In case you haven’t heard, the Los Angeles Rams won Super Bowl LVI, and they did it by making trades in which they sacrificed valuable picks for star players.
But Matthew Stafford, Von Miller, and Jalen Ramsey, who were all acquired for four first-round picks, a second-round pick, and two third-round picks, only made up for three spots on the championship-winning 52-man roster.
When general manager Les Snead said “F them picks” at the Super Bowl parade, it led to question if a new wave in the NFL would begin. However, another general manager pointed out that the Rams’ success in the draft helped them win the Super Bowl.
Chargers General Manager Tom Telesco Gives Snead Credit For Draft Success
Snead’s made a lot of moves to bring star talent to Los Angeles since 2016, acquiring Stafford, Miller, Ramsey, Odell Beckham Jr., Andrew Whitworth, and more.
He’s also drafted several players that would either become stars or key contributors to winning teams, too. The general manager of the other football team in town gave him props for his draft history ahead of the 2022 NFL Draft.
“I think what people forget about the Rams — I mean, everyone is focused on those first-round picks — but they’ve drafted and developed players really well, middle and late [rounds],” Chargers general manager Tom Telesco told reporters. “It kind of gets glossed over. I guess it’s not as sexy, but they’ve done a great job with that, both [Rams General Manager] Les [Snead] and [Rams coach] Sean [McVay]. No, I don’t think so. You can go back to the draft 20 or 30 years, teams have been trading first-round picks for players for a long time. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. If there was only one way to build a Super Bowl team, we would all take that exact same path. Obviously, the Rams did their path and it worked great, they won the Super Bowl. It hasn’t really changed the value of that first-round pick, at least for me. They’re not the first team to do it, they just did it really, really well.”
The Rams have certainly nailed a fair amount of picks in the middle-to-late rounds since they moved to Los Angles in 2016. In their first year in LA, they selected Tyler Higbee, who’s been the team’s starting tight end for the last five seasons, in the fourth round. After hiring Sean McVay earlier in the offseason in 2017, they made one of the greatest picks in team history when they selected Cooper Kupp in the third round. They also selected linebacker Samson Ebukam, who played in Los Angeles for four seasons before signing with San Francisco in 2021, in the fourth round of that year’s draft.
In more recent years, the Rams have snagged center Brian Allen (fourth round, 2018), running back Darrell Henderson (third round, 2019), defensive tackle Greg Gains (fourth round, 2019), offensive lineman David Edwards (fifth round, 2019), and safety Jordan Fuller (sixth round, 2020), among others, in the middle to late rounds of the draft.
Can the Rams strike gold again in 2022?
The trades for Stafford and Miller leave Los Angeles without each of its picks in the first three rounds, but it will still have a lot of darts to throw at the board in the 2022 NFL Draft. The Rams are slated to make eight picks, with their first pick coming at the end of the third round (No. 104 overall).
Scouts and league insiders identified the offensive and defensive lines as two of the Rams’ biggest needs entering the draft, while several mock drafts have them selecting an interior offensive lineman with one of their first picks.
No matter which positions the Rams target in the draft, they can help continue their recent success if they’re able to nail any of their picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.