The Rams and other teams have managed to find quality talent on Day 3 of the NFL Draft in recent years. Here's a look at some of the biggest examples:
2020: Bills K Tyler Bass and Rams S Jordan Fuller
Chosen in the sixth round by Buffalo last year, Bass defeated incumbent Stephen Hauschka to win the starting job. He went on to make 28 of 34 field goal attempts and 57 of 59 extra point attempts to set a new franchise single-season scoring record with 141 points. Bass' 54-yard field goal against the Colts in the playoffs marked the longest field goal in NFL playoff history by a rookie.
Fuller was also a sixth-round selection last year, and ended up earning a starting role as a rookie right away, posting 60 total tackles, three interceptions and five pass breakups.
2019: Buccaneers K Matt Gay
Gay was originally a fifth-round pick by the Buccaneers before joining the Rams. In his first eight games with Los Angeles, he made 14 of 16 field goal attempts and converted all 16 of his extra point attempts.
2018: Rams DL Sebastian Joseph-Day and LB Micah Kiser, Ravens LB Kenny Young
A sixth-round pick out of Rutgers, Joseph-Day had a "redshirt" year as a rookie, then started all but one game over the next two seasons (2019 and 2020).
In that span, he has produced 99 total tackles, three sacks, nine QB hits and four pass breakups, while also becoming an important piece to the Rams' run defense.
Kiser, a fifth-round selection, was a special teams contributor as a rookie and slated to start alongside Cory Littleton in 2019 until a preseason pectoral injury sidelined him the rest of the year. He still became a starter once healthy in 2020 and, despite being limited to nine games due to injury, still produced 77 total tackles. Kiser should be in the conversation again for a starting role this year if he isn't already.
Now with the Rams, Young was originally drafted by the Ravens and traded to Los Angeles halfway through his second season in Baltimore. When injuries hit the Rams' linebacker rotation last season, Young stepped in and started six games (appearing in all 16), recording a career-high 52 total tackles and his first interception of his NFL career – a 79-yard pick-six.
2017: Bears S Eddie Jackson, 49ers TE George Kittle, Lions KR/PR Jamal Agnew, Washington C Chase Roullier, Seahawks RB Chris Carson
Jackson was chosen in the fourth round by the Bears at pick No. 112 overall as the 13th safety on the board and started right away as a rookie. After a 2018 season in which he recorded six interceptions, returning two for touchdowns, plus 51 total tackles and 15 pass breakups and was named an AP FIrst Team All-Pro, he was rewarded with a reported four-year, $58.4 million extension ahead of the final year of his rookie contract. The 27-year-old has started 62 out of a possible 64 regular season games since entering the league and has also been named to the Pro Bowl twice (2018, 2019).
Kittle was a fifth-round choice who had a productive rookie year (43 receptions, 512 yards, two touchdowns), then back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons which earned him Pro Bowl nods as well as a First Team All-Pro selection in 2018. Prior to the 2020 season, he signed a reported five-year extension with the 49ers worth up to $75 million.
While Agnew's primary position was defensive back, he's thrived as a return specialist, averaging 11.6 yards per punt return and 25.8 yards per kickoff return over the last four seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl as a rookie. He signed a three-year deal with the Jaguars this offseason.
Roullier, a sixth-round pick, became Washington's starting center in his second season, and his performance from 2018-2020 earned him a reported four-year, $40.5 million contract earlier this offseason.
Carson, a seventh-round pick, had a quiet rookie year, but broke out with back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons in 2018 and 2019, also rushing for nine and seven touchdowns in each of those seasons respectively. Though he produced just 141 carries for 681 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games in 2020, he had shown enough through his first four seasons to earn a new two-year deal with Seattle this offseason, reportedly $14.625 million.
2016: Rams TE Tyler Higbee, Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill
The Rams grabbed Higbee in the fourth round, and after a quiet rookie year, Higbee emerged as a reliable passing target with 25 receptions for 295 yards and one touchdown in 2017, then 24 for 292 and two in 2018.
That 2018 season was especially memorable for his performance in the NFC championship game, when he hauled in a third-quarter touchdown catch and two receptions on the Rams' game-winning drive to help them rally from a double-digit deficit against the Saints and advance to Super Bowl LIII.
Then, after signing a four-year extension prior to the start of the 2019 season, Higbee set the franchise tight end records for receptions and receiving yards in a single season (69 and 734 respectively), adding three touchdowns. He caught a career-high five scores last year, adding 44 receptions for 521 yards.
Hill has been named to the Pro Bowl each of his first five seasons in the NFL and an AP First Team All-Pro three times (2016, 2018, 2020), and is coming off a 2020 season in which he hauled in 87 catches for 1,276 yards and a career-best 15 touchdowns. With Patrick Mahomes under center in Kansas City, Hill has become one of the league's most explosive receivers.
2015: Vikings WR Stefon Diggs, Lions DB Quandre Diggs
A fifth-round choice, Stefon Diggs quickly became a reliable target in Minnesota's passing game. After five seasons with the Vikings, he was traded to the Buffalo Bills, where he earned the first Pro Bowl recognition of his career and was named an AP First Team All-Pro after a career-highs of 127 receptions for 1,535 yards and eight touchdowns in 2020.
Quandre Diggs – a sixth-round pick – did not emerge as a starter until his third season, and was eventually traded to Seattle midway through his fifth season with Detroit. By that point he was in his second season playing safety. In 2020, he was named to his first Pro Bowl after posting a career-high five interceptions and 10 pass breakups.
Take a look back at some of the notable talent that teams have been able to discover in Rounds 4-7 of recent NFL Drafts including Rams K Matt Gay, DT Sebastian Joseph-Day, LB Kenny Young, S Jordan Fuller, and TE Tyler Higbee.