The Rams made the most of last year’s Senior Bowl, meeting six of their eight draft picks at the annual event in Mobile, Alabama. For general manager Les Snead, the Senior Bowl has always been an important indicator for his staff — showcasing the potential for a variety of prospects to play at the highest level.
In 2017, the Rams were able to find a large group of talented young players, who each added to the team’s overall success this season. Here’s how the 2017 Rams draft class stacked up at last year’s Senior Bowl:
TE Gerald Everett: Round 2, No. 45 out of South Alabama
Everett became the first ever player drafted out of South Alabama when the Rams selected him in the second round. At the Senior Bowl, the tight end turned heads showing off his skills as a pass-catcher and a threat after the catch. Although he was sidelined with a hip injury during part of the week, he was still able to impress a wide variety of NFL personnel. Plus, the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah named Everett as one of the top “potential risers” set to benefit from the Senior Bowl.
WR Cooper Kupp: Round 3, No. 69 out of Eastern Washington
Kupp caught a lot of attention in Mobile last year. Not only was he the fastest player on the North team (20.7 mph max velocity) according to Catapult Sports, but his playmaking ability throughout the week made a strong
case for his draft stock. It was at the Senior Bowl where Kupp first caught Snead’s eye.
And even after his performance at the NFL Combine, the wideout’s performance in the all-star game was enough to garner the Rams’ attention once the Draft came around in April.
S John Johnson III: Round 3, No. 91 out of Boston College
Johnson accepted an invite to the Senior Bowl after a standout final season at Boston College, where he recorded 77 tackles and three interceptions. In Mobile, Johnson did not make a lot of plays on the ball during the practice week, but impressed scouts with his physicality and diverse skill set. During the week, he was put through work as a safety and as a cornerback which added to his versatility as a prospect.
WR Josh Reynolds: Round 4, No. 117 out of Texas A&M
Reynolds had five receptions on five targets for 85 yards and one touchdown in the Senior Bowl game. During the weeklong event, he left the Rams impressed with his abilities as a playmaker — scoring a 2.1 pass catching grade from PFF, which was among the highest marks of all prospects in the game.
DT Tanzel Smart: Round 6, No. 184 out of Tulane
Snead and the Rams became familiar with Smart at last year’s Senior Bowl. Smart was a member of the South squad that edged the North 16-15. He earned the start at defensive tackle and recorded two tackles in the contest — one on future Dolphins running back De'Veon Smith and the second on Kansas City’s Kareem Hunt.
FB Sam Rogers: Round 6, No. 206 out of Virginia Tech
Rogers was the last of the Rams 2017 draft class that was first scouted at the Senior Bowl. He left Mobile with the second-highest grade from Pro Football Focus among all offensive players. As a member of the North squad, he was used primarily as a blocker. But he also recorded one catch for five yards and one run of three yards during the contest.