Where each of the Rams’ draft picks ranked on pre-draft big boards

No team had a bigger draft class than the Los Angeles Rams this year. They ended up with 14 total picks, adding a ton of young talent to a torn-down roster as the team attempts to rebuild following a terrible 2022 season.

Whether it turns out to be the best class of 2023 remains to be seen, but at the very least, the Rams should have found at least three or four future starters in this draft.

The value of each pick is subjective, of course, and the Rams themselves have their own big board. However, we can get a better idea of how analysts viewed the Rams’ picks leading up to the draft by seeing where each ranked on pre-draft big boards.

We looked at seven different big boards, including a consensus ranking, to show whether the Rams got a good value, a steal or reached for a specific player.

Draft Wire (top 150) :: PFF (top 401) :: Daniel Jeremiah (top 150) :: Todd McShay (top 350) :: Mel Kiper Jr. (top 150) :: Dane Brugler (top 300) :: PFN consensus (top 300)

Round 2, 36th overall: Steve Avila, OL, TCU

Draft Wire: 26
PFF: 42
Daniel Jeremiah: 37
Todd McShay: 34
Mel Kiper Jr.: 43
Dane Brugler: 40
Consensus: 48

At No. 36 overall, the Rams got a perfectly reasonable value with Avila. He was ranked in the top 50 of every big board we looked at, making him a solid and logical pick in the second round. Draft Wire ranked him the highest at No. 26 overall.

Round 3, 77th overall: Byron Young, OLB, Tennessee

Draft Wire: 131
PFF: 100
Daniel Jeremiah: 79
Todd McShay: 76
Mel Kiper Jr.: 51
Dane Brugler: 116
Consensus: 84

Young was another good value in the third round. Though Brugler ranked him as low as 116, Kiper had him just outside his top 50 at No. 51 overall. Not only that, but he also filled a major need.

Round 3, 89th overall: Kobie Turner, DT, Wake Forest

Draft Wire: 108
PFF: 79
Daniel Jeremiah: 146
Todd McShay: 168
Mel Kiper Jr.: NR
Dane Brugler: 132
Consensus: 155

Turner was a polarizing prospect leading up to the draft. Kiper kept him out of his top 150, but PFF ranked him 79th out of 401 prospects. At No. 89 overall, he may not have been a great value compared to big boards, but the Rams like his game and disruptive play.

Round 4, 128th overall: Stetson Bennett, QB, Georgia

Draft Wire: NR
PFF: 181
Daniel Jeremiah: NR
Todd McShay: 237
Mel Kiper Jr.: NR
Dane Brugler: 234
Consensus: 199

Bennett was the first player that felt like a real reach for the Rams. However, like paying quarterbacks, you sometimes have to reach for one in the draft in order to get “your guy.” Bennett was clear the Rams’ guy and they didn’t risk losing him on Day 3. They selected him 128th overall despite him not ranking in the top 150 on any big boards.

Round 5, 161st overall: Nick Hampton, OLB, Appalachian State

Draft Wire: NR
PFF: 249
Daniel Jeremiah: 138
Todd McShay: NR
Mel Kiper Jr.: NR
Dane Brugler: 106
Consensus: 151

Hampton was a sleeper in this class. Coming from a smaller school, he didn’t garner a ton of attention as an edge rusher, but Jeremiah and Brugler were high on him, and the consensus board had him ranked just outside the top 150. Like Young, he filled a need on the Rams’ roster.

Round 5, 174th overall: Warren McClendon Jr., OT, Georgia

Draft Wire: NR
PFF: 247
Daniel Jeremiah: 142
Todd McShay: 161
Mel Kiper Jr.: NR
Dane Brugler: 217
Consensus: 172

Aside from PFF ranking him 247th, McClendon was selected right around the area experts expected him to be picked. He’s an experienced right tackle who could also play guard for the Rams, depending on which position they need help at first.

