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2018 DRAFT Round 6 #176: Rams take John Kelly, RB, Tennessee

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  • 2018 DRAFT Round 6 #176: Rams take John Kelly, RB, Tennessee

    more info to come!!

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    Los Angeles Rams select John Kelly, Kansas City Chiefs pick Kahlil McKenzie in NFL draft
    Blake Toppmeyer, USA TODAY Network - Tennessee
    Published 3:40 p.m. ET April 28, 2018 | Updated 8:10 p.m. ET April 28, 2018

    John Kelly is headed to the West coast.

    The Los Angeles Rams selected Kelly on Saturday in the sixth round of the NFL draft with the No. 176 overall pick.

    "This feels unreal. I can’t even explain it," the former Tennessee running back told reporters during a teleconference after his selection.

    Kelly's UT teammate, defensive tackle Kahlil McKenzie, came off the board later in the sixth round. The Kansas City Chiefs took McKenzie with pick No. 198.

    McKenzie will join the AFC West rivals of the Oakland Raiders, where his dad, former Tennessee standout Reggie McKenzie, is the general manager.

    Overall, the Vols had three players selected in the draft. The Carolina Panthers took defensive back Rashaan Gaulden in the third round on Friday night.

    How Kelly thinks he can help the Rams
    Kelly rushed for 778 yards on 189 carries as a junior. He opted to forgo his final season of eligibility.

    Kelly doesn’t have elite speed, but he runs with a tough, determined style. He's also a factor in the passing game, evidenced by his 37 catches for UT last season.

    Los Angeles Rams

    Now joining the #LARams backfield… @Vol_Football RB John Kelly!#RamsDraft

    3:37 PM - Apr 28, 2018
    "I definitely just wanted to be able to incorporate the route running and pass-catching in my game because I know it translates to the league," Kelly said.

    Kelly started the 2017 season with a bang, leading the SEC in rushing through four weeks. His production declined after that, perhaps due in part to his having to run behind a battered offensive line.

    Several reputable mock drafts projected Kelly to be a fourth- or fifth-round pick, but Saturday forced him to be patient. Five running backs were drafted over him in the fourth round and another in the fifth.

    Kelly signed with Tennessee as a three-star prospect from Oak Park High School in Michigan. He rushed for 1,573 yards during his Vols career.

    Kelly was part of a crowded running back room in 2016 that included Jalen Hurd and Alvin Kamara. Hurd quit the team during the season and later transferred to Baylor, creating more playing time for Kelly, who became UT's feature back in 2017.

    Kelly had three 100-yard games in the first four games last season. He was suspended for the Oct. 28 game against Kentucky after he was cited by Knoxville police for misdemeanor marijuana possession, driving without proof of insurance and a broken headlight following a traffic stop. He is scheduled for a May 22 court date.

    Kelly produced 163 yards on 64 carries in the four games after that one-game suspension.

    Kelly joins Kamara as former Vols running backs in the NFL. The New Orleans Saints selected Kamara in the third round of last year's draft, and he became the NFL offensive rookie of the year.

    The Rams return starting running back Todd Gurley, the reigning AP offensive player of the year who rushed for 1,305 yards last season. L.A's running back corps also includes Malcolm Brown and Justin Davis.

    "I really just can’t wait to be able to learn some of the things that (Gurley) was able to do and just be able to compete with him at practice," Kelly said.


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      Rams pick safety Taylor Rapp in second round of NFL draft after trading down twice
      by Nick
      Rams pick safety Taylor Rapp in second round of NFL draft after trading down twice
      APR 26, 2019 | 10:05 PM

      The Rams were in no hurry to make their first pick in the NFL draft.

      They entered Friday already having traded their first-round pick the day before, and then traded down twice in the second round to the 61st pick before choosing their first player.

      That’s where they selected Washington safety Taylor Rapp, before adding Memphis running back Darrell Henderson, Michigan cornerback David Long and Oklahoma offensive lineman Bobby Evans in the third round.

      In all, the Rams traded back three times and forward twice in the first two days of a draft that concludes Saturday with Rounds 3 through 7. The Rams have four more picks, though that number could grow or shrink if general manager Les Snead continues dealing.

      “Slightly fun day,” Snead said Friday night, adding that Rams’ intent was to “get as many shots at the basket as possible in the top 100” picks.

      “We felt like it would benefit the Rams not only in the short term but in the long term as well,” he said.

