The Rams entered the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday with seven selections, but finished the event with eight players.
"Everyone you pick, you have a plan for, you're jacked to get them," general manager Les Snead said after the draft's conclusion on Saturday. "It was intentional why we did it and there definitely was a plan for how we were going to use them. Like all drafts, the enemy — 31 other teams – get a say, too. There were players at times on the board that you weren't able to get and you work through those scenarios and then adjust. But, that's how you utilize the board and come up with a plan of, 'Alright, here's priority positions, here's positions we can certainly draft, here's positions that probably would be maybe a wasted a shot at the basket in this draft based on our roster.' From that standpoint, a successful three days."
"I think when you look at the eight players that we were able to acquire, you have a vision for all of those guys and you see a fit, I think that's a credit to where we're at going into our third year," head coach Sean McVay said. "We have a much better feel for our personnel, the guys that we've then brought in through free agency, some of the things we want to do specific to the scheme, which is always going to be adjusted to our players. I think the thing that you feel so good about coming out of this weekend is that there's a vision for all eight of these guys and how they fit within the framework of our roster. Immediately, all of these guys are going to have to come in and compete, but you can at least feel like if this works out the way that we project, these are guys that we anticipate being Rams for a long time."
Take a look at each of the newest Rams in this draft picks roundup.
The Rams traded back three times but were still able to land Washington safety Taylor Rapp — a player they really liked. A versatile safety who can cover and play in the box, Rapp played 39 games for Washington, racking up 8.5 tackles for loss, 6.0 sacks, seven interceptions, six passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and three fumble recoveries.
"The biggest thing that stood out to me was his ability to play in both the pass and run. He's a phenomenal money-man tackler that is very instinctive. He flies around with his hair on fire and makes plays, I love him a lot, and I'm very excited to have him onboard." — Vito Gonella, Rams area scout
Los Angeles added a change-of-pace running back at No. 70 in Darrell Henderson. A star at Memphis, Henderson averaged 8.2 yards per carry over his three seasons and that number jumps to 8.9 yards per carry if you take just the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Overall, Henderson rushed for 3,545 yards and caught 63 passes for 758 yards in his collegiate career.
"When you watch him play he's very explosive, making big plays whether it's run or pass. Ability to line up in the slot and run outside of the backfield, or from out of the backfield and run routes. He makes our room a little bit different with that dynamic." — RBs coach Skip Peete
L.A. continued to add to its secondary with Michigan cornerback David Long, who was one of the best cover corners in the nation according to Pro Football Focus. The website's metrics say that on Long's 595 coverage snaps, he allowed just 18 receptions on 60 targets for 130 yards. And of the 18 receptions, only three resulted in first downs and just one resulted in a touchdown.
"Versatility [makes him special]. When you see what his ability, not only in man, but you see what it could potentially be when he's playing in zone. He's got high production at a very elite level and then more importantly he's able to play with some ball skills. Sometimes guys that play nothing but man don't always get the chance to be around the ball, but he's done a really good job of that. Obviously he's got some top end speed, which you can see translating to the next level." — CBs coach Aubrey Pleasant
The Rams brought in a pair of offensive linemen, the first being Bobby Evans out of Oklahoma. He was the left tackle for Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray, and Los Angeles liked his movement skills and ability to run block at the second level. While he played at both left and right tackle in college, run game coordinator/offensive line coach Aaron Kromer said over the weekend that Evans will learn to play across the line at both guard and tackle.
"Any time a guy can play two positions like that, starting right and going to the left, you got to love his versatility and his athleticism that he's showing. But he's had a lot of production from there and they've won a lot of games and he's a leader on their team, so we are excited." — run game coordinator Aaron Kromer
Los Angeles picked up a player to help improve the run defense in defensive tackle Greg Gaines. Given the departure of Ndamukong Suh, there's an opportunity for Gaines to come in and earn the nose tackle role in the Rams' base 3-4 defense. In four seasons at Washington, Gaines recorded 21.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks.
"He did a really good job in his senior bowl where those seniors pay against some of the top competition against guys that will be drafted into the NFL. To see a guy like that productive in Senior Bowl situations, as well as what he did at Washington, I think that's a huge huge statement being voted by his college peers as one of the top defensive linemen in the Pac 12 — I think that's a big deal. You can't overlook that, I think that's huge." — DL coach Eric Henderson
David Edwards becomes the second former Wisconsin right tackle on the Rams' roster — following current starting RT Rob Havenstein. Edwards was a high school quarterback, but gained size as he entered college and ended up on the offensive line. He played through a shoulder injury in his final year at Wisconsin. Edwards, too, will be cross trained to play at all offensive line positions aside from center.
"The biggest thing that hurt me this year was my tape — I tried battling through [the shoulder injury] and giving myself a chance to play with my teammates. But in terms of right now, we actually had the chance to figure out what was wrong, it was something very minor and we were able to fix it actually pretty quickly and it was non-surgical or anything like that. I'm feeling confident, I'm healthy and ready to head into OTAs and rookie minicamp." — OT David Edwards
A two-time captain at Penn State, Nick Scott projects as a key special teams player for the Rams. He entered college as a running back, but shifted over to defensive back as the Nittany Lions had future first-round pick Saquon Barkley. Scott led Penn State with three interceptions in 2018.
"I know Nick from Penn State was one of [special teams coordinator John Fassel's] favorite ever special teams player that he's ever graded." — GM Les Snead
For their final pick, the Rams chose a name that will be familiar to those who watched Season 2 of the Netflix series 'Last Chance U.' But linebacker Dakota Allen earned his way into being a draft pick by becoming one of the Big 12s better defenders. He was a second-team All-Big 12 honoree in 2017 and a first-team All-Big 12 honoree in 2018. He'll have a chance to contribute on special teams and be a depth piece at inside linebacker for L.A.
"When you hear how emotional and how important it was to get that call, specific to a lot of the things that he had overcome, not only to just get back to Texas Tech, but then to become a drafted player in the NFL. I think there is an appreciation that he has and you like the way he responded from a mistake. He didn't run away from that and that's what you want to hear." — HC Sean McVay