The Los Angeles Rams entered the 2023 NFL Draft without a first round pick but that didn’t stop them from coming away with a good draft class.
With their first pick, they selected Steve Avila from TCU to help bolster their offensive line that caused so many issues for them a season ago. He likely will slot in as a starter for them and should give them some needed help. Avila is a bruising lineman that can play both center or guard, giving them some versatility and flexibility. It was a home run pick in the second as some had him penned in as a possible first round grade.
They also got Warren McClendon Jr. from Georgia, who is a bit of a wild card but could form into a nice depth piece or even starter down the line. Los Angeles was decimated by injuries along the line last season so they made it a priority to address the position during the draft.
However, one of the more underrated picks came from day three of the draft for the Rams. The selection of Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett signals that Matthew Stafford could be out in another year or so. Stafford dealt with injuries all of 2022 and couldn’t regain his form from the title season. Maybe the Rams know something we don’t and Stafford isn’t long to play anymore. Either way, getting Bennett here as a flyer is a huge gain for this Rams squad.
Bennett is coming off back-to-back College Football Playoff titles with the Bulldogs and he vastly improved his draft stock over the last few seasons. He isn’t a top quarterback from the draft class right now but he was one of, if not the best in college over the last two seasons. Right now, Bennett will be a backup to Stafford but if the chance ever comes for him, this pick could play out nicely.
I’m not saying that he will become an All-Pro level quarterback but there is something there with Bennett. His DNA seems to be made from the cloth of other top tier quarterbacks and he will likely have a chip on his shoulder from where he was drafted. If anything, the Rams got a nice backup in case Stafford goes down with an injury again. Ironically, it was in Sofi Stadium that Bennett and the Bulldogs won their second straight national title so he was meant to call it home.
Some other notable picks from Los Angeles were running back Zach Evans from Ole Miss and cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson from TCU. Both of which should provide Los Angeles with good depth in areas that they either struggled with last season or areas that they needed to fill over the offseason.
Los Angeles went into this draft loaded with day two and day three picks and came out with an excellent draft. They addressed their weaknesses to the best of their abilities while also filling some holes in their depth as well. The way that they drafted gives off the impression that the Rams fully do intend to be competitive heading into 2023 as they look to get back to the postseason again.