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In Sean McVay’s first year as an NFL head coach, he and the Los Angeles Rams came away with quite the haul in free agency. Despite not having a first-round pick due to the Jared Goff trade-up a year prior, the Rams still wound up with five players who would become starters in the next four seasons.
Now four years removed from that draft, free agency has shown just how good the class was for Los Angeles. Each of the team’s first five picks has been rewarded with new contracts after strong starts to their careers, with four players signing free-agent contracts in the last week.
Here’s a look back at the team’s picks from the 2017 draft, excluding Tanzel Smart, Sam Rogers and Ejuan Price in the sixth and seventh rounds.
Gerald Everett, 2nd round (No. 44 overall)
(AP Photo/Kyusung Gong)
Signed one-year, $6 million deal with Seahawks Everett was the first player drafted in the Sean McVay era, and expectations were high for him. McVay was a former tight ends coach in Washington and had worked with Jordan Reed, who had a similar skill set to Everett’s. Although Everett never truly broke out the way many fans hoped he would, he’s still just 26 years old and has played 61 career games. In four seasons with the Rams, he caught 127 passes for 1,389 yards and eight touchdowns, becoming a quality No. 2 tight end next to Tyler Higbee. Now he’ll have the chance to earn an even bigger role in Seattle after signing a $6 million deal.
Cooper Kupp, 3rd round (No. 69 overall)
(AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Signed three-year, $47.25 million deal with Rams Kupp has arguably been the best player to come from the Rams’ 2017 draft class and he was rewarded handsomely last year with a $47.25 million extension to keep him in L.A. In four seasons so far, he’s caught 288 passes for 3,470 yards and 24 touchdowns. Among his wide receiver peers also drafted in 2017, Kupp is second in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches, behind only JuJu Smith-Schuster. That puts him ahead of players such as Chris Godwin, Corey Davis, Curtis Samuel, Kenny Golladay and Mike Williams. He was a certified steal in the third round.
John Johnson, 3rd round (No. 91 overall)
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Signed three-year, $33.75 million deal with Browns Johnson was a stud for the Rams in the last four seasons. He started 48 games, made 350 tackles, picked off eight passes and had 32 total deflections, which would be outstanding numbers for a former first-round pick. But Johnson was selected in the third round, just inside the top 100. The Rams would’ve loved to keep him in L.A., but he earned a well-deserved $33.75 million contract from the Browns. He’ll be a perfect fit in Cleveland and will continue to prove he’s one of the best safeties in football.
Josh Reynolds, 4th round (No. 117 overall)
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Signed one-year deal with Titans We don’t yet know how much Reynolds’ contract with the Titans is worth, but we do know that his role is almost certain to be larger in Tennessee than it was in L.A. He’ll likely be the No. 2 receiver opposite A.J. Brown and should see an uptick in targets. Despite being a backup for most of his time with the Rams, Reynolds still caught 113 passes for 1,450 yards and nine touchdowns. Compared to other wideouts from the 2017 draft class, that puts him 10th in receptions, ninth in yards and tied for 11th in touchdowns. Not bad for a fourth-round pick who only started 24 games.
Samson Ebukam, 4th round (No. 125 overall)
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Signed two-year, $12 million deal with 49ers Ebukam didn’t play much as a rookie, only taking the field for 33% of the time on defense. Then he became a starter in his second season, starting 14 games and playing a career-high 69% of the snaps. In 35 career starts and 64 total games, he has 14 sacks, 150 tackles (16 for a loss) and 28 QB hits. Though there were inconsistencies in his game and he struggled against the run at times, the 49ers gave him a two-year deal worth $12 million, which is a solid reward for the former fourth-round pick. Like Everett, he’ll get to show the Rams what they’re missing twice a year in the NFC West.