While it was a busy night around the league with a bevy of trades in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, it was all quiet at the Rams facility at Cal Lutheran.
General manager Les Snead, head coach Sean McVay, and the rest of the Rams' brass were observers on this first night. But even as plenty of talented players came off the board, both Snead and McVay sounded pleased with their options heading into Day 2.
Snead had mentioned earlier in the week how difficult it was to try and predict which players would be available at the end of Day 1. But he admitted point blank Thursday night that a player he has in mind for No. 37 is still on the board.
"To be honest, yes. He's still there," Snead said in response to that direct question. "And that's part of trying to handicap who's going to be gone in the first [round]. We weren't playing fantasy football and had a certain player up there who wasn't going to be there."
Of course, given the nature of the draft, there's more than one player Los Angeles feels comfortable selecting with the fifth pick of the second round.
"You're sitting there at 30 — before that pick's even made — and [Snead] has got his top eight [players] listed in order of priority," McVay said. "So you can appreciate the plans. And we're all on the same page, so we know, no matter what happens how those next picks lay out, once we get to 37, we're going to get a great football player that we feel good about."
Watching the entire first round was a different experience for Snead and McVay, albeit for varying reasons. For Snead, it was his first Rams draft as a spectator on Day 1. And he admitted he figured it would be that way.
"We knew this was a year, probably, not to give up picks to go get a player late," Snead said. "And we had done a lot of work on who we felt would fall to [Round] 2 and we were very comfortable with those players. So we felt it might be the best strategy to stay put this year."
"I think early in the round, it's like a fan — didn't really know who was going to go where," Snead added. "It's fun watching how the quarterback run goes. But I think toward the end there, heck, when it gets around pick 25, 26, 27, you realize, OK, we're getting closer."
While it's McVay's first draft as a head coach, he described going through the first round as being similar to what he's experienced in the past.
"But the unique thing about it is just kind of knowing, alright, what's going to be our game plan — like Les had mentioned — starting out tomorrow where you kind of categorize our top five players. And then I think it'll kind of naturally sort itself out," McVay said.
And so now the work begins of building the draft board for tomorrow night. While there are multiple players the Rams feel good about, Snead mentioned he and the personnel staff would essentially set up a list of the group's five favorite individuals. L.A. could also move up or down depending on how Friday's first few selections shake out.
"We're five picks away, so we've got to have five players that we would take," Snead said. "And then from there you decide whether you go up and get one of the five, or you take one, or you move back from there and grab another pick. So I think that's going to be the strategy from this point forward."
"The thing that you do feel good about when you look at the depth of this draft — there's a lot of good players at different positions that we feel really good about," McVay said. "And that kind of gives us some flexibility in terms of what we'll want to do at [No.] 37 that's going to help us get better as a football team."
Either way, as McVay joked as he left the media room, tomorrow should be a much more interesting day for the L.A. Rams.
Go inside the Los Angeles Rams draft war room for the 2017 NFL Draft.