ESPN’s Mel Kiper grades Rams’ draft class a ‘B’ but saw a lot of reaches
When the NFL draft concludes each year, pundits and fans are quick to hand out their grades for how each team performed. The Los Angeles Rams ended with 14 players in the 2023 NFL draft and ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. recently gave them a ‘B’ grade for their large class.
Here is his reasoning for the grade he gave the Rams:
Steve Avila (36) is a plug-and-play starter at guard, while edge rusher Byron Young (77) is stellar value on my board. I have Young No. 51 overall. As I mentioned Friday night, defensive tackle Kobie Turner (89) was the first player outside my top 200 to be drafted. That’s extremely high for a player I don’t think has starter-level tools.
I thought I was high on quarterback Stetson Bennett (128), but I had heard he was more likely to go in Rounds 5 or 6. He’ll be a nice backup for Matthew Stafford, but I’m not sure how high his ceiling is overall. Wideout Puka Nacua (177), tight end Davis Allen (175) and edge rusher Ochaun Mathis (189) were all reaches on my board, and L.A. ended up taking my sixth-ranked punter Ethan Evans (223).
This is a bit of a mixed bag overall, but the top two picks were excellent value.
Kiper was impressed with the Rams taking Steve Avila and Byron Young with the team’s first two picks, saying that they got great value. The long-time draft analyst for ESPN would then go on to say that Kobie Turner at No. 89 was the first player taken that wasn’t on his top 200 big board.
Besides Turner, Kiper alluded to saying that the Rams reached for a majority of their selections. Even though Kiper loved the Rams’ first two picks in the draft, he wasn’t impressed with the rest of the draft class, which brought down the team’s grade.
Despite Kiper and other analysts handing out their grades for each team, the good news for the Rams is that we won’t know if this is a successful class until we see them on the field.
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