft picks at this point anyway, but for sticking here, the Rams got the best player at a position of need. Wisconsin runs a similar zone blocking scheme to the Rams, and Bruss is expected to compete for a starting job right away following the departure of Austin Corbett. Finding a potential starter on Day 2 is always welcome and will almost always earn you a high grade.
Round 4, Pick 142 — Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State: B
Picking FCS players at skill positions is often tough, but Durant seems to be legit on the surface, picking off 12 passes while at South Carolina State. He has shown an ability to play both outside and in the slot, though he may have to choose one or the other at the NFL level. The only reason the Rams didn’t earn a higher grade here is they may have been able to get Logan Bruss here and gotten a more polished corner at 104, though Durant likely offers the kind of versatility the Rams love in their corners. If he works out, this is easily another A- pick, but there are enough questions as of now to hold off on that kind of praise for this pick.
Round 5, Pick 164 — Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame: C
The Rams moved up to take Williams here, who had a very productive final two seasons at Notre Dame. His style of running should fit well in spurts behind Cam Akers and Darrell Henderson, but there’s a pretty simple reason that the grade for this pick is so low. Kyren Williams did not test very well at all in the pre-draft process, finishing last among all running backs at the combine with a 4.65 40-yard dash, though he did trim that to a 4.54 at his pro day. This is another grade that could certainly change if factors that we just can’t predict yet work out in Williams’ favor, but for now, C is about right.
Round 6, Pick 211 — Quentin Lake, S, UCLA: B-
Staying close to home for their first pick of the sixth round, Lake is an athletic safety who might have gone a good deal higher had his statistics been more noticeable while at UCLA. The Rams have had success with this kind of pick in the past, namely with Jordan Fuller, and they’ll certainly be hoping they’ve caught lightning in a bottle for a second time with Lake. For where this pick was at, it was a good one, and Lake has a chance to contribute, be it on defense or special teams.
Round 6, Pick 212 — Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia: B-
Back to back picks, and back to back defensive backs for the Rams in the sixth round. They clearly came into this past weekend intent on improving the depth of their secondary, and they’re finding good players to do so with. Had Kendrick played on a less dominant defense than potentially the best in college football history, he might have gone much higher in the draft. Much like Lake and Durant before him, he will have plenty of opportunity to carve a role for himself on this team. Outside of Jalen Ramsey and the recently reacquired Troy Hill, it seems as if the Rams are saying that no one’s job in the secondary is perfectly safe.
Round 7, Pick 235 — Daniel Hardy, EDGE, Montana State: C+
If you just saw the positions the Rams had picked up to this point, you’d think they had a horrid defense last season, right? Once again dipping into the defensive well, the Rams grabbed the edge rusher with the most upside still on the board. Sure, it was against FCS competition, but anytime you get 16.5 sacks in a season like Hardy did in 2021, it’s going to raise eyebrows. He has plenty of improving to do, but he also has plenty of room in his game to do so. Solid pick here all things considered.
Round 7, Pick 253 — Russ Yeast, S, Kansas State: B
Alright, so get this, the Rams drafted a defensive back! For the fourth time in this draft! Anyway, jokes aside Yeast is a very solid pick for this late in the draft. He spent just the one season at K-State after transferring in from Louisville, and while a Cardinal, played a good deal of cornerback, which, as mentioned before, should help him find a role in LA. Another very solid pick for where we’re at in the draft.
Round 7, Pick 261 — A.J. Arcuri, T, Michigan State: B-
With Andrew Whitworth retiring, that shifted Joseph Noteboom (incredible name) up into the starting role at left tackle, leaving space behind him. Arcuri is a good depth option, and the good news is he’ll have plenty of time to improve before he’s called upon to take the field. Picks this late are more or less a crapshoot, but Arcuri is a smart guy, earning All-Big Ten academic honors a staggering five times, and he held his own on the field in a career that saw him play against some of the best edge rushers of the last few drafts. Another solid pick.
Overall Team Grade: B-
The Rams didn’t need to do much improving, you know, considering they just won the Super Bowl, but what holes they did have they seemed to have no problems finding options to fill. And, by god, do they have plenty of defensive backs now. Other teams will surely be looking at that secondary room when cut day comes around in the summer.