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Rams pick safety Taylor Rapp in second round of NFL draft after trading down twice

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  • Nick
    2018 DRAFT Round 6 #176: Rams take John Kelly, RB, Tennessee
    by Nick
    more info to come!!
    -04-28-2018, 01:02 PM
  • Nick
    Rams’ 2019 draft reflects production over measurables: A player-by-player look
    by Nick
    Rams’ 2019 draft board reflects emphasis on production over measurables: A player-by-player look
    By Vincent Bonsignore Apr 27, 2019 6

    The​ Rams came into the​ 2019​ draft​ holding their only​ first-round pick since​ 2016 and​ with various​ holes to fill​ both presently​​ and for the future.

    They never got around to pulling the trigger on their first-round selection, opting to trade it away instead. They poured the assets they got in return into a handful of subsequent trades to steer themselves up and down the draft board to acquire eight players they believe will not only compete for roster spots but also lock down important roles.

    The common thread among them — and characteristics the Rams put a particular emphasis on at the earliest stage of the draft-evaluation process — is intelligent, tough, productive players with a passion to play football.

    Players who consistently show up on tape, if not always in physical measurables.

    So much so that general manager Les Snead has a written reminder to that effect on an office whiteboard.

    “The answers to your questions are basically right in front of you when you sit down and watch the kids play football on film when you do it December and April,” Snead said. “Take the testing — you always go back to the tape, right, and watch him play football.”

    It may sound cliché, but as a Rams source told The Athletic, “It’s where we’ve had so much success the past few years.”

    Their draft board this year reflects the emphasis they put on production over measurables.

    Washington safety Tayler Rapp ran a pedestrian 40 at his pro day. But his game tape showcased a hard-nosed, instinctual defensive playmaker. The Rams took him in the second round and believe he’ll compete for immediate playing time.

    Rapp’s teammate, Huskies defensive lineman Greg Gaines, is on the shorter side at just 6-foot-1. But he was one of the best run-stuffers in the Pac-12 and dominated against his peers at the Senior Bowl. The Rams traded up in the fourth round on Saturday to select him with the 134th pick overall and have already pegged him as their starting nose tackle in the base 3-4 defense.

    Their last pick, Texas Tech inside linebacker Dakota Allen, was kicked out of college after being arrested for burglary, then worked his way back to Lubbock after all charges were eventually dropped, and he has been a model citizen and productive player ever since.

    Where some teams removed Allen from their board altogether, the Rams sat down with him face-to-face and reached out to the people who know him best at Texas Tech.

    They were satisfied with how Allen owned his mistakes and impressed with how ardently people vouched for him. On tape, he was a tackling machine who they believe will add special teams flair and...
    3 weeks ago
  • 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
    RAMS INSIDER

    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: NFL.com'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, 02:46 PM
  • Nick
    Snead, McVay Pleased with Three Quality Players on Day 2
    by Nick
    Snead, McVay Pleased with Three Quality Players on Day 2
    Posted 7 hours ago
    Myles Simmons
    Rams Insider
    @MylesASimmons

    Though they came into Day 2 with two picks, the Rams ended the evening with three players after a key trade.

    Los Angeles selected tight end Gerald Everett in the second round, followed by wide receiver Cooper Kupp and safety John Johnson in the third.

    “These are guys that Les and his staff had really targeted for a long time,” Rams head coach Sean McVay said, referring to general manager Les Snead. “We know we got better with three spots.”

    In order to do that, the Rams traded their No. 37 and No. 149 picks for the Bills’ No. 44 and No. 91 selections. With a pick early in the second round, Snead said he had an idea the phone might start buzzing with teams trying to move up.

    “I think if we go back a couple drafts ago … I do remember we had an early pick in the second round, we were going to draft some OL — we had done Gurley — and there were a lot of OL on the board, and it was just hard to pick, who do we want? And at that moment, there were a lot of teams — the phone just started buzzing,” Snead said.

    “So I think I remember writing a note down then — you know what, if you ever have an early second-round pick, it’s a good spot to be in,” Snead continued. “Usually, there’s a lot of teams that want to move up.”

    It worked out well for the Rams in this case, with the club picking up a selection in the third round while still selecting Everett — a player Snead called one of McVay’s favorites in the entire draft.