Round 5, 175th overall: Davis Allen, TE, Clemson

Draft Wire: 126
PFF: 155
Daniel Jeremiah: 130
Todd McShay: 155
Mel Kiper Jr.: NR
Dane Brugler: 118
Consensus: 154

This was a loaded tight end class so Allen likely would’ve gone much earlier had it just been an average group. Still, the Rams got him at No. 175 and most analysts ranked him inside the top 155. Another good value for the Rams in the fifth round.

Round 5, 177th overall: Puka Nacua, WR, BYU

Draft Wire: NR
PFF: 246
Daniel Jeremiah: NR
Todd McShay: 280
Mel Kiper Jr.: NR
Dane Brugler: 222
Consensus: 187

Nacua wasn’t ranked very highly by many analysts before the draft, in part because he dealt with injuries in college and was limited as a result. But he has a unique skill set that the Rams like, showing the ability to work the intermediate area of the field and take handoffs on jet sweeps.

Round 6, 182nd overall: Tre'Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, CB, TCU

Draft Wire: 101
PFF: 69
Daniel Jeremiah: NR
Todd McShay: 120
Mel Kiper Jr.: NR
Dane Brugler: 143
Consensus: 102

Hodges-Tomlinson was unquestionably a steal in the sixth round compared to where he was projected to go. Kiper was the only one to rank him outside the top 150 and he ended up going 182nd overall. PFF was especially high on Hodges-Tomlinson, ranking him 69th overall.

Round 6, 189th overall: Ochaun Mathis, OLB, Nebraska

Draft Wire: NR
PFF: 193
Daniel Jeremiah: NR
Todd McShay: 262
Mel Kiper Jr.: NR
Dane Brugler: 296
Consensus: 257

No analyst on our list ranked Mathis higher than his draft slot, and most of them either didn’t rank him at all or put him outside the top 250. He may not have a high ceiling as a prospect but he has decent size and can rush the passer.

Round 6, 215th overall: Zach Evans, RB, Ole Miss

Draft Wire: NR
PFF: 151
Daniel Jeremiah: 144
Todd McShay: 160
Mel Kiper Jr.: 132
Dane Brugler: 115
Consensus: 117

Another steal for the Rams came in the sixth round. Evans was selected 215th overall after Los Angeles traded up 37 spots for him, and every outlet except Draft Wire ranked him inside the top 160. The consensus board had him at No. 117 overall, nearly 100 spots higher than he was selected.

Round 7, 223rd overall: Ethan Evans, P, Wingate

John McCoy-USA TODAY Sports

Draft Wire: NR
PFF: 296
Daniel Jeremiah: NR
Todd McShay: NR
Mel Kiper Jr.: NR
Dane Brugler: NR
Consensus: NR

Evans is a punter. Most punters don’t get ranked on pre-draft big boards, especially those who played at the Division II level. So it’s no surprise Evans was barely ranked by analysts.

Round 7, 234th overall: Jason Taylor II, S, Oklahoma State

Draft Wire: NR
PFF: 168
Daniel Jeremiah: NR
Todd McShay: 189
Mel Kiper Jr.: NR
Dane Brugler: 161
Consensus: 214

Taylor was all over the map on pre-draft rankings, coming in at No. 168 at PFF but falling outside the top 150 for Draft Wire, Jeremiah and Kiper. The Rams needed a safety and getting a smart, experienced player like Taylor in the seventh round is a good value.

Round 7, 259th overall: Desjuan Johnson, DL, Toledo

(Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)

Draft Wire: NR
PFF: 215
Daniel Jeremiah: NR
Todd McShay: NR
Mel Kiper Jr.: NR
Dane Brugler: 282
Consensus: NR

Johnson, Mr. Irrelevant, was only ranked on two of the seven big boards we used. He’s another undersized defensive tackle, but he adds depth to the defensive line in Los Angeles and could develop into a future starter with Aaron Donald showing him the ropes.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire