Scouts and Insiders Share Rams’ Needs Entering 2022 Draft

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Rams general manager Les Snead will likely be focused more on depth and future needs with his picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Draft week is finally here.

The 2022 NFL Draft kicks off on Thursday, April 28, but the Los Angeles Rams aren’t slated to make a pick until late in Day 2. Los Angeles traded each of its first three picks (first-round pick traded to Detroit for Matthew Stafford; second-round and third-round picks traded to Denver for Von Miller), so it won’t be on the clock until late in the third round with a compensatory pick it has.

Even though the Rams don’t have premium picks in this spring’s draft, they can still use their draft picks to help fill any needs they have.

In his weekly “Monday Morning Quarterback” column, Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer spoke with scouts and insiders around the league on what needs every team has entering the draft.

Which Positions The Rams Are Targeting In The Draft

Scouts from a few teams told Breer that the Rams’ biggest needs are guard, edge rusher, cornerback, linebacker, tight end, and safety.

“The Rams are in the enviable position of being able to work a year out on their needs—and their 2023 free agent list has offensive linemen, safeties and defensive linemen on it. So those areas would make sense with the bevy of picks they have outside the top 100,” Breer wrote.

As Breer alluded to, the Rams don’t really have any noticeable holes or concerns on their roster entering the draft, so they can use their picks with the future in mind more than anything. They do have a lot of pending free agents though after the 2022 season, including three starting offensive linemen, two starting defensive linemen, and two starting defensive backs.

Some mock drafts are predicting the Rams to help fill any potential holes created in free agency a year from now. A combined mock draft by ESPN’s Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. has the Rams selecting UCLA tackle/guard Sean Rhyan. draft analyst Lance Zierlein believes Rhyan could end up playing tackle or guard in the NFL. That flexibility could make Rhyan a dream pick for the Rams, at least in the third round, as the team lost tackle Andrew Whitworth and guard Austin Corbett over the offseason.

Heavy’s Lorenzo Reyna also featured Kentucky guard/tackle Darian Kinnard as another potential Ram as the team’s new offensive coordinator, Liam Coen, coached him in college. Kinnard, who started three years at right tackle, is projected to be a third-round pick, according to Zierlein.

ESPN’s Jordan Reid actually has the Rams selecting two centers with their first two picks, projecting Los Angeles to take UT Chattanooga’s Cole Strange in the third and Boston College’s Alec Lindstrom in the fourth. With starting center Brian Allen under contract for at least two more seasons, neither Strange nor Lindstrom would likely get much playing time as rookies if the Rams selected both of them. But selecting both players could help solidify the interior offensive line for the foreseeable future, which is always a good thing.

Rams won’t be busy the first two days, but will be very active on Day 3

After going “all in” for their Super Bowl run in 2021, Rams fans will be waiting a while for the team to make their first pick in the 2022 NFL Draft. Their first pick (barring a trade) is the 104th overall pick (third round), which is the second to last pick of Day 2.

That means the Rams hold seven picks in the final four rounds of the draft. They hold the No. 142 (fourth round), No. 175 (fifth round), No. 211, No. 212, No. 218 (sixth round), No. 238, and the No. 253 (seventh round) overall picks.

Of course, Los Angeles could use those picks to help them move up earlier in the draft or they could trade down and add even more picks on Day 3. Either way, Rams general manager Les Snead will unlikely be drafting players that are expected to make an immediate impact and instead will be keeping an eye on the future with his draft picks.