Who Should the Los Angeles Rams Draft First in 2020?
Last year was a down year for the Los Angeles Rams, which is saying a lot for a team that went 9-7 and nearly made the NFL playoffs.
This, a season after making it to the Super Bowl.
Some type of hangover was expected, but in a year’s time, the Rams have shed the hefty contracts of Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks, while also losing Eric Weddle, Clay Matthews, and Dante Fowler to retirement or free agency.
While that is undeniably a lot of turnover, Sean McVay still heads a very talented Rams offense, and LA also has enough defensive talent to be a feared unit on the other side of the ball.
The bummer is the Rams won’t be getting better in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. Thanks to the Jalen Ramsey trade, Los Angeles first picks in round two with the 52nd overall draft choice.
That doesn’t mean it can’t be a great pick, of course. With that, let’s glance at LA’s biggest needs, the top prospects they should eye with their first pick, and who I think they’ll ultimately draft.
Los Angeles Rams’ Biggest Draft Needs
- Running Back
Kicker is also a need with Legatron relocating in free agency, but I’m sure the Rams won’t invest in the position with their first pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
The truly pressing areas are both linebacker spots, as well as running back. The departure of Cory Littleton, Dante Fowler, and Clay Matthews collectively saps this team of a lot of useful talent, and the Rams need to replace it.
Todd Gurley is also gone. It sounds like the Rams will roll with a committee approach led by Darrell Henderson and Malcolm Brown, but adding a more complete back shouldn’t be ruled out.
There are some other ancillary needs, but these are the areas the Rams need to address early in this year’s draft. Let’s see who some of their best options should be in round two.
Josh Uche, EDGE, Michigan
The Rams have a stud pass rusher in Aaron Donald, but they could use more help getting to the quarterback. They lost two guys who helped them in that area in 2019, so adding an impact edge rusher makes a lot of sense.
This is a deep class to try to find out, so Uche could be a solid find here in round two. The Wolverines phenom notched 14.5 sacks over the last two years, including 18.5 tackles for loss.
The nice thing is Uche has the physical traits to do much more damage. If the Rams can get him to tap into his upside, they could have a real gamer on their hands on the outside.
Zack Moss, RB, Utah
The exit of a franchise running back like Gurley opens the door to the Rams drafting a running back early this year.
LA does have two capable rushers to work with, but do they have a true feature back on their hands? I’d argue no, which could make taking one relatively early a priority.
Insert Moss, who has been overlooked a bit despite dominating for the Utes the past three years. Moss isn’t a burner, but he’s a bruising back who has the vision and balance of a potential stud.
Jordan Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
I also like Zack Baun here, but he seems likelier to threaten for the first round, if not at least the top of round two. Brooks could really be available, even though he was a tackling machine at Texas Tech.
Brooks offers nice time speed, solid overall athleticism, and strong instincts. Brooks is a flat-out playmaker and should instantly help against the run (20 tackles for loss in 2019).
Who Will the Rams Draft First?
I’d be fine with any of the options above (and at least a good player at said positions), but the guy that is most interesting is Uche.
It’s wild that Uche was as productive as he was at Michigan, yet it’s easy to see just how much of a ceiling he has. As he stands, he’s an impactful pass rusher who has the athleticism to be a real problem.
The Rams may not be so patient to wait for him to develop, but if they give him time and put him in positions to succeed, they may unearth a gem.
You can’t bet on who the Rams will take with their first pick of the draft, but it’s probably one of the few things you can’t wager on these days. For all kinds of draft wagers and the latest odds, check out the best 2020 NFL Draft betting websites.