2017 Los Angeles Rams’ Draft & OTA Review

Tight end Gerald Everett was over-drafted in the second round but has talent to overcome any perceived shortcomings. With Sean McVay coming to the Rams he was looking for a Jordan Reed type puzzle piece. He sees Everett as an athletic mismatch. With no viable competition for the position, Everett is an odds-on favorite to start. Value selection Cooper Kupp has some of the best if not the most natural hands of any receiver in the draft. He impressed the Rams’ brass by his maturity and carrying himself as a pro. A polished route runner who works on the little things. Other than Robert Woods he received the most reps with the first team offense. Kupp is projected to make an early contribution as soon as this fall. John Johnson was drafted to help shore up a thin secondary. The former Eagle has experience at both safety and corner. As a safety he comes downhill quickly in the run game. Good ball skills. Makes the play at the catch point. Covers a lot of ground quickly. Late to react at times. Instincts are a question. Josh Reynolds has a good chance to be on the field this fall despite the OTA emergence of Cooper Kupp. The weak receiver group in Los Angeles could use a wide-out that tracks the ball well downfield. The rangy framed former Aggie works back to the ball well and is a legitimate red zone threat. He has exceptional jump ball skills where he gets more than his share of 50/50 balls. The Rams expect Reynolds to compete for the split end or “X” receiver positions this fall after a strong showing in OTAs. Samson Ebukam was a Rams’ trade up target because of his athletic ability. Recorded 9.5 sacks among his 71 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and eight quarterback hurries. He played the rush linebacker in Eastern Washington’s 4-2-5 defensive scheme. Ebukam is a high motor good effort player who needs to elevate his technique and bag of pass rushing tricks. Instincts are off – he is a see and chase player who needs to get stronger versus the run. Pro day numbers: 6017, 240, 4.54/40, 24/BP, 39/VJ, 10-10/BJ, 4.34/SS, and 7.07/3 cone. Tanzel Smart fits in Wade Phillips’ defensive scheme as a one gap penetrator in the Rams’ new 3- 4 hybrid defense. The best thing Smart does is get off the ball in a blink and hit the gap at full speed. Quick twitch player who must win on the snap. He must get stronger and improve the use of his hands. May find a role as a rotational tackle. Sam Rogers was the first fullback selected in the draft and certainly the most versatile one. Rogers will be expected to play the traditional West Coast short-neck blocking wrecking ball as well as being a whirling dervish on special teams. He was never a traditional fullback for the Hokies. Rogers was also an H-back, running back, and lined up at tight end and wide receiver. Ejuan Price, despite his injury history, averaged nearly two tackles for loss per game. With his 29.5 sacks, he tied Ram and former Panther Aaron Donald for fourth on the all-time list. Wade Phillips will expect Price to be a disruptive 3- 4 edge pass rusher. A poor man’s Elvis Dumervil. GRADE: AVERAGE.

FREE AGENCY: The Rams gave up on the second selection in the 2014 draft, Greg Robinson, by trading him to Detroit, but before doing so they signed seasoned veteran Andrew Whitworth, a stalwart in Cincinnati for 11 years at left offensive tackle. He was given 15 million in guaranteed money over a three-year 33 million dollar contract. Los Angeles also inked Robert Woods (WR), Kayvon Webster (CB), Connor Barwin (OB), Lance Dunbar (RB), John Sullivan (OC), and Nickell Robey-Coleman (CB). Greg Zuerlein, the Rams’ long-time kicker, was re-signed for another three years.

NOTABLE UNDRAFTED COLLEGE FREE AGENTS: Jake Eldrenkamp (Washington) OG, Justin Davis (Southern Cal) RB, Kevin Davis (Colorado State) OB, Aarion Penton (Missouri) CB, and Casey Sayles (Ohio) DE.

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