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With the absence of first- and fifth-round picks, the Los Angeles Rams are slated to only make six selections in the 2021 NFL draft. They have three picks in the top 103, but they’ll be waiting until No. 57 overall to make their first pick.
In this seven-round mock draft using PFF’s simulator, I opted to move down from No. 57 in a trade with the Eagles. In doing so, I picked up an extra third-round pick, which would certainly help the Rams plug their top roster holes.
And best of all, Quinn Meinerz was still there in Round 3. Here’s how the draft went for Los Angeles.
70. Quinn Meinerz, C, Wisconsin-Whitewater
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Rams trade: No. 57, 2022 6th-round pick Eagles trade: No. 70, No. 84 Trading back and still landing Meinerz would be an ideal scenario for the Rams. In this deal, they pick up the 84th overall pick, too, giving them four picks in the top 103, including three from No. 70-88. Meinerz is a small-school prospect whose stock has been on the rise since he dominated the Senior Bowl, emerging as one of the top centers in the entire draft class. He would be a Day 1 starter for the Rams in place of Austin Blythe.
84. Milton Williams, DL, Louisiana Tech
(AP Photo/Eric Gay)
It might not be the popular move to take a defensive lineman this early, but Williams is a versatile player who fits perfectly at defensive end – and he’d be a nice value at No. 84 overall. He could take over Michael Brockers’ spot and even rush off the edge in some situations, giving Raheem Morris plenty of options up front with the defensive line. With the players who were available at this spot, Williams provided the best value despite DE not being as pressing of a need as corner or linebacker.
88. Quincy Roche, OLB, Miami
(AP Photo/Rusty Costanza)
Roche isn't the biggest edge rusher but he was productive in college and can be a nice complement to Leonard Floyd on the other side of the defensive front. Roche had 13 sacks and 19 tackles for loss at Temple in 2019 before his numbers tapered off last season at Miami – hence why some aren’t as bullish on him as an early-round pick. With his motor and relentless style of play, he’ll earn a role on defense as a rookie. He just needs to refine his pass-rushing moves and develop a counter for when he gets blocked right away.
103. Baron Browning, LB, Ohio State
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Browning is one of the most athletic and physically gifted linebackers in this class, standing 6-foot-2 and 245 pounds with 4.55 speed. He has long arms, too, which allows him to disengage from blockers and make his way to the ball carrier. Though he never made more than five starts in a season, Browning’s ceiling is high despite his lack of experience. Importantly, he’s good in coverage, which is an area where the Rams’ linebackers must improve after struggling there last season.
141. Robert Rochell, CB, Central Arkansas
(Photo by Butch Dill/Getty Images)
Rochell is somewhat of a sleeper out of Central Arkansas but he has the physical traits to become an early starter. He has long arms and plenty of speed (4.39), allowing him to keep up with faster receivers. The Rams ideally want a corner who can excel in the slot, which isn't necessarily Rochell’s primary position, but his ability to play outside gives the defense options with Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams, who can also play inside or outside. He’s tough to pass up in the fourth round, given the Rams’ need at cornerback and his ceiling as a prospect.
209. Brenden Jaimes, OT, Nebraska
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Jaimes may not make it to the sixth round but in this scenario, he did. And as a college left tackle, he has starting potential at that spot in the NFL. At the very least, he can serve as a swing tackle early on or even train at guard, in the event that the Rams suffer an injury on the interior. He lacks the prototypical length teams covet at tackle, which could cause him to move inside to guard, but he’s absolutely worth a flyer in the sixth round.
252. Warren Jackson, WR, Colorado State
Jackson isn't the type of receiver the Rams have had their eye on in the pre-draft process, but he’s a massive 6-foot-6 wideout who can give them a jump-ball receiver to develop. He won’t run by any defensive backs, though, with only 4.71 speed, and his 33.5-inch vertical leaves plenty to be desired. But with no better options available at this point in the draft, I opted to grab the big receiver to give the Rams a different type of playmaker on the outside compared to their smaller group of pass catchers.