Los Angeles Rams: Top Three 2020 NFL Draft Needs

After losing in the Super Bowl (LII) to the New England Patriots 13-3, the Los Angeles Rams (9-7) missed the playoffs last season and they are now in draft capital hell.

They may look to trade wide receiver Brandin Cooks in order to get more draft capital and cornerback Marcus Peters was traded to the Baltimore Ravens for a fifth-round pick last season as well.

Los Angeles will need to make massive improvements this season on the offensive side of the ball. The defense will be fine moving forward.

Wade Phillips is no longer the defensive coordinator. Brandon Staley will be the new defensive coordinator.

Sean McVay, the head coach of the Rams, will need to find a way to get things under control on offense once again this season.

They released running back Todd Gurley in the offseason. They also lost offensive lineman Roger Saffold in the offseason last year to the Tennessee Titans in the offseason. The deal was for four years.

The Los Angeles Rams also brought back offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth.

They didn’t lose too many key pieces on the defensive side of the ball. Los Angeles traded for cornerback Jalen Ramsey at the trade deadline last season from the Jacksonville Jaguars for a first-round pick.

The Rams don’t have a first-round pick this year. They won’t be picking until 53rd overall in the second round.

With that in mind, what do the Los Angeles Rams need as well? Also, we here at IroniqMedia will examine the top 3 needs of all 32 teams. The next team will be covering is the Los Angeles Rams.

Offensive Line (Especially the interior)

The Los Angeles Rams had one of the worst offensive lines in football last season. They couldn’t protect Jared Goff and run the ball. Los Angeles needs a strong offensive line for the offense to succeed none the less.

Austin Jackson – USC

At 6’5″ and 322 lbs, Jackson is a force on the offensive line none the less. He could very well be the left tackle of the future and very well replace Andrew Whitworth in the near future at that position. This team is going to potentially draft heavy on the offensive line in the NFL Draft none the less.

Jackson also has some family ties to the NFL. His grandfather, Marvin, played in the NFL for five seasons with the Green Bay Packers and won the 1974 National Title with USC. Austin Jackson is a hard worker none the less.

As of right now, he is raw and very athletic. He has a very high ceiling none the less. Technique could be an issue and it is easily fixable at the next level. Austin Jackson is only 20 years old.

Ezra Cleveland – Boise St.

At 6’6″ and 311 lbs, Cleveland is another strong blind sider that will have very good value in the second round of the NFL Draft none the less. Ezra Cleveland started all 13 games as a sophomore and a junior in college.

Cleveland is very strong in the run game and I am sure that is something that Sean McVay is going to want to rediscover next season. Ezra Cleveland needs better strength in the passing game and just in general.

He needs to also finish his blocks. Finishing blocks will be the difference between two-yard gains and maybe 15-yard gains in the NFL. Cleveland has also a ton of upside at the next level none the less.

Isaiah Wilson – Georgia

Wilson is 6’6″ and weighs 350 lbs. After he was redshirted during his freshman season he started 14 games the year after that at right tackle.

They could also use help on the right side of the offensive line none the less especially at tackle. Drafting Isaiah Wilson would sure things up at the tackle position, despite needing a guard none the less.

He also has a very good personality. When Isaiah Wilson was in high school, The New Yorker magazine acknowledged his love for Spongebob Squarepants in a feature named “Reasons to love New York.”

Running Back

J.K. Dobbins – Ohio State

Dobbins is 5’9″ 209 lbs. J.K. Dobbins has solid speed and catches passes out of the backfield. That is something Todd Gurley did with the Los Angeles Rams, but Dobbins is not a three-down back.

J.K. Dobbins is a beast otherwise and can work on being shifty. The Rams will need to find another running back to pair side along with Dobbins moving forward.

He is 21 years old. J.K. Dobbins can develop into a three-down back as time goes on none the less. If he does become a three-down back, would his durability wear off quickly none the less?

Cam Akers – Florida State

Akers has been shown in a lot of mock drafts to be picked in the second round because he does well in zone schemes. Cam Akers is more of a strict downhill runner rather than catching passes out of the backfield or blocking defenders.

I haven’t watched much tape on this player but he will a lot of things to work on at the next level. Cam Akers would be a big risk for the Los Angeles Rams offense to take a chance on none the less. Akers may need time to develop into a full-time starter.

Dalvin Cook, who went to Florida State and who also plays for the Minnesota Vikings currently, was able to start right away in the NFL none the less.

Cam Akers is also only 20 years old as well. He is 5’11” and he weighs 212 lbs.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire – LSU

He may be the best running back available at this slot. I expect J.K. Dobbins from Ohio State, DeAndre Swift from Georgia, and Jonathan Taylor from Wisconsin all to be gone when the 53rd overall pick comes around.

Edwards-Helaire was a three-down running back at LSU and his performance during his time at LSU can’t be overlooked. He can catch passes out of the backfield and he can run downhill and also block in the passing game.

He may also be the best running back in this draft depending on who you ask. If Akers, Dobbins, and Edwards-Helaire are still available, I would grab Clyde Edwards-Helaire in a heartbeat none the less.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire is only 20 years old and also 5’8″ 175 lbs. He has a ton of upside and will have a bright future none the less.

Linebacker

Akeem Davis-Gaither – Appalachian State

He is 6’1″ and weighs 224 lbs. Davis-Gaither is not projected to go in the first round, but a lock of mock drafts have him going in the second round of the draft or the third round of the draft.

He is also 21 years old. Akeem Davis-Gaither is more of a pass rusher than a coverage guy. He will excel in hybrid defenses. Davis-Gaither may fit well in a 4-3 scheme with the Los Angeles Rams. He would also fit well in a 3-4 none the less.

Akeem Davis-Gaither loves to wrack up tackles. He would be some young blood that this Rams team would bring in. Davis-Gaither could be another tackle stat machine guy other than Michael Brockers and Aaron Donald none the less.

Troy Dye – Oregon

At 6’3″ 231 lbs, he is an excellent tackler and also has a very high football IQ none the less. Troy Dye also moves from sideline-to-sideline well, but will his weight be an actual problem moving forward at the next level for his position?

He also understands the running game well. Dye understands the position and what he needs to do at various times. Not a good fit as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, but would so well in a 4-3 scheme none the less.

Troy Dye also needs to work on not biting on play-action. He is easy to fool. Dye needs to work on his pass coverage none the less.

Malik Harrison – Ohio State

Ohio State usually has a good history of producing NFL players on the defensive side of the ball none the less. Harrison is one of the best defensive players from the Buckeyes in the NFL Draft.

They will definitely have a few starters drafted. Harrison is 6’3″ and weighs 247 lbs. He is very athletics and being compared to linebacker K.J. Wright for the Seattle Seahawks.

Malik Harrison is going to work in a 4-3 scheme. He is also very aggressive downhill and can make plays at the line of scrimmage.

Offensive coordinators could potentially have nightmares preparing for him none the less. 66 percent of his tackles were solo. That is a very good stat to see none the less.

Going downhill a lot can trap him. He can take poor angles often and that allows the big play for the offense to happen none the less. Otherwise, I think Malik Harrison is going to be a very good pro. He will be drafted in either the second or third round.

Harrison will need to work on defending play-action none the less. He can get burned in those kinds of situations none the less.

What do you feel is the top need for the Los Angeles Rams? Leave a comment below.

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Follow Glenn Kaplan on twitter @glennkaplan13.

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