The last time we got together for the mock draft roundup, Los Angeles still had its first-round pick at No. 23 overall. At that point, many analysts seemed to think the Rams would target either an edge rusher or inside linebacker.
Fast forward a few weeks and the Rams effectively chose to take Brandin Cooks with that first pick, trading No. 23 overall to the Patriots as part of the deal for the speedy wide receiver. And while there are certainly fewer mocks with the Rams' first choice in the 2018 NFL Draft — which comes at No. 87 overall — there are a few floating around the web.
And it probably won't surprise you that analysts still feel the Rams will target a pair of defensive positions with their first pick.
Without further ado, here's a third-round edition of the 2018 mock draft roundup.
Starting at ESPN, Todd McShay has Los Angeles selecting Iowa inside linebacker Josey Jewell at No. 87.
"The Rams have been extremely aggressive in trading draft picks for veterans, so they only have one pick in the first three rounds. Jewell has some physical limitations but is an instinctive run defender. He can help make up for the loss of Alec Ogletree," McShay writes (insider subscription required — $$).
Jewell was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after a 2017 season in which he recorded 13.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. He totaled 28.0 TFLs and 10.0 sacks in his time at Iowa. Checking in at 6-foot-1 and 235 pounds, Jewell ran a 4.82 40-yard dash and put up 18 reps on the bench press at the NFL Combine.
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Staying at ESPN, Mel Kiper Jr. mocked Virginia defensive lineman Andrew Brown to L.A.
Kiper describes Brown as, "a former five-star recruit who came on the last two seasons and had 23.5 tackles for loss. At 6-3, 296, he'd likely be a defensive end in Wade Phillips' 3-4 scheme." (Insider subscription required - $$)
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 296 pounds, Brown recorded 26.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks in four seasons at UVA. He also attended the Senior Bowl before putting up 31 bench press reps at the Combine.
At Rotoworld, Josh Norris has Rutgers edge rusher Kemoko Turay heading to L.A. at no. 87.
"I love Turay's game, as his flexibility to turn the corner once creating separation definitely fits Wade Phillips' mentality. He can come in and contribute immediately, which is what the Rams need out of this pick," Norris writes.
Turay recorded 19.0 tackles for loss and 14.5 sacks in his career at Rutgers. He checked in at 6-foot-5 and 252 pounds and ran a 4.65 40-yard dash at the Combine.
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Eric Edholm of Pro Football Weekly mocked Washington State defensive lineman Hercules Mata'afa to L.A.
"Have a talented defender that you're not quite sure what to do with? Give him to Wade Phillips — he'll figure it out," Edholm writes.
Mata'afa led the Pac 12 in both tackles for loss (22) and sacks (10.0) in 2017, becoming a consensus All-American in the process. He checked in at 6-foot-1 and 254 pounds and ran a 4.76 40-yard dash at the Combine.
Up next, two analysts have mocked Oklahoma outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo to Los Angeles at No. 87.
While Scott Dochterman of Land of 10 did not comment on the potential pick, R.J. White of CBS Sports did, writing, "With their first pick, they take a pass-rusher to add to the rotation."
The Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2017, Okoronkwo recorded 17.0 TFLs and 8.0 sacks in his final season at Oklahoma. He ran a 4.77 40 and put up 27 bench press reps at the Combine.
Finally, Luke Easterling of USA Today Draftwire has Los Angeles selecting Georgia edge rusher Lorenzo Carter.
Carter recorded 21.5 tackles for loss and 14.0 sacks in his career at Georgia, including 8.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and three rumble recoveries in 2017. He ran a 4.5 40-yard dash and recorded a 36-inch vertical at the Combine, checking in at 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds.