SOFI DRAFT LAB – Rams head coach Sean McVay and general manager Les Snead met with local media following Day 2 of the 2023 NFL Draft, which saw the Rams go heavy on positions along the line of scrimmage.
What we learned about that, and more top takeaways from from that conversation.
Picks influenced by board, but drafting to reinforce trenches was intentional
The Rams came away from Day 2 with an interior offensive lineman (Steve Avila), an outside linebacker (Byron Young) and a defensive lineman (Kobie Turner).
Snead indicated that was in part by design and in part because of their board.
"That's probably how the board played out," Snead said. "But there was definitely an intent that oh yeah, by the way, we could definitely take offensive line, interior D-line, outside linebacker-type help, but we let the board kind of dictate when we took, when we traded back, things like that."
Closing 90-pick gap between Rounds 3 and 5 "important"
Entering Friday, the Rams had 90 picks between their third-round selection (77th overall) and fifth-round selection (167th). Snead said they would be comfortable trading up or down to fill that void – which he said Rams analyst Jake Temme nicknamed "The Black Hole" – and ultimately accomplished it by doing the latter, trading back with the Texans, then the Giants to eventually acquire a fourth-round pick.
"And it was like, 'Man, how do we fill a void in the black hole?'" Snead said. "There were a couple times, even later in draft we could have traded back but we decided to stay put and we at least found this one spot between third and fifth round. That was important. We talked about it and had an opportunity to trade back at each pick and what was interesting is that we probably stayed put at probably two picks? I'm not sure, seems like we traded a lot there in the third."
Take a look through photos of the Los Angeles Rams 2023 NFL Draft Class during their time in college.
Cross-training along offensive line likely for Avila
McVay said Avila is capable of playing any of the interior offensive line positions, reinforcing what scouts saw live throughout this evaluation cycle.
"I think what Les said is you're talking about a guy that played center at a high level and then transitioned to guard," McVay said. "And you watch the caliber of players that they were going against in the College Football Playoffs where you're seeing two interior players that he's consistently going against that were drafted on night one and then the Senior Bowl to me where you really see a lot of those things and you're going against really high-caliber players, that was fun to be able to watch."
McVay said Avila will play guard and center, but they'll "see how it unfolds." He also emphasized creating competition on the roster and having competitive spots.