The 2020 NFL Draft starts on Thursday, April 23. As a lead up to the draft, we’ll be giving a team-by-team breakdown for positional needs. For each team, we’ll give an overview of each team’s current depth chart and how big of a need each position in the upcoming draft. Find all teams and the rest of our draft content in our NFL Draft Hub.
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Los Angeles Rams 2020 Draft Picks Overview
Round 2 (52)
Round 2 (57)
Round 3 (84)
Round 3 (104)
Round 4 (126)
Round 6 (199)
Round 7 (234)
Los Angeles Rams Offense
by Rich Hribar
2019 Los Angeles Rams Offensive Ranks
*denotes new addition
Jared Goff is in the second season of a major contract extension that runs through the 2024 season. The first year in which Goff even carries a dead cap number lower than $25M is after 2022. He’s not going anywhere, but the backup situation behind Goff is lackluster at best with only John Wolford as in season insurance.
After the team released Todd Gurley this offseason, the Rams have a potential need at the running back position. The team just used a third-round pick (70th overall) on Darrell Henderson a year ago, but his rookie season performance leaves a cloud of doubt that doesn’t make things a slam dunk. Henderson managed just 43 touches for 184 yards and zero touchdowns as a rookie. There were consistent whispers that he struggled to adapt to the zone blocking scheme after steadily given a tarmac in Memphis.
Malcolm Brown held an edge on Henderson for most of the season, totaling 71 touches for 271 yards. Where he particularly had an edge was near the goal line, totaling nine carries inside of the 10-yard line, converting five for scores while Henderson had two carries all season from that area of the field with zero carries inside of the 5-yard line. Brown enters 2020 with an expiring contract while John Kelly is signed through 2021.
The Rams have the fewest number of wide receivers under contract for any team thus far, with just five current players under contract. The top is strong with both Kupp (1,161 yards) and Woods (1,134 yards) going over 1,000 yards receiving a year ago. But Kupp enters 2020 in the final season of his rookie contract, as does Josh Reynolds. The Rams should be expected to add a rookie wideout if not multiple ones.
Tyler Higbee flashed pass catching potential we haven’t seen early in his career to close last season. Higbee accounted for 43 receptions for 522 yards and two touchdowns over the final five weeks of 2019, including a four-game stretch in which he became the first tight end in league history to have at least seven receptions and 100 receiving yards in four consecutive games played. Higbee is signed through 2023, but Gerald Everett is in the final season of his rookie contract.
The top of the Rams depth chart is set for 2020, but the team could look down the line to replace Everett since the Rams ran 12 personnel on 40% of their offensive snaps and 11 personnel on just 59% of plays over the final five weeks of the season.
LT: Andrew Whitworth/Chandler Brewer
LG: Austin Corbett/Joseph Noteboom
C: Brian Allen/Coleman Shelton/Jeremiah Kolone/Nate Trewyn
RG: Austin Blythe/David Edwards/Jamil Demby
RT: Rob Havenstein/Bobby Evans
After significant offseason losses in 2019, the Rams offensive line took a major step backward a year ago. The team collectively ranked 22nd in ESPN’s Pass Blocking Win Rate and 19th in adjusted line yards created (4.27) per Football Outsiders. Their only offensive lineman to have a positive pass blocking grade per Pro Football Focus was Whitworth, who will turn 39 years old in December.
There are holes and needs everywhere here, but the Rams do only have one expiring contract among the group of current starters, belonging to Austin Blythe. The Rams should be expected to add multiple offensive linemen, focusing on the interior.
Los Angeles Rams Defense
by Dan Pizzuta
2019 Los Angeles Rams Defensive Ranks
interior defensive line
A line that includes Aaron Donald is always going to be a good one but the Rams also went out and used a decent amount of limited resources on the interior. A’Shawn Robinson was brought in on a two-year deal and Michael Brockers was brought back after a free agent deal with the Baltimore Ravens fell through.
Samson Ebukam has been an under-the-radar impact edge rusher for the Rams over the past few seasons. He was 23rd in pressure rate among 112 edge rushers with at least 200 pass rush snaps last season per SIS. He’ll get a bigger role now as the No. 1 edge. The Rams also brought in Leonard Floyd who hadn’t found a clear role with the Bears. There’s a pretty clear lack of depth here without a lot of top-end talent, either.
This position is just one huge question mark. The Rams lost Corey Littleton in free agency and there is no one on the roster ready to take his place and no player who comes close to his coverage ability as one of the best coverage linebackers in the league. Expect one of LA’s few draft picks to go toward an off-ball linebacker who can cover.
Jalen Ramsey played well once he moved to the Rams from the Jaguars and he’ll be in position to be the No. 1 lockdown corner with possibly a new contract. Troy Hill was impressive as his role increased last season. He finished 17th among 92 cornerbacks with at least 300 coverage snaps in Adjusted Yards allowed per coverage snap last season. He’ll be the outside No. 2.
There’s a question of who will man the slot. Right now, that could go to David Long, last year’s third-round pick who played 20% of the defensive snaps last season. Despite the investment in Ramsey and the play of Hill, the Rams could use a little more depth and quality behind them at corner.
After two great seasons, John Johnson had a wildly down year in coverage last season. He had 11 passes defensed in each of his first two seasons and that dropped to two in 2019. With Eric Weddle now retired, the Rams will have to hope for a bounceback from Johnson. In his rookie season, Taylor Rapp played more box/slot and did it well. The Rams used Dime+ personnel on 41% of their snaps last season and between the corner and safety depth behind Johnson/Rapp, they really don’t have the personnel to do that again.