The defending Super Bowl Champion Rams are famous for their “F*** Them Picks” strategy, but they actually had quite a few draft selections this year, believe it or not. With eight selections starting at #104 overall, the Rams hoped to continue their trend of finding starting-caliber players after Day 2. This article will include a full draft recap for the Rams with analysis and grades for each of their 2022 draft picks.
Los Angeles Rams Draft Picks 2022
Round 3 No. 104 OT Logan Bruss
Round 4 No. 142 CB Decobie Durant
Round 5 No. 164 RB Kyren Williams
Round 6 No. 211 S Quentin Lake
Round 6 No. 212 CB Derion Kendrick
Round 6 No. 235 DE Daniel Hardy
Round 7 No. 253 S Russ Yeast
Round 7 No. 261 OT AJ Arcuri
Overall Draft Grade: B+
The Rams may not be known for having high-end premium draft picks every year, but they’ve done more of their roster-building through the draft than some would believe. Los Angeles actually ranked sixth in the NFL in homegrown players with the most drafted players in the NFL on their roster last year. With their tendency to swing for the fences with big trades, their developmental process has to be on point to fill out the roster with solid talent.
Los Angeles is also known for not over-prioritizing the pre-draft process in terms of combine and Pro Day testing as well as the Senior Bowl. Neither general manager Les Snead nor head coach Sean McVay were even at the combine this year. Instead, the Rams prioritize high-level collegiate production when evaluating talent in the draft. This year was no different, as they selected a handful of players who were underwhelming athletes but high-level collegiate producers.
Overall, this draft was very solid all things considered. Their second-round pick was sent to the Broncos in their trade for Von Miller, and that represents the rare case where a short-term rental pays off as they won the Super Bowl. Of course, their first-round pick was also sent to the Lions in the Matthew Stafford trade. With solid talent added at positions of need, the Rams likely found at least a couple of future starters in this group.
Los Angeles Rams Draft Grades 2022
Round: 3 Pick: 104 / Logan Bruss, OT, Wisconsin
The Rams saw some attrition on the offensive line this season as future Hall of Famer Andrew Whitworth retired and Austin Corbett signed with the Panthers in free agency. Les Snead has done an excellent job of finding value in the later rounds as four of their five projected starters upfront were third-round picks or later. Logan Bruss appears next in line in that group as he’ll battle 2019 third-round pick Bobby Evans for the starting right guard spot. Bruss has the year-over-year improvement and consistency that you love to see for an offensive lineman, and he’s experienced at tackle and guard. I expect him to win the starting right guard spot over Evans this off-season.
The Los Angeles Rams pick Wisconsin Guard Logan Bruss at No. 104 overall.
ONE sack allowed since 2019 on 596 snaps 🚫 pic.twitter.com/Rn8dsnwBg1
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 30, 2022
Round: 4, Pick: 142 / Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State
I certainly didn’t expect to see Decobie Durant come off the board this early on Day 3 due to his lack of size, but this is a classic Rams pick where they eschew traditional measurables in favor of proven collegiate production. Durant dominated lower-level competition the way you’d expect him to with 12 career interceptions and a MEAC-leading 14 pass breakups in 2021. As an undersized cornerback, Durant can struggle with bigger receivers and needs to be more physical as a tackler, but his coverage chops are impressive and he could earn some playing time in dime sets this year, even after the Rams brought back Troy Hill.
Round: 5, Pick: 164 / Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame
This is another typical Rams’ pick as they ignored Kyren Williams’s poor athletic testing in favor of his high-level collegiate production. From 2020 to 2021, Kyren Williams ranked fifth among FBS running backs in both catches (77) and receiving yards (663). Williams had a very disappointing combine and tested with a 3.52 RAS as he landed in the 23rd percentile with a 4.65-second 40-yard dash. For a small running back (5’9”, 194 lbs) to also be unathletic is highly concerning. However, Williams has a very impressive production profile and the only real knock on his production would be his fumbles – he had eight fumbles through the past two seasons. Still, his pass-protection and pass-catching skill set offers immediate value to the Rams as a third-down running back.
The Rams coaches and scouts most certainly targeted rookie RB Kyren Williams because of his pass protection abilities. A very important yet rare trait for a rookie RB. Williams looks to have great value as a 3rd down back. A player Matthew Stafford can put trust in pic.twitter.com/BmmQrYN2vu
— RAMS ON FILM (@RamsOnFilm) May 5, 2022
Round: 6, Pick: 211 / Quentin Lake, S, UCLA
Quentin Lake was a five-year player at UCLA whose father Carnell Lake is a former five-time All-Pro safety and a member of the NFL’s 1990s All-Decade team. Lake is a high IQ player with excellent leadership traits. His ball-production is also a plus with three interceptions and six pass breakups last season. Lake made the All-Pac-12 second team last season. Lake fell to Day 3 due to his limited athleticism, but he reminds many of Jordan Fuller, also a sixth-round pick, who has developed into a high-level starter for Los Angeles.
Round: 6, Pick: 212 / Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
Despite being a member of the championship Georgia defense, Kendrick fell down draft boards after a disappointing combine. He ended up with a 1.53 RAS including a painfully slow 4.79-second 40-yard dash. However, Kendrick didn’t allow a single touchdown as the primary defender last season per ESPN and his four interceptions were tied for the third-most in the SEC. What Kendrick lacks in elite athleticism, he makes up for with high-level starting experience against top-end talent with great ball production and scheme-diverse ability.
Derion Kendrick and Decobie Durant combined for 7 INTs in 2021…
— PFF College (@PFF_College) May 6, 2022
Round: 6, Pick: 235 / Daniel Hardy, DE, Montana State
In a rare moment for the Rams, they actually chose a player with elite athletic measurables in Hardy. The Montana State isn’t on the level of his former teammate Troy Andersen, but he had a 9.34 RAS. His 40-inch vertical, 1.57-second 10-yard split, and 6.71-second 3-cone were all especially impressive. For reference, that’s a higher vertical than Travon Walker, a faster three-cone than Aidan Hutchinson, and a faster ten-yard split than Jermaine Johnson. Hardy also was a freak in terms of production last year with 77 tackles, 16.5 sacks, and 24.5 tackles for a loss. Hardy flew under the radar but the athletic profile and production are highly intriguing.
Round: 7, Pick: 253 / Russ Yeast, S, Kansas State
Russ Yeast wasn’t on my radar before the draft, but his resume is quite impressive. Yest earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in his five years at Louisville and Kansas State, and his production increased significantly when he moved from cornerback to safety in his junior season in 2020. Like Durant and Lake, Yeast was a big winner at the Shrine Game as he showed very well in a performance that highlighted his instincts and ability to cover the slot. He’s not an elite athlete, but he’s solid in that regard and should stick around on this roster with his special teams experience.
Round: 7, Pick: 261 / AJ Arcuri, OT, Michigan State
Arcuri is an older prospect as he’ll turn 25 years old prior to the start of this season. His starting experience is limited despite spending six seasons at Michigan State as he only has 25 total starts, 17 at left tackle and eight at right tackle. At 6’7”, 308 lbs, Arcuri has a prototypical frame for an offensive tackle and he put up 27 bench reps at the combine. His speed is lacking with just a 5.48-second 40-yard dash, but movement ability is less important in the Rams’ offensive schemes than in others, and he’s a decent developmental prospect.