Rams NFL Draft big board: 35 prospects with plenty of edge rushers, D-linemen to consider

Rams NFL Draft big board: 35 prospects with plenty of edge rushers, D-linemen to consider

Drawing from Dane Brugler’s top-300 prospects big board, here are 30 players who could be fits for the Rams on Days 1 and 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft this week. They have four top-100 picks, for now:

Day 1

Round 1 (No. 19)

Dallas Turner, OLB, Alabama

Many analysts are predicting that Turner is a top-10 or top-12 pick. If there’s a surprise, he would fit a top need, be among the best players available and be about as plug and play off the edge as it gets.

Jared Verse, OLB, Florida State

The Rams’ No. 1 need is outside pass-rush support for rising starters Kobie Turner (defensive line) and Byron Young (outside linebacker). There aren’t many holes to Verse’s game.

Chop Robinson, OLB, Penn State

Robinson’s athletic traits and upside make him an intriguing first-round prospect. Brugler projects him as a “wide nine” defender, which in the Rams’ hypothetical case would shed more light on a changing defensive philosophy under new coordinator Chris Shula, that will be without Aaron Donald.

Laiatu Latu, OLB, UCLA

Latu has every pass-rush move in the book, which makes him a good fit for a team still reimagining its identity in that phase.

Tyler Guyton, OL, Oklahoma

Brugler’s scouting report calls Guyton a “work in progress.” In a hypothetical Rams situation, he would likely sit for a year behind Rob Havenstein or Alaric Jackson.

Amarius Mims, OL, Georgia

Similar to Guyton, Mims might benefit from getting a year behind a veteran although Brugler projects he will become a long-term starter.

Byron Murphy II, DL, Texas

There’s no replacing Donald, but if the Rams are comfortable with a little less pure size along their defensive front, pairing Murphy and Turner could be intriguing.

go-deeper

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Jer’Zhan Newton, DL, Illinois

Another dynamic prospect who is considered “undersized” for the position, but even recent history with Turner tells us the Rams aren’t necessarily deterred by that.

Quinyon Mitchell, CB, Toledo

It’s hard to project when a run on cornerbacks could start in the first round, but Mitchell would fit a combination of a Rams need (despite recent veteran signings) and one of the best players available.

Nate Wiggins, CB, Clemson

Wiggins is leaner-framed than the Rams have preferred at outside cornerback and will have to be able to hold up to the tackling responsibilities the Rams require from their corners. Still, he is one of the top prospects in the class at the position of need.

Cooper DeJean, DB, Iowa

I’m not going to acquiesce to placing DeJean into one specific role, and neither should he. DeJean could range from the star to a more advanced “Kyle Hamilton” type of role depending on the Rams’ coverages. Don’t they already love guys named “Cooper”?

Brian Thomas Jr., WR, LSU

The consensus top three receivers may be gone by the Rams’ pick point (barring a trade up), but Thomas is a heck of a No. 4.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

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Day 2

Rounds 2 and 3 (Nos. 52, 83, 99)

Kool-Aid McKinstry, CB, Alabama

Smooth and consistent, if available in the second round I can see McKinstry lending some stability to a Rams DBs room that has seemed of late to be in constant fluctuation.

Jaden Hicks, DB, Washington State

This is not a typical selection day for the Rams and defensive backs, but if they see Hicks playing a versatile role inclusive to dime linebacker, don’t rule it out.

Kingsley Suamataia, OT, BYU

Brugler indicates that he is a still-developing tackle (fine, with Havenstein and Jackson under contract for the next year at least) with high upside.

Bo Nix, QB, Oregon

Sean McVay and Les Snead didn’t rule out drafting a (for now, backup) quarterback despite the fact that their room here is full for now.

Ricky Pearsall, WR, Florida

Route quickness and ball skills. The Rams don’t need a “home run hitter” at receiver if they have multiple players who can assuredly rack up doubles.

Xavier Worthy, WR, Texas

Snead’s familial connection to Texas is one thing, but after three years of understanding where Tutu Atwell couldn’t quite be maximized, does McVay try again with another super-fast, but smaller receiver?


Ruke Orhorhoro picked up eight tackles for loss in each of the past three seasons at Clemson. (Ken Ruinard / USA Today)

Ruke Orhorhoro, DL, Clemson

Apologies if you’re tired of hearing this, but the Rams need reinforcements along the defensive interior. Orhorhoro is still developing but has a promising size.strength combination.

Michael Penix Jr., QB, Washington

I’m not trying to cause a fuss by projecting a couple of different quarterbacks to the Rams. I’m just saying that it’s better to be ready for the worst versus not (as they saw in 2022) and it’s especially better to be ready with a player who could be a longer-term starter beyond “worst-case.”

Malachi Corley, WR, WKU

Brugler describes Corley as a versatile and speedy receiver who draws comparisons to San Francisco’s Deebo Samuel.

TJ Tampa, CB, Iowa State

The Rams have a ton of versatile inside/outside veteran cornerbacks and safeties on the current roster, which could set up an outside corner to develop in the NFL right at that spot.

go-deeper

GO DEEPER

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Andru Phillips, CB, Kentucky

The Rams haven’t found a longer-term slot defender since Jalen Ramsey was in horns … could “Dru” Phillips be that player?

Mike Hall Jr., Ohio State, DL

Hall is extremely young and could use some development. But if he can both fill gaps and rush the passer from a couple of different defensive line alignments, he could fit in with the Rams’ plans around Turner.

Maason Smith, DL, LSU

If Turner is going to play the three-, four- and even five-techniques, the Rams could use a true space-eater with size and upside on their defensive line.

Adisa Isaac, OLB, Penn State

Isaac has potential but the big question for the Rams is whether they are too clogged in the “developing players” category to truly bring forth a frontrunner versus a role player, under the amount of practice and game snaps occupied by the starters. It might be better to establish a “should-be” starter than hope for a player to compete his way up with a few second-year players.

Chris Braswell, OLB, Alabama

Similar to arguments over Isaac, should the Rams be taking a “maybe first year, probably second year” (according to Brugler) pick here?

Braden Fiske, DL, Florida State

Brugler’s evaluations of Fiske scream “consistency” and “pro readiness” despite perhaps not screaming elite-caliber tools. If the Rams are all in on Turner, consistency next to him might be the answer.

Spencer Rattler, QB, South Carolina

Again, not trying to cause a panic. Just presenting hypotheticals!

Ja’Lynn Polk, WR, Washington

Any of the three lead Washington receivers would be positive additions to an NFL roster.

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Xavier Legette, WR, South Carolina

Legette is big, strong, fast and shows strong leadership characteristics. It would be hard for the Rams to get him while also filling other positions of greater need in this round, but also tough to argue against a receiver on Day 2.

Blake Corum, RB, Michigan

Corum may be of interest in too high of a round for the Rams to draft the complement to lead rusher Kyren Williams. Recently, they have preferred to take running backs in the third round or later.

Bralen Trice, OLB, Washington

If the right pass rusher isn’t quite in the Rams’ reach in the first two days, the combination of Trice and re-signed Michael Hoecht could patch things over as Trice develops. Still, the backlog of developing players might hurt everyone’s case.

Malik Mustapha, LB, Wake Forest

One of my favorite players in this draft class, Mustapha is simply a player who “sells out” for football as a tackler and willing contributor to any phase.

Jalen McMillan, WR, Washington

McMillan is a three-level (short, intermediate/crosser, long) receiver who might surprise people in the NFL.

(Top photos of Laiatu Latu, Chop Robinson, Jared Verse: Jordon Kelly, Scott Taetsch, Michael Chang / Getty Images)

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