The Rams will gain some LB depth in this year’s draft
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In what was likely the most surprising story of the NFL season, the Rams offense turned into one of the best in the league. Jared Goff looked like a different QB overnight with Sean McVay as the new head coach. Goff looked more decisive with his throws and his receivers were making plays for him to the tune of a 28-touchdown season. His Fantasy draft stock is certain to rise this year with many owners likely to pull the trigger on Goff as a QB1. But temper expectations, as there is likely to be some sort of regression.
Todd Gurley had quite the bounce-back from a poor sophomore campaign. His 323.3 Fantasy Points paced the field at the running back position as he was a threat both on the ground or through the air. A healthy Gurley along with a passing attack that can keep teams honest is one that will be among the league leaders in points in 2018. Gurley will be one of the first couple of picks off the board in drafts this year, and with the value he can return, it’s warranted.
The receiving core even got an upgrade this offseason with the departure of Sammy Watkins, but him being replaced by Brandin Cooks can be viewed as a win. Cooks in this offense has all kinds of potential. He has the all-around game to be dangerous in both PPR and standard formats. But will the targets be there? They still have Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp to keep happy as well. Goff will have to learn how to keep his receivers content with this group. Both Cooks and Woods have value as WR2s, while Kupp could be intriguing as a Flex play in PPR formats.
The Rams found great success in the third round on the draft last year pic.twitter.com/Lz8rn7Hhnf
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) April 25, 2018
Team Needs: LB, C, DE
Projected Top Three Picks
Third Round: Darius Leonard, LB South Carolina State
Fourth Round: Austin Corbett, OG Nevada
Dorian O’Daniel, LB Clemson
With the limited picks that the Rams have, they will look to just find depth in this draft. That is exactly what they will do with two of their first three selections coming from the linebacker position. Darius Leonard is a long, speedy linebacker that is very reactive on the field. He posted very productive numbers while in college and should easily find a spot on the defense. Dorian O’Daniel is the opposite of Leonard in that he lacks the size and speed. But what he lacks is made up for with consistency and production. O’Daniel may see most of his time in 2018 as a special-teams contributor. Neither have value in IDP Formats for the upcoming season.
Austin Corbett has seen his draft stock dip over the last month or so as teams have really dug into the tape. He never blows you away on game film but plays solidly. His average to below-average strength and lack of length have been concerning to some evaluators. His size will allow for him to compete for a spot at center early on and if he can work on his consistencies on the field, he could progress into a solid NFL starter. Corbett could be a cog that helps strengthen the Rams offensive line, helping the offense to maintain the production from the 2017 season.
Darius Leonard Featured Image: (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
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