Los Angeles Rams NFL Draft Grades 2023: Georgia Duo Stetson Bennett and Warren McClendon Land in LA

    What are the Los Angeles Rams' grades for their selections in the 2023 NFL Draft as they look to address their main needs this offseason?

    The Los Angeles Rams didn’t have a first-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft, but that doesn’t mean they were unable to fill a few of the many glaring holes on their roster. Did Les Snead do enough to earn a decent NFL Draft grade for the Rams?

    Los Angeles Rams NFL Draft Grades

    Round 2, Pick 36: Steve Avila, OL, TCU

    The Rams need a lot after seeing their roster deteriorate after their Super Bowl victory. One of the Rams’ most pressing needs was on the offensive line at both tackle and guard. Steve Avila has played four of the five offensive line positions during his time at TCU and should start immediately for Los Angeles.

    The Rams selected the best pure interior blocker in the NFL Draft with the 36th-overall pick, which is likely a win for their organization, considering they had no first-round pick, as is customary for the Rams. Any time a team can get the top guy at a position in the draft, it’s held in high regard, and Avila is a big, powerful interior blocker that should help get the run game going in LA once again.

    Grade: B

    Round 3, Pick 77: Byron Young, EDGE, Tennessee

    The second Byron Young is off the board. Young tested incredibly well at the NFL Combine, but he’s still a raw prospect who is already 25. However, even though he’s still learning how to be a professional pass rusher, his athleticism and motor allowed him to rack up production in the SEC over the past two seasons.

    Running a 4.40 at 250 pounds can take you places in a hurry, both from a draft position perspective and quite literally on the football field. Although he lacks length and polish, his explosiveness and quickness should allow him to make inconsistent splashes early on as a contributor off the edge.

    Grade: B

    Round 3, Pick 89: Kobie Turner, DT, Wake Forest

    Kobie Turner was not a Combine invite, but the NFL likes him nonetheless. Turner is a good athlete on tape, but his lack of length could cause problems for him at the NFL level. As a sub-300-pound defensive tackle, length can be a weapon for versatility as an inside-out player. However, Turner could struggle as a two-gapping 4i because of his lack of length.

    Yet, Turner’s hands are incredibly powerful, and he plays the game with relentless intensity. He likely won’t start early on in his career, but if Turner can sponge a bit of knowledge from Aaron Donald, maybe he could develop into one.

    Grade: C-

    Round 4, Pick 128: Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia

    Say what you will about Stetson Bennett’s ability to lead Georgia to two National Championships. When the truth is told, however, a quarterback with massive flaws on the field appears.

    Bennett has moxie and decent arm talent, but he’s not an elevator of the talent around him and is limited athletically, despite what he may have shown in the offseason circuit. Bennett is a project at the NFL level – at best.

    Grade: D-

    Round 5, Pick 161: Nick Hampton, EDGE, Appalachian State

    If Nick Hampton were a few inches taller, he may not have been available on Day 2, let alone Day 3 here. The Rams grab Hampton, who possesses a full arsenal of pass-rush moves and comes with terrific athleticism. He’ll play in a situational pass-rushing role for now with a high ceiling if he continues his run-defense ascension.

    Grade: B+

    Round 5, Pick 174: Warren McClendon, OT, Georgia

    Potentially a project, Warren McClendon manned the right side opposite Broderick Jones with great success over the past three seasons for Georgia. However, he lacked the intangibles of a starting right tackle at the NFL level and presents a project for the Rams to work with moving forward. If he takes to the interior offensive line positions earlier than anticipated, this is a great pick.

    Grade: C+

    Round 5, Pick 175: Davis Allen, TE, Clemson

    In a deep tight end class, Davis Allen has been overlooked. He has a terrific catch radius and turned heads during his time in Mobile at the Senior Bowl. Allen lacks top-tier athleticism, but his game is more of a possession receiver with a hint of blocking prowess. Don’t be surprised to hear his name often in the red zone.

    Grade: B+

    Round 5, Pick 177: Puka Nacua, WR, BYU

    Had it not been for an injury-hampered career at BYU (after transferring in from Washington), Puka Nacua would have been drafted much higher. An electric player with the ball in his hands, Nacua was the only player in the country with five rushing touchdowns and five receiving touchdowns last year. A speedster who plays much faster than his testing would indicate, Nacua can also high-point the football well and runs a full route tree.

    Grade: A

    Round 6, Pick 182: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU

    All you’ll hear about is the size concerns around Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson after measuring under 5’8” this offseason. However, Hodges-Tomlinson can simply play and lock down receivers in his coverage.

    Fitting him into the Rams defense is not difficult as he’ll factor immediately into the interior with high-end potential as a nickel or slot coverage defender.

    Grade: A-

    Round 6, Pick 189: Ochaun Mathis, EDGE, Nebraska

    Ochaun Mathis has tremendous size and flashed during his time at TCU before transferring to Nebraska in 2022. However, he can play upright and gets stymied by tackles far too often. Used in a stand-up role, Mathis can be a sound situational pass rusher.

    Grade: C+

    Round 6, Pick 215: Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss

    Getting back into it on offense, the Rams grab Zach Evans, who has long been followed by the high-profile recruiting presence he built. Evans is a home-run threat every time he touches the ball and has everything in terms of three-down ball-carrier traits. A valuable contributor out of the backfield, Evans is a potential steal at this point of the draft in the Rams’ system.

    Grade: A-

    Round 7, Pick 223: Ethan Evans, P, Wingate

    Ethan Evans came out of nowhere to appear at the Shrine Bowl in 2023 after he starred at Wingate as both their punter and kickoff specialist. Envisioning a role like that for him with the Rams could be the reason for this selection. Still, Evans knocked 39 punts inside the opponent’s 20-yard line and averaged 45.7 yards per punt in 2022.

    Grade: C-

    Round 7, Pick 234: Jason Taylor II, S, Oklahoma State

    An integral piece to Oklahoma State’s defensive success over the past two seasons, Jason Taylor II is a dynamic addition to the Rams’ secondary at this point of the draft. Taylor has some serious ball skills and terrific athleticism. He’s a large-framed defender who does his best work in the box but has plus-coverage skills to boot.

    Grade: B+

    Round 7, Pick 259: Desjuan Johnson, DL, Toledo

    A people-mover with bad intentions, Desjuan Johnson manhandled opposing offensive linemen during his time at Toledo. Looking like a man among boys during the majority of his time in the trenches for the Rockets, Johnson is a big man at 6’3”, 275 pounds, but moves around with elegance all over the defensive front. Mr. Irrelevant is not irrelevant for the second year in a row.

    Grade: A-

    What Were the Rams’ Biggest Needs Entering the Draft?

    • OT, G, EDGE, CB, S, LB, WR, RB

    Much like the Cardinals, there isn’t much that the Rams don’t need on the roster. Offensive tackle and guard are massive needs. Wide receiver is far from a complete unit, and LA doesn’t have a single running back that should inspire complete confidence. And that’s just the offense.

    The Rams have no pass rush outside of Aaron Donald. They traded away Jalen Ramsey, which pretty much cemented their rebuilding status. Jordan Fuller is a fine safety, but the rest of LA’s safety corps consists of late-round and undrafted players from the 2022 class.

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