The Super Bowl has come and gone, which means it’s the perfect time to talk about the NFL Draft – not the officiating.
The NFL Draft takes place April 27-29 at Union Station in Kansas City, the home of the Super Bowl champs.
Let’s get into it.
What Do The Rams Need In The Draft?
This is my third version of my Rams mock draft for 2023. My beliefs are the same. The Rams need offensive linemen who they can plug in and play and they could use some help in the pass rush.
What is important to realize right now is that everyone’s draft boards are in a constant state of flux. You might see some NFL draft websites say a guy is a fourth-round pick, another might say he’s a sixth-rounder.
Now is when NFL teams really start to evaluate players. There are pro days and workouts, and we haven’t even gotten close to the NFL Scouting Combine. What NFL teams are evaluating is what they have seen: college game film, but some college players had their ability masked because they were on great teams, some were brilliant individual players on lousy teams.
In the next three months, NFL teams will do intelligence tests, speed tests, workouts and really get to know the player and see where they can contribute.
I’m sticking with what I think the Rams need but switching up the order for Vol. 3.0.
Rams Mock Draft 3.0
Second Round – Overall Pick 37
Derick Hall, Auburn, Edge
Hall is one of those players who is projected to be on the fringe of the first round, but we all know what’s going to happen in the first round. All the quarterbacks are going to get taken…highly, and the top offensive linemen. This is a good draft for Edge rushers, and somebody is going to fall. I think it could be Hall.
Hall had a monster junior year with nine sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss. Last year Auburn was a mess, firing its coach mid-season. Hall had 6.5 sacks. He’s 6-foot-3, 256 pounds, big and strong, just what you want in an edge rusher. His best football might be ahead of him.
Third Round (70)
Cody Mauch, North Dakota State, OL
Mauch is one of the players competing at the Senior Bowl, so his professional future is at stake. Do yourself a favor and look up his picture. Mauch has a shock of red hair and is missing his two front teeth. He’s probably a bit raw as a lineman (he was a tight end originally), but the physical tools are all there.
At 6-foot-6, 301 pounds, he looks like a tackle, but probably is a guard.
Now this is some inside football here. It may not seem like it, but it matters how tall your offensive linemen are compared to your quarterback. If you have a short QB, you need short, beefy linemen. The Rams have a tall starting QB in Matthew Stafford, so they can use Mauch at guard.
Fifth Round (169)
Nick Broeker, Ole Miss, OT
Broeker fits in to the plug-and-play style of offensive linemen the Rams need in 2023. He played in 48 games in his Ole Miss career and was a three-year starter.
He’s 6-foot-5, 315 pounds, and played both left tackle and left guard for Ole Miss. The Rams could use his versatility.
Sixth Round (181)
Mekhi Blackmon, USC, CB
Yes, the USC defense was horrible, but Blackmon was not. He made 47 tackles and had three picks for the Trojans after transferring in from Colorado.
The Rams like California defensive backs, and at 6-foot, 175, Blackmon can run and cover.
Sixth Round (188)
Ali Gaye, LSU, Edge
As a sophomore, Gaye was a beast for the Tigers, with 9.5 tackles for a loss and was second-team All-SEC.
Gaye got hurt junior year and only played in four games. As a senior, his production leveled off. At 6-foot-6, 265 pounds, Gaye is probably a situational pass rusher and a bit of a project, but the upside is there. With so many sixth-round picks, the Rams can take a flyer.
Sixth Round (190)
Payne Durham, Purdue, TE
Every time I do a Rams mock draft I find myself drifting towards a tight end in the later rounds. Why? Because you can get great value here, and the Rams could use a tight end as a weapon in the red zone.
Durham had 56 catches and eight touchdowns as a senior for Purdue. He’s 6-foot-5, 260-pounds, but he’s more of a blocker than a pass catcher. Still, with his size, the Rams could use him.
Seventh Round (225)
Riley Moss, Iowa, DB
Another interesting case, Moss was named an All-American as a junior by Sporting News, came back as a senior and saw his production taper off. This year Iowa had a great defense and no offense at all. In his college career, he played in 54 games, making 38 starts. He’s fast and could help the Rams on special teams.
Seventh Round (255)
Daniel Scott, Cal, Safety
Scott will be an interesting prospect coming into the draft. He was a sixth-year senior at Cal and will be 25 years old when the NFL season starts. That might back some teams off, but the Rams are in a win-now mode. Scott has good size, 6-foot-2, 215 pounds. He’s big enough to cover tight ends and slot wide receivers. He’s not known for his run support, but he had three interceptions as a senior.
He’s from Pasadena and is signed up for the Senior Bowl. Look for him Saturday and think of what he would look like in a Rams jersey.