Rams' Top 2021 NFL Draft Targets

Jake RillFeatured Columnist IApril 26, 2021

Rams' Top 2021 NFL Draft Targets

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    Jae C. Hong/Associated Press

    As the 2021 NFL draft gets underway Thursday, the Los Angeles Rams likely won't be busy. They don't have a first-round pick this year, as they traded it to the Jacksonville Jaguars in the deal that brought in cornerback Jalen Ramsey in October 2019. They will only be on the clock Thursday if they trade up.

    Otherwise, Los Angeles won't be getting in on the draft action until Friday, when the second and third rounds take place. The Rams have a second-round pick (No. 57 overall) and a pair of third-round selections (Nos. 88 and 103), which they'll use to help fill some of the current holes on their roster.

    Los Angeles fans should get used to the team not being active on the opening night of the draft. It didn't have a first-round pick in 2020 (it also went to Jacksonville in the Ramsey trade), and it currently doesn't have one for 2022 or 2023, as both of those picks went to the Detroit Lions in the trade that brought in quarterback Matthew Stafford earlier this offseason.

    Consequently, the Rams will need to make smart decisions in the later rounds to find players who may end up being steals and can still become building blocks for the franchise moving forward.

    Here are three players Los Angeles should target with its first picks of the draft on Day 2.

Aaron Robinson, CB, UCF

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    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    While the Rams still have Ramsey, they're lacking depth in the secondary and could use a cornerback to start alongside him and Darious Williams. So it could be wise for the team to use its second-round pick on a corner who could quickly come in and make an impact for its defense.

    Aaron Robinson started his college career by playing 13 games as a true freshman at Alabama in 2016. After transferring to UCF and sitting out a year, he played for the Knights the past three years, making him an experienced draft prospect. He has played 23 games over the past two seasons, collecting 95 tackles and three interceptions during that span.

    "Cornerback prospect with inside/outside potential featuring good size and adequate speed. The former four-star prospect possesses quality athletic ability with good transition quickness and foot agility," NFL.com's Lance Zierlein wrote of Robinson in a scouting report.

    If the Rams draft Robinson and decide to play him at nickelback, it could be a huge boost for their defense in 2021 and beyond. His experience and skill set should be enticing for Los Angeles in the second round.

Quincy Roche, LB, Miami

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    Rusty Costanza/Associated Press

    Quincy Roche is an intriguing Day 2 prospect, as he has the potential to develop into a strong pass-rusher in the NFL. And considering the Rams could benefit from improving their linebacker corps, they should try to put themselves in a position where they can add him in the second or third round.

    After beginning his college career at Temple, the 23-year-old only played one season for Miami in 2020, but it was an impressive one. He started all 10 games for the Hurricanes and had 45 tackles, 4.5 sacks and three forced fumbles (tied for the most in the ACC).

    Roche was a third-team All-ACC selection this past season. Prior to that, he was the AAC Defensive Player of the Year in 2019, his final season at Temple where he was a dominant force throughout his time with the Owls.

    It's possible Roche is going to draw interest from plenty of teams on Day 2, so Los Angeles may not be alone in potentially wanting to draft him. But if the Rams do select him, there's a chance he turns into a top edge-rusher for the team to build around moving forward.

Josh Myers, C, Ohio State

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    Barry Reeger/Associated Press

    One of Los Angeles' biggest holes on offense remains at center. And at some point during Day 2 of the draft, the Rams are going to need to draft a lineman who can quickly take over that role for them.

    Considering Los Angeles will likely need somebody who's experienced, it should try to draft Josh Myers, who played 30 games at center for Ohio State over the past three seasons and was the team's starter for the past two. He was a second-team All-Big Ten selection in 2019, then made the first team in 2020.

    Myers was a captain for the Buckeyes this past season, helping them go 7-1 and reach the College Football Playoff National Championship Game. His size (6'5", 300 pounds), experience and leadership are likely to make him a steal on Day 2 of the draft.

    "He's a pretty good player and he's got a great build for a center so I think he's going to end up starting for a long time," a personnel director for an NFC team told Zierlein.

    That's exactly what the Rams need up front, as they would benefit from adding a center like Myers to help stabilize that unit.