The Rams brought in their first defensive pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on Saturday, selecting defensive end John Franklin out of Stephen F. Austin at No. 135 overall.
Listed at 6-foot-4 and 283 pounds, Franklin will bolster the team's depth at defensive line. An All-Southland Second Team selection in 2017, Franklin finished his collegiate career as one of Stephen F. Austin's top defensive performers of all time. Last season, the defensive end started in 10-of-11 games, leading the team with 13.5 tackles for loss (55 total) and 3.5 sacks.
Franklin impressed many scouts at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and 2017 Combine with his solid technique, measurements, and pass-rushing potential. He was often referred to as a "solid developmental prospect" who will stand to benefit under the leadership of defensive coordinator Wade Phillips.
As the No. 135 overall pick in the draft, Franklin becomes the first pick out of Stephen F. Austin since 2011.
L.A. was also set to be on the clock at No. 136, but instead sent that selection to the Panthers trading down for two additional picks. The Rams added on No. 147 in the fifth round and No. 197 in the sixth round.
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