The 2022 NFL Draft has officially kicked off, and the Los Angeles Rams have made their first selection. As the seven rounds progress and the team makes all of their picks, we will provide a live draft grade and analysis for each of the Rams’ selections. How do these new prospects fit with the roster, what kind of impact will they have on the team, and what do the team’s needs look like now that the draft is complete?
Make sure to continue to check back as the 2022 NFL Draft continues for live Los Angeles Rams draft grades and analysis.
Los Angeles Rams grades for 2022 NFL Draft
What are the Rams‘ grades for their selections in the 2022 NFL Draft as they look to address their main needs this offseason?
Round 3, Pick 104: Logan Bruss, OL, Wisconsin
It was a safe assumption that the Rams would strongly consider offensive line with their earliest pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. They did just that, selecting Wisconsin offensive lineman Logan Bruss at the 104th overall pick.
Bruss is an interesting selection for Los Angeles. He’s a solid athlete with great size, standing at 6’5”, 309 pounds, with arms over 33” long. He played right tackle at Wisconsin but likely moves inside for the Rams. There, his physicality and hip flexibility can help him be successful. He can improve his leverage at times. He sometimes plays too upright and can easily be knocked off balance. That said, he brings Los Angeles some insurance, even if his ceiling isn’t elite.
Round 4, Pick 142: Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State
At 5’9” and 180 pounds, Decobie Durant might be considered undersized by NFL standards. Nonetheless, the South Carolina State cornerback is as underrated as he is undersized. The first South Carolina State draftee since 2018, he possesses all the traits to be an impactful player at the NFL level.
Durant is incredibly smooth, with the ability to flip his hips and transition well. An intelligent playmaker, he has an impressive knowledge of route concepts. As a result, he can put himself in position to make a play on the ball. For a team that lacks cornerback depth, Durant can make a name for himself with the Los Angeles Rams.
Round 5, Pick 164: Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame
One of the biggest questions hanging over this running back class was how far Notre Dame RB Kyren Williams would plummet down the 2022 NFL Draft after a terrible testing performance at the NFL Combine. The Rams traded two picks to the Las Vegas Raiders to halt Williams’ slide. Despite the testing numbers, Williams possesses NFL-caliber traits ranging from vision to footwork, plus agility and some explosive ability on the outside. However, the most impressive element on his scouting report is pass pro, where Williams showcases strength and football intelligence to be a reliable source of protection.
Round 6, Pick 211: Quentin Lake, S, UCLA
One could argue that the Rams would be better served doubling down on the offensive line here, and they’d have a compelling case. But this late in the draft, there’s much more flexibility. Addressing depth is a similarly productive initiative, and the Rams do that here with UCLA safety Quentin Lake.
Lake isn’t an elite athlete, which shows on tape. While his high football IQ supplements his range, he doesn’t have top-end speed or explosiveness. He also takes faulty angles downhill more often than desired. However, in coverage, Lake can be a playmaker with his quick reaction and ball skills. As a backup strong safety with special-teams ability, he has value.
Round 6, Pick 212: Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
Once considered a fringe-first-round prospect, Derion Kendrick slides significantly down the NFL Draft due to a combination of factors. Some off-field issues clouded his future heading into the 2021 college football season. Then, some terrible testing highlighted some of the issues that exist on his tape. However, there are some alluring traits that didn’t prevent the Rams from taking back-to-back players in the secondary.
Kendrick is willing and able as a physical run-support cornerback. As a former WR, the Georgia prospect has demonstrated catch-point ball skills and some schematic versatility. However, this feels like an unnecessary pick given the areas of need and their previous selections in this 2022 NFL Draft.
Round 7, Pick 235: Daniel Hardy, EDGE, Montana State
This is a nice pick late for the Rams. Daniel Hardy has the production and the athletic traits worth banking on late. On the surface, he appears a bit smaller, around 6’2”, 235 pounds. But he has great length with arms nearly 34” long. He’s also explosive off the line, as evidenced by a 40” vertical jump. Hardy was a menace in 2021, with 16 sacks and 24 tackles for loss. He immediately adds to the Rams’ rotation at outside linebacker.
Round 7, Pick 253: Russ Yeast, S, Kansas State
This is an intriguing pick for the Rams. Russ Yeast was a star for Kansas State in 2021, notching 4 picks and 10 pass deflections in his lone season for the Wildcats. Before 2021, he’d played four seasons at Louisville. Yeast has an interesting skill set. His athleticism allows him to hold up in coverage, and his explosiveness in particular enables him to close quickly and make plays on the ball. He’s a hair undersized, but with his playmaking ability, he could carve out a role as a versatile DB for LA.
Round 7, Pick 261: AJ Arcuri, OT, Michigan State
The Rams take a swing on a high-upside tackle with their final pick, selecting Michigan State offensive tackle AJ Arcuri. Arcuri had a strong showing at the Hula Bowl this past cycle, and that might have contributed to him being drafted. He has a tall 6’7”, 308-pound frame, with 34” arms. Arcuri is a stellar athlete for his size, able to match rushers laterally and move out in space. His pad level can be a problem, and it impedes his ability to get clean hands on defenders at times. If he can iron out some inconsistencies, he could stick around as a swing tackle.
What were the Los Angeles Rams’ biggest needs entering the draft?
- EDGE, CB, G, LB, S
The reigning Super Bowl champions have a few areas of their roster to work out ahead of the 2022 season. The pass-rushing role opposite Leonard Floyd is far from certain, while the departure of Darious Williams has left a hole at cornerback. There is also the need for more depth at both linebacker and safety ahead of the season.
On offense, the biggest need comes at guard. The situation in the middle of the line is far from certain and could do with an infusion of talent to help both Matthew Stafford and the running game.