      The Rams were thought to be searching for defensive linemen that could help replace Ndamukong Suh and offensive linemen that could add depth.

      But their first three picks deviated from those areas.

      Rapp, 6-feet and 200 pounds, joins a safety corps that includes six-time Pro Bowl player Eric Weddle and ascending safety John Johnson.

      “A lot of the things that you love so much about Eric and J.J., we feel like Taylor has a lot of those similar traits and characteristics,” coach Sean McVay said.

      Rapp said he was eager to learn from Weddle and Johnson.

      “It’s an incredible opportunity and I think it’s the perfect scenario for me,” Rapp said during a teleconference. “I couldn’t ask for anything better.”

      Rapp played three seasons at Washington and intercepted seven passes. Last season, he intercepted two passes and helped the Huskies reach the Rose Bowl. He suffered a hip injury in the final regular-season game, however, and sat out the Rose Bowl game.

      He might have slid in the draft because of questions about his hip, especially after he clocked a time of 4.77 seconds at Washington’s Pro day workout.

      “Got it checked out by the Rams’ doctors and physical stuff there, so it’s completely healthy,” he said. “I’m ready to play ball now. I’m ready to get to work.”

      The selection of Henderson in the third round with the 70th pick naturally raised questions about star running back Todd Gurley’s left knee. Gurley, who signed a $60-million extension before last season, sat out the last two games because of a knee issue and struggled during much of the postseason.

      Since the Super Bowl loss to the New England Patriots, Snead and McVay have said the Rams would work to manage...
      -04-27-2019, 09:53 AM
    • Nick
      Rams 2019 Mock Draft Roundup: Fifth edition
      by Nick
      Rams 2019 Mock Draft Roundup: Fifth edition
      Monday, Apr 01, 2019 12:10 PM
      Myles Simmons

      As the calendar flips to April, we are just 25 days away from the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. And as the date draws closer, analysts are putting in even more mocks.

      In this week’s edition of the roundup, we have a few projections that are similar to what they’ve been in previous weeks, a couple outliers, and also a couple seven-round projections.

      With that, here’s the fifth edition of this year’s mock draft roundup.


      Let’s start with one of the outliers, because it is a pretty big one:'s Peter Schrager has the Rams selecting Penn State running back Miles Sanders with their first-round pick.

      “Sanders isn't getting the same pre-draft buzz as other running backs in this class, but his combine performance turned heads around the league. His pass-catching ability -- SEE: the Indiana game, when he hauled in six catches for 54 yards -- helps him. Los Angeles will look to add a complement (with the ability to catch passes out of the backfield) for Todd Gurley at some point in this draft,” Schrager writes.

      With running back Todd Gurley already under contract through the 2023 season, this would be a pretty radical move for the first round — even if the Rams would like to better monitor Gurley’s snaps to keep him fresh.

      A second-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2018, Sanders rushed for 1,274 yards with nine touchdowns and caught 24 passes for 139 yards in his first year as a starter at Penn State following the departure of now-Giants running back Saquon Barkley. Overall, Sanders recorded 308 touches for 1,842 yards with 13 touchdowns in his three collegiate seasons.


      Two analysts have Los Angeles selecting North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury this week: ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and USA Today Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar.

      From Kiper ($$): Bradbury had a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl in January, and he followed it up with a strong combine workout, which has him on the fringes of Round 1. With the Rams moving on from John Sullivan this offseason, this is a straight like-for-like replacement, as Bradbury (6-foot-3, 306 pounds) could step in and start on Day 1. Cornerback is another position to watch for L.A., with the futures of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib uncertain.”

      From Farrar: “The Rams moved on from center John Sullivan and left guard Rodger Saffold after their Super Bowl defeat, and if they want to get back to that big game, interior protection for Jared Goff is a must. Bradbury isn’t an old-school power center, but his near-flawless fundamentals, second-level speed and understanding of schematic concepts would allow Sean McVay to not only unleash his passing concepts, but also to extract the most out of his run game.”

      Bradbury was the 2018 Rimington...
      -04-01-2019, 03:46 PM
    • Nick
      Countdown to Camp: Gurley Leads the Way at Running Back
      by Nick
      Countdown to Camp: Gurley Leads the Way at Running Back
      Friday, Jul 20, 2018 12:25 PM
      Myles Simmons

      One week from now, Los Angeles will have already completed a training camp practice at UC Irvine in preparation for the 2018 season. Our position-by-position breakdown continues with running backs in today’s edition of Countdown to Camp.


