Rams general manager Les Snead and head coach Sean McVay met with local media Saturday evening to put a bow on the 2020 NFL Draft. Here is a recap of some of the most important topics they covered:
Addressing eight different positions – RB, WR, OLB, S, TE, S, LB, K, OG – with nine picks by the end of Day 3
Snead said it wasn't necessarily the goal to spread out their approach in that manner, but when the Houston Texans called and presented an opportunity for the Rams to move back and acquire a pair of additional seventh-round picks, they felt it was the right move. It allowed them to get linebacker Cody Johnston, kicker Samuel Sloman and offensive guard Tremayne Anchrum, who Snead felt the Rams may not have been able to get had they just stayed put.
Such a spread-out approach reflects the competitiveness of the team, according to McVay.
"All these players give us the ability to do that with a unique blend of things coming together, where they added value and they happen to fulfill needs as well," McVay said.
As for earlier in the draft, the intent was to get players who could potentially step in to fill roles of the players they lost in free agency, according to Snead. However, sometimes with the way the draft board falls, it forces a team to go from Plan A to Plan B.
The Rams found themselves in that situation when Purdue tight end Brycen Hopkins was still available after they traded back with the Texans to pick No. 136.
"We really like our tight end room right now, but we had him highly rated and felt like he could come in and carve out a role early but also later," Snead said. "We didn't have to make that pick, but sometimes when you make those types of picks, there's an element of drafting in a microscope, but also with a telescope and you feel like, 'Hey, the guy can make plays.'
Confidence in the offensive line
While some experts believed Los Angeles would look to address its offensive line early, it instead waited until much later in the draft to do so, using its final pick to take Clemson offensive guard Tremayne Anchrum in the seventh round.
Snead said that approach reflected their confidence in the younger offensive linemen the Rams have taken in previous drafts.
"When Sean mentioned yesterday trading for Austin Corbett, it was just a couple of years ago that he was the 33rd pick in the draft," Snead said. "Even this year, we wouldn't have been able to pick an Austin Corbett. We've been adding those players, and fortunately or unfortunately a lot of them got to play last year, with David Edwards and Bobby Evans in particular. They got a chance to play when we were really going to spend a year developing them as backups. We felt confident that if we continued grooming and developing these players, they'd have a chance to become a very solid offensive line."
Other positions to address?
It's too soon to tell. Snead said they planned to let the draft settle, then sit down and look at their roster.
Part of the reason for the patient approach is because Snead said they will do what they've done every year – evaluate the roles of young players who didn't see the field much or at all as rookies, then were elevated into larger roles to address needs.
The example Snead used was defensive tackle Sebastian Joseph-Day, a 2018 sixth-round pick who was inactive for all 16 games and three postseason games in 2018, then helped fill the void left by the departure of Ndamukong Suh by taking on a bigger role in 2019.
"So that's what we've discussed about some of our younger players that may have less playing time, but you're always going to look to see, 'Hey, how can you make a more competitive or add someone to be more competitive any time you get that chance.'"