2021 NFL Draft Grade: Los Angeles Rams
Round 2 Pick 57: WR Tutu Atwell
Round 3 Pick 103: LB Ernest Jones
Round 4 Pick 117: DT Bobby Brown III
Round 4 Pick 130: CB Robert Rochell
Round 4 Pick 141: WR Jacob Harris
Round 5 Pick 174: DE Earnest Brown IV
Round 7 Pick 233: RB Jake Funk
Round 7 Pick 249: WR Ben Skowronek
Round 7 Pick 252: LB Chris Garrett
The Rams were another mostly complete team going into this draft. Their biggest needs lay along the offensive line and secondary. The secondary is a more immediate need after the departures of both John Johnson and Troy Hill for Cleveland. The offensive line is a future need as left tackle Andrew Whitworth is now 39.
That said, neither need was really addressed in this draft. LA’s lack of a first rounder certainly hurt them in this regard, but there were still guys available in the second and third round. Their actual picks feel a little underwhelming.
Tutu Atwell is going to be a solid slot receiver, but that isn’t something that LA really needs right now. When I graded round two, I gave LA a B for that pick. Looking back on it, I may have been too generous. The Rams drafted Van Jefferson in the second round last year, and he stepped up as a contributor late in the season. Despite the departure of Sammy Watkins, Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods are still there too. An early focus on wide receiver does not make a ton of sense for this team, but Atwell could emerge as a threat.
They did get a solid linebacker in Ernest Jones, which is a position that could use a little depth. Jones is not a great in coverage, though, which again, feels like a more urgent need for LA. Speaking of pass coverage, LA did away with the secondary until Day Three when they took Robert Rochell. Rochell is uber athletic but still a very raw prospect. He probably shouldn’t be relied upon with an immediate role on a defense that has always been the focal point for LA’s success.
The Rams had a very ho-hum draft weekend. It’s not like this is a team that was going to rely on a ton of their picks for immediate success, but the routes they went seem questionable at the moment. LA’s fierce pass defense may be set to take a step back this year, but we’ll see if the offense can thrive with Matthew Stafford under center.