Various experts, whether through mock drafts or other projections, have identified offensive line (both interior and tackles), linebacker, edge, defensive line, and cornerback as positions of needs for the Rams heading into this year's draft (April 29-May 1).
As part of our coverage leading into it, theRams.com will be compiling lists of the top prospects available at each position, focusing primarily on the prospects that will likely be on the board when Los Angeles is on the clock.
We continue the series with a look at the best edge options, based on experts' rankings.
Houston DE Payton Turner (6-foot-5, 270 pounds)
Turner kicks off the list since he was mentioned by NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah as a potential option for the Rams at pick no. 57.
Jeremiah noted at the time that "we'll see how free agency plays out," likely alluding to the decision the Rams had to make on Leonard Floyd and other edge defenders. While Floyd returned, outside linebacker Samson Ebukam – who started opposite Floyd – signed with the 49ers, so the Rams could still end up addressing the position.
Turner is listed as a defensive end on some draft profiles and websites, but his position within the Cougars defense – called "bandit" – was a pass-rushing outside linebacker, hence the edge label used by others. Though it is also known that, per Rams general manager Les Snead's comments last month – that position has evolved beyond being just a pass-rusher in L.A.'s defense. Turner led Houston's defense with 10.5 tackles for loss and five sacks as a senior last year.
UCLA DT Osa Odighizuwa (6-2, 280)
According to his NFL.com draft profile written by analyst Lance Zierlein, Odighizuwa is listed as a defensive tackle but has experience playing every spot along the defensive line, which would explain why Zierlein's colleague Chad Reuter listed him as an edge defender when projecting him as the Rams' pick at No. 88 overall in the third round.
Odighizuwa's 30 tackles (six for loss) and four sacks in seven starts as a redshirt senior helped him earn First Team All-Pac-12 recognition last season.
Texas EDGE Joseph Ossai (6-4, 256)
Ossai has experience playing both defensive line and linebacker and has been projected as a potential option for the Rams in the second round. He's raw since he only has one full season's worth of experience at edge, according to Zierlein's analysis, but still projects as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Ossai led Texas with 16.0 tackles for loss, five sacks and three forced fumbles as a junior last year.
Duke DE Chris Rumph II (6-3, 235)
- Brooks' No. 4 outside linebacker
- Brugler: Not ranked
- Renner: Not ranked
With a frame close to Leonard Floyd's (6-5, 240), it makes sense that Floyd is Rumph's player comp by Zierlein. Beyond being projected earlier this offseason as a possibility for the Rams in the second round, Rumph could also make sense for Los Angeles because of the way they value Floyd's athleticism and other traits – it certainly wouldn't hurt having two of that type of player at defensive coordinator Raheem Morris' disposal. More recent mocks project Rumph as a late-third round selection.
Rumph led Duke with 12.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks, also chipping in five QB hurries, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup while starting all 11 games of his redshirt junior season last fall.
Miami EDGE Quincy Roche (6-3, 243)
- The Draft Network's No. 10 edge defender
- Brugler: Not ranked
- Renner: Not ranked
Roche appeared in the latest mock draft roundup as a possible third-round target for the Rams via their first compensatory pick (No. 103 overall).
The redshirt senior and Temple grad transfer started 10 games at defensive end in his lone season with Miami, tallying 45 total tackles (14.5 for loss) and 4.5 sacks.
- Washington edge Joe Tryon (6-5, 262): The Draft Network's No. 5 edge defender, Brugler's No. 7 edge defender, not ranked by Renner.
- Oklahoma edge Ronnie Perkins (6-3, 253): The Draft Network's No. 11 edge defender, Brugler's No. 10 edge defender, Renner's No. 7 edge defender.
- Kentucky edge Jamar Watson (6-3, 249): The Draft Network's No. 35 edge defender, not ranked by Brugler, not ranked by Renner.
Take a look at top edge defenders projected to be on the board when the Rams pick during the 2021 NFL Draft.