      Newcomers: John Kelly, Nick Holley

      Any discussion regarding the Rams’ running backs often begins and ends with Todd Gurley — for good reason.

      The Georgia product won his first AP Offensive Player of the Year award after a stellar 2017 season. He finished the year leading the league in yards from scrimmage (2,093), total touchdowns (19), and rushing touchdowns (13). He nearly led the league in rushing yards, too, ending the year No. 2 with 1,305. Gurley also lead Los Angeles with 64 receptions, solidifying his status as a dual-threat back. He’s once again expected to be a potential MVP candidate for his second season in head coach Sean McVay’s offense.

      Behind Gurley, Los Angeles still has Malcolm Brown, who is heading into his fourth pro season. Injuries kept Brown sidelined for a significant portion of the season, but he was productive in 11 games. He took 63 carries for 246 yards with a touchdown, and made nine receptions for 53 yards. Brown also recovered a blocked punt in the victory over Jacksonville and took it in for a touchdown.

      Justin Davis spent last season on the active roster, but was mainly one of the inactive seven players as opposed to the gamely 46. A standout back at USC, Davis will be competing for more playing time in camp and the preseason games.

      Rounding out the group, Los Angeles added John Kelly out of Tennessee in the sixth round of the spring draft. In three seasons as a Volunteer, Kelly rushed for 1,573 yards and 15 touchdowns and made 43 receptions for 350 yards. L.A. also signed Nick Holley out of Kent State as an undrafted free agent.
      -07-22-2018, 06:48 AM
    • RamWraith
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    • Nick
      2019 Draft: With 70th pick, Rams select DARRELL HENDERSON, RB, MEMPHIS
      by Nick
      Player Bio
      Henderson became one of the top college running backs by the time he finished his three-year career with the Tigers. He was an Associated Press first-team All-American in 2018, finishing second in the country with 1,909 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns on only 214 carries (8.9 average). The first-team All-American Athletic Conference performer also caught 19 passes for 295 yards (15.5 average) and three touchdowns in 13 starts (he sat out the team's bowl game to focus on the draft). Henderson also missed the team's 2017 bowl game due to injury but played in 13 games that year (10 starts) and led Memphis with 1,154 yards and nine touchdowns on just 130 carries (8.9 average) to garner second-team all-conference accolades. The 2014 Mississippi Gatorade High School Player of the Year (2,253 yards, 32 TD) played in all 13 games with six starts as a true freshman (87-482-5.5, five TD rushing; 20-237-11.9, three TD receiving). He also returned 25 kickoffs for 487 yards (19.5 average) and a score during his career.

      By Lance Zierlein
      NFL Analyst

      Draft Projection: Rounds 2-3

      NFL Comparison: Tevin Coleman

      He checks in slightly undersized, doesn't have great vision and runs with a narrow base that makes him easier to tackle, but so far, those concerns haven't slowed him one bit. Big-play production is impossible to ignore, but his running style makes him best-suited to a complementary slasher role in a spread-based attack. In basketball, Henderson would be the explosive sixth man with the ability to swing certain games in your favor if he catches fire. On the ground or out of the backfield, Henderson can catch fire.

      Home-run hitter doesn't begin to describe his explosive production
      Averaged 8.9 yards per carry over last 344 attempts
      Movement has electric feel to it
      Quick acceleration turns to get-away long speed
      43 carries of 15-plus yards and 11 total touchdowns of 54-plus in 2018 alone
      Unusual contact balance for narrow-base runner
      Keeps feet moving at all times
      Hits and spins out of contact
      More physical than expected as run finisher
      Used on drop-offs and screens out of backfield
      Maintains potency as a pass catcher
      Shows ability to track and adjust down the field

      Comes in a little smaller than desired for an early down back
      Upright running style with narrow base
      Needs to get better at slipping solid contact
      Displays some hip tightness and is a one-track runner
      Plays too fast to effectively stack moves
      High center of gravity forces turn rather than cuts
      Faced light numbers in the box
      Touchdown runs happening in wide-open spaces
      Sees what is there rather than what is developing
      May not offer pass protection value on third down

      Sources Tell Us
      -04-26-2019, 07:55 PM