THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – Rams general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay held a video conference with local media Tuesday to preview the 2022 NFL Draft, discussing their approach with their first pick not until 104th overall in the third round, the value of late-round picks becoming key contributors, and more.
Here are some of the top takeaways from that joint virtual conversation:
Rams have "four to five positions" they'd like to pick from at No. 104...
For obvious competitive reasons, Snead did not specify what they were. However, as part of his response when asked about evaluating drafting needs versus best player available, he said based on their process, they have "four or five positions" they could draft from if they do that process right.
"The goal and the vision is to engineer a process where you then go about setting the board and getting that right, and trying to eliminate some of the bias of knowing what your needs are, because what you probably don't want to have happen is that the position of need, you all of a sudden have a lot more players at that position just because you need them," Snead said. "And at that point, in this case, right, picking 104, we'll probably have four to five positions that we'd like to pick from. And if we've done the correct work previously, then when we get to 104, we'll be able to look up at the board, and hopefully at one of those four to five positions, there will be a favorite player of ours, and you go from there."
...But that doesn't necessarily rule out the possibility of trading back.
McVay indicated that if it the circumstances allow for it, Los Angeles would be open to trading back from and acquiring more picks like it has done in previous drafts.
"It's really the players and identifying a handful of guys that you like, and if there's still a handful of guys at a certain spot, or when you're on the board, and you feel like you can move back and gain some more draft capital, and it allows you to be able to add kind of a two-for-one, if you will, or even more than that, that's always something that I think Les has done a great job of, and I've really learned and seen it unfold these last five years," McVay said.
The Rams currently have eight selections heading into the draft. Last year, they entered the draft with six picks and wound up making nine.
Snead likes depth of this year's draft class
Asked if there any players who have "pool party" grades at pick 104 – referring to defensive coordinator Raheem Morris' phrase coined for jumping into the pool at the draft house if the right player was selected – Snead said they've tried to have a "pool party pod" for each phase of the draft.
"This is a relatively deep draft," Snead said, adding that Morris' 'pool party' phrase is "definitely still alive and well in the draft."