The Los Angeles Rams, fresh off their first (in LA) Super Bowl victory, had to wait before making their first selection in the 2022 NFL Draft. They did “sell their souls” in terms of trading draft choices, and didn’t have a selection until Round No. 4. The Rams added a lineman from Wisconsin with that choice, and with the number of former Wisconsin offensive linemen making impacts in the NFL, it is hoped that Logan Bruss continues that trend.
LA was also very active in drafting defensive backs, while former Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams might play a role.
As was mentioned, LA was fine trading away draft picks to get veteran stars. and it resulted in a Super Bowl title. So it’s hard to argue with that philosophy.
The Rams added four linebackers and five defensive backs as undrafted rookie free agents.
The Rams (+130) are listed by the sportsbook as the favorite to repeat as NFC West Division champions. The Rams (+1100) trail only the Tampa Bay Buccaneers among NFC teams in the odds to win the Super Bowl.
Here’s a look at how the Rams fared in the draft.
Pick 104 Logan Bruss | OL, Wisconsin Badgers
Being without their top three picks in the draft as a result of trades for Matthew Stafford and Von Miller, the Rams were finally on the clock late on the second day.
The Rams added to their offensive line with the selection of Bruss, starter in 25 games at right tackle (six at right guard) during his time at Wisconsin. Bruss is projected to play guard in the NFL.
Bruss has the size necessary to play multiple positions on the O-line. He had a 31-inch vertical leap at the NFL Scouting Combine. He wasn’t the fastest linemen at the combine, timed at 5.32 seconds in the 40-yard dash. He will bring some physicality to the Rams’ line, however
This was the first time the Rams used their first draft pick on an offensive lineman since selecting Joseph Notebook 89th overall in 2018.
Pick 142 Decobie Durant | DB, South Carolina State Bulldogs
Decobie Durant was a very productive player at South Carolina State, with 12 interceptions. He was named the MEAC Defensive Player of the Year as a senior, compiling 38 tackles, three interceptions and 12 pass defenses.
The 5-foot-10 Durant was able to show what he could do when SC State played against Clemson. At the NFL Scouting Combine, he was timed in 4.38 seconds in the 40-yard dash.
He was the first of four DBs drafted by the Rams, topping the combined total of the previous two seasons.
Pick 164 Kyren Williams | RB, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Williams was a two-time 1,000-yard rusher at Notre Dame, with a total of 27 touchdowns over his last two seasons in South Bend. Williams also had 77 receptions during the 2020 and 2021 seasons. It’s unlikely that he will beat out Cam Akers for the starting running back spot, but he does figure to add some depth now that Sony Michel is with the Miami Dolphins.
Stock tanked a bit after a 4.65 in the ’40’ at the NFL Scouting Combine, and surgery to repair a broken foot. LA is hoping he will be healthy for camp.
Rookie RB Kyren Williams underwent surgery to repair broken foot. ⤵️
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) June 7, 2022
The NFL betting lines listed Williams at +4000 to win NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year award.
Pick 212 Quentin Lake | DB, UCLA Bruins
Lake had an interesting run at UCLA. He had 67 tackles and two interceptions during the 2018 season before making a total of 51 stops in the next two seasons. He did play his way back onto the NFL after 54 tackles and three interceptions during his final season.
There’s the size (6-foot-1, 209 pounds) and speed (4.59 seconds in the 40-yard dash) to make an impact at the next level. It doesn’t hurt that his father, Carnell, was a former Pro Bowl safety in the NFL. Along with Durant, he could help improve the secondary.
The Rams defied the NFL picks when 2020 sixth-round pick Jordan Fuller became an impact player in the secondary, and they’re hoping the same is true with Lake.
Pick 212 Derion Kendrick | DB, Georgia Bulldogs
Taking those players off one of the most dominant college defenses in recent memories is never a bad idea. Kendrick finished sixth on the team with 41 tackles, four interceptions and three pass defenses during his lone season at Georgia.
Derion Kendrick started his college career as a receiver at Clemson. He had 15 receptions on Clemson’s 2018 national-title team before moving to the defense. Kendrick had three interceptions over the next two seasons before opting to play in Athens his final season. He ended with national titles at both Clemson and Georgia. Kendrick has great ball skills from his background as a receiver, and the experience returning kickoffs and punts.
Pick 235 Daniel Hardy | LB, Montana State Bobcats
Hardy had a huge final season in Bozeman, as in 24 tackles for loss, 16 sacks, two forced fumbles and 77 total tackles, helping the Bobcats reach the Football Championship Subdivision title game this past season.
Daniel Hardy erupted after moving from linebacker to defensive end, It was hard to ignore his production, ansd at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds, he may find a role as a linebacker for the Rams.
Pick 253 Russ Yeast | DB, Kansas State Wildcats
Yeast had 48 tackles, four interceptions and 10 pass defenses as a senior at Kansas State.
Russ Yeast played at Louisville for his first four seasons, and like fellow defensive back draftee Quentin Lake, his father, Craig, was a former player in the league.
Yeast is able to play either safety or cornerback, help to cover and return kicks as well.
Pick 261 AJ Arcuri | OT, Michigan State Spartans
The Rams started and ended by selecting offensive linemen in the draft. The 6-foot-7 Arcuri drew more praise for pass blocking than opening holes for standout rusher Kenneth Walker during his final season with the Spartans.
Arcuri played more than 1500 snaps at Michigan State. Perhaps he’ll provide depth at either tackle position.
Grading the draft
The trades for Stafford and Miller helped the Rams win the Super Bowl. However, it also cost the Rams some quality selections in the draft. They didn’t have a top-100 selection, so the expectations were tampered a bit.
Four of the picks were used on defensive backs. It was clear where the priorities were in LA. With a veteran roster, it will be interesting to see how many (and how much) these picks play this season..
The Rams deserve some credit for getting all eight of their draft picks signed.