Los Angeles Rams 2022 Draft
The Los Angeles Rams have been acting like a big market does in other sports that are much less flexible with the salary cap than the NFL is. After building the team up, Los Angeles wasn’t shy about going out and getting a star quarterback. By bringing in Matthew Stafford before the 2021 season started, the Rams set themselves up as a juggernaut destined to win Super Bowl LVI.
Everything went according to the plan for the Rams, as Los Angeles beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 to win the crown and win their second Super Bowl in franchise history and first when it was based in Los Angeles. But there are no signs the Rams plan to be happy with capturing one championship.
In free agency, Los Angeles went out and signed wide receiver Alan Robinson to a large free-agent deal to give Stafford another weapon to go alongside Cooper Kupp. The Rams also don’t have to sweat out the potential retirement of star defensive lineman Aaron Donald, who has said he will come back to help defend their title. But as a result of all the deal-making, Los Angeles is currently $20 million over the cap.
Los Angeles will need to shed some cap space, while not cutting too many key pieces, to remain at the same level in what should be a competitive NFC West division in 2022.
Players Leaving the Los Angeles Rams
Von Miller had a short, but productive stint with the Rams. Acquired via trade during the 2021 season, Miller played the final eight games of the regular season and the playoffs with Los Angeles. Miller was effective throughout the year, but gave Los Angeles a big boost in the playoffs, recording four sacks and six tackles for loss in four playoff games. The Rams allowed Miller to leave in free agency. He joined the Bills on a long-term deal.
Left tackle Andrew Whitworth announced his retirement after a 15-year career that was split between Cincinnati and Los Angeles. Whitworth was still productive at 40-years-old for the Rams, starting in 15 of their regular-season games last year. Whitworth was a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro while he was in Cincinnati.
Los Angeles released veteran punter Johnny Hekker. Hekker had been a staple of the franchise for a decade, being named All-Pro four times and was on the NFL’s 2010 All-Decade team as a punter.
Defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day switched Los Angeles teams by signing with the Chargers. Joseph-Day, who missed the postseason and 10 regular-season games last season, was having his best season on the field with three sacks in seven games before he was derailed by injuries.
Offensive guard Austin Corbett signed a deal with the Carolina Panthers. Cornerback Darius Williams signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Positions Needed by the Los Angeles Rams
First and foremost, the Rams will need to find someone to help Stafford out at left tackle. Whitworth’s retirement opens up a spot and while the Rams may look at some internal options, looking for someone from the outside to fill that hole is worth a look.
Los Angeles will still have one strong option at cornerback with Jalen Ramsey. However, the Rams will need to find more depth in their secondary. With Williams departing to Jacksonville, Los Angeles will need to find someone who can play on the outside. They will also be hoping some internal candidates may be able to take a step forward.
The Rams will also be seeking another pass rusher off the edge. While bringing Miller on board was a strong option for a team looking to win a title, Los Angeles was never going to be able to afford his salary. Now the Rams will seek someone else that can put pressure on the passer. Los Angeles had a fierce pass rush last season, recording 50 sacks. Aaron Donald led the team with 12.5 sacks.
The Rams were balanced on the pass rush, as Leonard Floyd, who finished with 9.5 sacks, was the only other Los Angeles player to record more than five sacks.
Los Angeles Rams Mock Draft
Rams’ fans can take a long time before they get interested in the NFL Draft this year. While Los Angeles has eight selections in the draft, the Rams won’t be making a pick until the third round. Due to all of the trades Los Angeles has made, the Rams won’t have a first-round draft pick until 2024. So, Los Angeles will need to be sharp in the draft to find players who can help them.
North Dakota senior lineman Matt Waletzko, who is a 6-foot-7, 305-pound, would make for a nice first selection by the Hawks. He only allowed two sacks during his junior year and was selected to the second team for the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference team.
Edge rusher Alex Wright is a 6-7, 270-pound, edge rusher from UAB who could be available in the fourth round for Los Angeles. Wright showed some resiliency as a junior, bouncing back from a slow sophomore season where he only recorded one sack. Wright recorded six sacks for UAB as a junior. He also broke up three passes and recorded 45 tackles, 23 of which were solo stops.
In the fifth round, the Rams could grab a linebacker. Auburn’s Zakoby McClain was a reliable tackler for the Tigers last season. He made 95 stops, 55 of which were solo stops. He also broke up six passes and recorded two sacks. Check Rams’ NFL Draft odds and NFL Odds.
2022 NFL Draft Event Information
- Date: Thursday, Apr. 28th (Round 1) | Friday, Apr. 29th (Rounds 2-3) | Saturday, Apr. 30th (Rounds 4-7)
- Time: 8 p.m. ET (Thursday) | 7 p.m. ET (Friday) | Noon ET (Saturday)
- Location: Allegiant Stadium, Paradise, NV
- TV Channel: ABC | ESPN | NFL Network
- NFL Draft Live Streaming: NFL Game Pass
2022 NFL First-Round Draft Order (with 2021 records)
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- Detroit Lions
- Houston Texans
- New York Jets
- New York Giants
- Carolina Panthers
- New York Giants (via Bears)
- Atlanta Falcons
- Seattle Seahawks (via Broncos)
- New York Jets (via Seahawks)
- Washington Commanders
- Minnesota Vikings
- Houston Texans (via Browns)
- Baltimore Ravens
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Dolphins)
- Philadelphia Eagles (via Colts)
- Los Angeles Chargers
- New Orleans Saints
- Philadelphia Eagles
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- New England Patriots
- Green Bay Packers (via Raiders)
- Arizona Cardinals
- Dallas Cowboys
- Buffalo Bills
- Tennessee Titans
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Green Bay Packers
- Kansas City Chiefs (via Miami from 49ers)
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Detroit Lions (via Rams)
Teams with no First Round Pick
- San Francisco 49ers
- Chicago Bears
- Denver Broncos
- Cleveland Browns
- Indianapolis Colts
- Las Vegas Raiders
- Los Angeles Rams
- Miami Dolphins