    “Gerald was one of those guys that was, let’s call it Scenario A, Scenario 1,” Snead said. “You always prepare trying to figure out where you can get players in the draft, but that’s the guesstimate at times and you can lose him. But we thought that if we did move back, get an extra third-round selection, we could also still get Gerald.”

    Everett began his college career at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, but transferred to the University of South Alabama once UAB’s football program was shut down. In two years at South Alabama, Everett caught 90 passes for 1,292 yards and 12 touchdowns.

    “I think I bring the complete package of a tight end,” Everett told reporters on Friday. “Definitely a vertical threat first, 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.”

    The tight end likely projects more as a receiver early on in his career, particularly as he’ll have to adjust from being a part of a spread offense in college. But McVay seemed excited at the prospect of using Everett, Tyler Higbee, and Temarrick Hemingway all on the field at once.

    “Being able to add a player like Gerald Everett, I think those three complement each other very well,” McVay said. “When you can do...
    -04-29-2017, 06:37 AM
  • Nick
    Rams depth chart: An insurance policy, and rookies who could become starters
    by Nick
    Rams depth chart: An insurance policy, and rookies who could become starters
    By Vincent Bonsignore Apr 30, 2019 4

    The​ Rams did a good job​ this​ offseason​ of addressing some​ major areas of​ need, both​ in the​ short and long​ term. Also,​​ when it comes to a worst-case scenario with Todd Gurley, they secured a rookie insurance policy.

    The draft yielded a Week 1 starter in Washington nose tackle Greg Gaines, plus a nickel-package strong safety in Taylor Rapp (also from Washington) and a potential nickel cornerback in Michigan’s David Long. Long and Rapp are expected to contend for starting gigs in 2020 and 2021, when full-time spots open up.

    Memphis running back Darrell Henderson, a third-round pick — somewhat surprisingly — adds an immediate presence as a change-of-pace back to complement Gurley and gives a dynamic new toy to coach Sean McVay. But given the uncertain long-term status of Gurley’s left knee — and the Rams’ potential plan to reduce his workload — Henderson could be in line for major playing time in 2019 and beyond.

    With the draft completed, here’s look at the Rams’ depth chart, with some notes:

    Offense
    Quarterback: Jared Goff, Blake Bortles, Brandon Allen

    Running back: Todd Gurley, Malcolm Brown, Darrell Henderson (R), Justin Davis, John Kelly, Matthew Colburn (R)

    X receiver: Brandin Cooks, Mike Thomas

    Slot receiver: Cooper Kupp, JoJo Natson, Austin Proehl, Alex Bachman (R), Nsimba Webster (R)

    Z receiver: Robert Woods, Josh Reynolds, KhaDarel Hodge

    Tight end: Tyler Higbee, Gerald Everett, Johnny Mundt, Romello Brooker (R), Keenan Brown (R), Kendall Blanton (R)

    Left tackle: Andrew Whitworth, Bobby Evans (R)

    Left guard: Joseph Noteboom, Jamil Demby, Kyle Murphy, Brandon Hitner (R)

    Center: Brian Allen, Vitas Hrynkiewicz (R)

    Right guard: Austin Blythe, Aaron Neary, Chandler Brewer (R)

    Right tackle: Rob Havenstein, David Edwards (R), Darrell Williams

    Defense
    Defensive tackle: Aaron Donald, Sebastian Joseph-Day, Marquise Copeland (R), Tyrell Thompson (R)

    Nose tackle: Greg Gaines (R), Tanzel Smart

    Defensive end: Michael Brockers, John Franklin-Myers, Morgan Fox

    Sam linebacker: Dante Fowler Jr., Clay Matthews Jr., Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

    Mike linebacker: Cory Littleton, Travin Howard, Troy Reeder (R)

    Mo linebacker: Micah Kiser, Dakota Allen (R), Natrez Patrick (R)

    Will linebacker: Samson Ebukam, Justin Lawler, Trevon Young, Landis Durham (R)

    Cornerback: Marcus Peters, Troy Hill, Darious Williams, Kevin Peterson

    Cornerback: Aqib Talib, David Long (R), Ramon Richards

    Slot cornerback: Nickell Robey-Coleman, Dont’e Deayon, Dominique Hatfield

    Strong safety: Eric Weddle, Taylor Rapp (R), Blake Countess,...
    3 weeks ago
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