Rams have had most success drafting DL and DBs of any NFL team since 2011

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Cameron DaSilva
·2 min read
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The Rams have had their share of draft misses in the last decade, as has every other team in the NFL. Greg Robinson and Tavon Austin immediately come to mind as first-round busts, but for every bad selection the Rams have made since 2011, there have been even more picks that were nailed by the front office.

Their best selections have mostly come along the defensive line and in the secondary, finding excellent value at those two spots. Pro Football Focus measured each team’s draft success at every position since 2011 and the Rams were No. 1 in two categories: defensive line and defensive backs.

Here’s what Timo Riske of PFF wrote about the Rams’ drafting along the defensive line.

Given how well Les Snead has fared at drafting defensive linemen for his Los Angeles Rams, he might want to consider keeping some picks instead of trading them away. All of his shots at defensive linemen early in the draft developed into at least solid players: Michael Brockers, Robert Quinn and, of course, Aaron Donald.

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The method is based on the value a player generates during his rookie contract compared to the outcomes based on where that player was drafted. As Riske pointed out, the Rams found great value in Donald, Brockers and Quinn in the first round. But more recently, they uncovered Sebastian Joseph-Day in the sixth round. He’s become an elite nose tackle for Los Angeles in the last two years.

In the secondary, the Rams have been even better in the middle rounds. Among the defensive backs they’ve drafted are Janoris Jenkins, Trumaine Johnson, T.J. McDonald, E.J. Gaines, Lamarcus Joyner, John Johnson, Taylor Rapp and Jordan Fuller.

All of those players were selected outside the first round, and none of them were (or have been) signed to long-term extensions. The Rams have gotten excellent value out of them on their rookie contracts, but they haven’t exactly locked them up for the long term.

Los Angeles will be in the market for defensive backs and linemen in the draft this year, so hopefully Les Snead can continue his success at those two spots.