After taking an all-in approach to win a Super Bowl, the Los Angeles Rams entered the 2023 NFL Draft with some of the worst draft capital in the league. Despite not having a first-round pick and only one top-75 selection, some around the league believe Los Angeles could see a quick turnaround.
The Rams’ first pick came at 36th overall, when they selected TCU offensive lineman Steve Avila. For a team that ranked 19th in run blocking by Pro Football Focus and allowed the most sacks (39) in the NFL, it was a significant addition for an offensive line that needed reinforcements.
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Los Angeles spent its next two picks on the defensive line, drafting Tennessee edge rusher Byron Young (77th overall) and Wake Forest defensive tackle Kobie Turner (89th overall). On Day 3 of the 2023 NFL Draft, general manager Les Snead found his quarterback with Georgia’s Stetson Bennett.
Mike Sando of The Athletic spoke to NFL executives about all 32 draft classes. Regarding the Rams, one executive suggested that Los Angeles might have a Hall of Fame draft if Stetson Bennett becomes a starter.
“They are looking for their Brock Purdy. The reality is, no one is going to notice the guard they took, but if Stetson Bennett can play, it’s going to be a Hall of Fame draft.”Anonymous NFL executive on the Los Angeles Rams 2023 draft class
It makes some sense why comparisons are being drawn to Bennett and San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy. However, Purdy was the last pick in the 2022 NFL Draft and the consensus belief is he offers better physical tools and is younger than Bennett.
However, Snead was extremely high on Bennett. He views him as more than just a game manager, indicating there is an ability to be a quality starting cornerback. If that happens, the Rams’ draft class would seemingly become the Hall of Fame level that the executive projected.
Not every executive offered as much praise for the Rams’ process. Los Angeles is well-known for not sending scouts to the NFL Combine and they also don’t make as many trips to games and Pro Days.
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“What’s interesting about the Rams is, they are at the forefront of not sending scouts on the road, not having scouts or coaches at the combine, so when you see them select players you consider to be reaches for reasons beyond the film, you wonder if they overlooked things that might have been uncovered if they’d put more resources into the process.”NFL executive on the Los Angeles Rams’ process for scouting prospects
Ultimately, only time will tell whether or not the Rams’ process is right or if this will be a strong draft class for Los Angeles. With the organization seemingly committed to a rebuild this season, though, it’s clear the Rams will be picking much higher in the 2024 NFL Draft.