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McVay: Rams' 2nd- and 3rd-round picks 'exactly what we wanted'

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  • McVay: Rams' 2nd- and 3rd-round picks 'exactly what we wanted'

    McVay: Rams' 2nd- and 3rd-round picks 'exactly what we wanted'
    9:15 AM ET
    Alden Gonzalez
    ESPN Staff Writer

    The Los Angeles Rams turned two picks into three on Friday. They addressed their most glaring needs, at tight end, receiver and safety. And shortly after they were finished, new head coach Sean McVay was saying that Gerald Everett, Cooper Kupp and John Johnson represented "kind of exactly what we wanted to come out of tonight with."

    "We know we got better at three spots," McVay told local reporters from the Rams' facility late Friday night, moments after the second and third round came to an end. "Those are high-character guys that will get us better."

    The Rams sat out Thursday's first round for the first time since 1987, a product of the 2016 trade that allowed them to draft Jared Goff first overall -- and then they went about getting Goff more weapons.

    When they were finally on the clock with the 37th overall pick, receiver Zay Jones and guard Forrest Lamp -- two players heavily linked to the Rams heading in -- remained on the board. Instead, the Rams traded down with the Bills for the 44th spot, netting an additional third-round pick in the process. Then they selected Everett, an explosive, 6-foot-3, 239-pound pass-catching tight end out of South Alabama who can help stretch the field.

    "I have a feeling that Gerald's one of Sean's favorite players in the draft," Rams general manager Les Snead said, and that shouldn't surprise anyone who paid attention to last year's Redskins.

    With McVay as offensive coordinator, those Redskins led the NFL in yards by tight ends. He needed more help at that position for the Rams, especially after cutting ties with veteran Lance Kendricks. So Everett became the third tight end drafted by the Rams in 12 months, joining Tyler Higbee and Temarrick Hemingway. The Rams' new coaches are seemingly high on all three of them, enough so that McVay even talked about running 13-personnel packages that involve one running back, one receiver and three tight ends.

    Everett, who didn't get serious about football until his senior year of high school, believes he brings "the complete package of a tight end."

    "Definitely a vertical threat first," he said, "but also being a willing blocker in the run game. Just being able to create that mismatch at any point of time in the game."

    With the 69th overall pick in the third round, the Rams took Kupp, a sure-handed -- though not physically overwhelming -- slot receiver out of Eastern Washington who finished his collegiate career with 15 FCS records. Twenty-two slots after that came Johnson, who excelled as both a free safety and a slot corner at Boston College. Johnson will join the Rams as a safety, but can also be an asset as a special-teams gunner and will provide immediate depth for a Rams secondary that has as many as six upcoming free agents.

    Johnson, 6-foot and 208 pounds, believes he fits best as a safety, "although I think I have a corner body type."

    He intercepted six passes over the last two years against stiff competition.

    "I think the ACC is the best college football conference in America," Johnson said. "We have various polls that say it's the best competition."

    Everett and Kupp can't say the same, and it clouds their numbers a bit. Everett, who bounced around early in college, caught 90 passes for 1,292 yards and 12 touchdowns over his last two years at South Alabama, being named All-Sun Belt Conference at the end of each season. Kupp had 6,464 receiving yards in his college career, more than any collegiate player at any level. Don't try to tell him those numbers are diluted, either.

    "If people want to question that, thatís fine," Kupp said. "Iím just going to go and do what I do, and I believe that that opinion will change soon.Ē

    The Rams scouted Everett and Cooper at the Senior Bowl in January and saw them up close during private workouts last week. McVay identified them as "guys that can separate and catch the football" and noted big performances against tough opponents. He mentioned Kupp's 246-yard, three-touchdown game against Oregon in 2015. And he alluded to Everett's impact against Ole Miss to start the 2016 season, when he caught for 95 yards and the winning touchdown.

    The Rams identified Everett as a potential target two years ago.

    They liked him enough to disregard whatever was available to them at 37th overall.

    "If you ever have an early second-round pick, itís a good spot to be in," Snead said. "Usually there are a lot of teams that want to move up, and we felt like that was going to occur. And throughout the day it did. Basically, based on what we did last year, we felt like adding more picks to the stock was a smart move.Ē

  • #2
    Just convince Kupp that every team we play is from the Pac 12 and we're set.


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