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The Rams have drafted prospects from a large number of programs in recent years, showing no real preference to any school in particular. They do favor FBS programs like every other NFL team, but they’re not afraid to take a chance on small-school prospects, either.
In their draft release, the Rams broke down which schools the team drafts prospects from the most, and the programs at the top of the list aren’t all that surprising. But even with how often they’ve taken former UCLA, Washington and USC players since 1937, the Rams have branched out more since 2000.
Here are the 10 schools they’ve drafted the most players from in the franchise’s history.
UCLA: 44 players
It’s no surprise the Rams often draft players from a school that’s in the same city as they’ve played in for most of the franchise’s history. However, it’s been a long, long time since they’ve dipped their toes into the UCLA draft pool. The last time they drafted a Bruin was in 2004 when they took linebacker Brandon Chillar in the fourth round. They also selected linebacker Robert Thomas in the first round of the 2002 draft, but those are the only two UCLA players drafted by the Rams since 1994, so it was more a thing of the past from the ‘40s to the ‘80s.
Washington: 40 players
The Rams double-dipped on former Huskies in 2019 when they took Taylor Rapp and Greg Gaines in the second and fourth round, respectively. They also signed Cory Littleton as an undrafted free agent out of Washington in 2016, so there’s a clear pipeline with the Rams. But besides Rapp and Gaines, the last time the Rams took a prospect from Washington was in 1998 (Jason Chorak, seventh round).
USC: 39 players
T.J. McDonald is the last USC player to be drafted by the Rams when he was selected in the third round of the 2013 draft. Dominique Byrd is the only other USC product to be drafted by the Rams since 1987, though, which shows how infrequently the front office has added former Trojans to the roster via the draft.
Notre Dame: 32 players
Only two Notre Dame products have been drafted by the Rams this century: Jerome Collins in 2005 and Shane Walton in 2003. But in 1993, the Rams landed Jerome Bettis out of Notre Dame, taking him 10th overall. He only played three seasons with the Rams, but he was a two-time Pro Bowler and went on to play a Hall of Fame career with the Steelers.
Ohio State: 28 players
There are some very recognizable names to hail from Ohio State, including Orlando Pace, James Laurinaitis, Jordan Fuller and Ryan Pickett. The Rams have taken seven former Buckeyes since 2000, including two players while Les Snead has been GM since 2012: Fuller and C.B. Bryant. Ohio State consistently puts quality players in the NFL so its high ranking on this list is no surprise.
Oklahoma: 27 players
Sam Bradford is probably the most recognizable player to be drafted by the Rams from Oklahoma, though many fans would’ve liked his tenure in St. Louis to turn out better. Bobby Evans and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo were added in the last three years, making them two of the four former Sooners to be drafted by the Rams since 2000.
Nebraska: 23 players
Four Nebraska prospects since 2000 have been drafted by the Rams, but none since Adam Carriker was made a first-round pick in 2007. From 1994-1998, the Rams spent four first- or second-round picks on former Cornhuskers, including Lawrence Phillips and Grant Wistrom. It hasn’t been a popular program for Snead since he took over in 2012, though.
Oregon: 23 players
Richie Incognito is the last Oregon prospect to be drafted by the Rams when he was a third-round pick in 2005. The player before that was Herman O’Berry in 1995, which shows how rare it is for the Rams to draft a former Duck. That doesn’t mean Snead will ignore the school this year, especially with Thomas Graham Jr. on the team’s radar, but it’s not a program the Rams have drafted from much lately.
Michigan State: 21 players
The Rams spent a fourth-round pick on Brian Allen in 2018, making him the most recent Spartan to land in L.A. Clifton Ryan (2007) and Jeff Smoker (2004) are the only other two players from Michigan State to be drafted by the Rams since 2000. It was a popular school in the ‘50s and ‘60s, though.
Texas: 20 players
There aren’t many recognizable Texas prospects who have been drafted by the Rams, with Chris Ogbonnaya being the most recent one in 2009 – and the only this century. Jerry Gray was a four-time Pro Bowler after being drafted in the first round by the Rams in 1985, making him the top Longhorn to be selected by L.A./St. Louis.