NFL Draft primer: Rams finally have a first-rounder again

2023 record: 10-7, lost in wild-card round

Draft picks per round

1st round: No. 19
2nd round: No. 52
3rd round: No. 83
3rd round: No. 99 (compensatory)
5th round: No. 154
5th round: No. 155 (from Steelers)
6th round: No. 196
6th round: No. 209 (compensatory)
6th round: No. 213 (compensatory)
6th round: No. 217 (compensatory)
7th round: No. 254 (compensatory)

(Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)
(Taylar Sievert/Yahoo Sports)

Top needs

Offensive line
Interior defensive line

Aaron Donald's retirement sparked a need for reinforcements up the middle of the defense, although Kobie Turner was strong as a rookie last season. The Rams figure to make their first first-round pick since 2016 and gave themselves flexibility headed into the draft, using their wealth of salary-cap space to make some key free-agent additions at positions of need. At cornerback, the team added former All-Pro Tre'Davious White and Darious Williams, while it signed former Pro Bowl guard Jonah Jackson. Now the Rams can either add more depth at those spots or focus on other needs.

The Rams a first-round pick in the NFL Draft again, not to mention a good roster to add it to. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
The Rams have a first-round pick in the NFL Draft again, not to mention a good roster. (Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Best first-round fits

Cooper DeJean, CB, Iowa

Best Day 2 fits

Bralen Trice, EDGE, Washington
Ruke Orhorhoro, DT, Clemson

How they did last draft

We gave the Rams a B and that was clearly underselling it. L.A.’s 2023 draft was a certifiable home run, and that was despite no first-round pick. The star of the class was fifth-round WR Puka Nacua, who set NFL records in rookie receptions and receiving yards. L.A. also landed quality players in the earlier rounds, including starting guard Steve Avila in the second and both edge rusher Byron Young and defensive lineman Kobie Turner in the third.

Dream fantasy draft pick

The Rams are set at QB, RB and WR but have an opening at tight end after Tyler Higbee suffered a torn ACL and MCL during a January playoff game. Ja’Tavion Sanders could be an option in Round 2, but the real fantasy dream is Brock Bowers falling to them. The Rams quietly led the NFL in yards per play when Matthew Stafford, Kyren Williams, Cooper Kupp and Puka Nacua were on the field together last season, and Bowers looks like a special talent ready to contribute right away. Higbee averaged 89 targets over the past two seasons, so Bowers would immediately be a top-10 fantasy tight end if he gets to play indoors in Sean McVay’s offense. — Dalton Del Don