Ed "Pi Double i" Henderson
The Los Angeles Rams front office have elected to break away from tradition by signing all of their rookie draft class to their rookie contracts. The Rams eight draft picks signed their rookie deals with the Rams on Friday, and also, was provided with a tour of the new Los Angeles Stadium & Entertainment District at Hollywood Park which is set to open the 2020 season.
second & Third round selections
The Rams kicked off their 2019 NFL Draft with the unexpected, by swapping their first-round 31st overall selection to the Atlanta Falcons for their second-round 45th overall selection. With that choice, the Rams drafted Taylor Rapp, safety from the University of Washington.
With the first-round talent, Rapp slid into the second round, primarily because he did not test thoroughly at 2019 NFL Combine. Even at University Washington Pro Day, his 40-times were sub-par running consistently at 4.75 seconds. Rapp led a Huskie defense as a high caliber tackler, excellent in coverage, and tremendous in the blitz game. Rapp will get substantial playing time these season in individual packages.
The Rams had a trio of third-round picks of the draft; however, the organization sent shock waves, not only to the team but the entire NFL community with a surprising selection. The first of the trio of selections, Les Snead the Rams general manager, went with the unexpected choice, selecting Darryl Henderson, talented running back from the University of Memphis.
Many of the NFL experts indicated that Henderson was an insurance policy to Todd Gurley, who recently diagnosed with an arthritic knee. At Memphis, Henderson was an explosive back who rushed for a lot of yards and touchdowns in his career. A speedy running back with breakaway speed who also can catch the ball out the backfield. Head coach Sean McVay is probably wrecking his nerves on plays that will allow both backs on the field together creating mismatches for defenses.
The future of the Rams defense strongly relies on starting corner-backs Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters. Both defensive backs are in the last year of their respective contracts and Rams expects to resign Peters to a contract extension.
As the veteran Talib ages, the team sought a replacement who could eventually start next season. They used the second of their third-round picks by selecting David Long from the University of Michigan. Long is one of two hometown kids that Rams chose in the 2019 draft as he prepped at Loyola High School in Los Angeles.
Long is the epitome of a long and physical press corner built for Wade Phillips defense. He allowed of 60 targets only 18 receptions for 130 yards and given up only three first downs and a touchdown. In man coverage, he never surrendered more than two receptions in a game.
The last of the third-round picks, the Rams would use it on tackle Bobby Evans Jr out of the University of Oklahoma. Evans had the luxury of protecting back to back Heisman Winners of quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray.
The Rams lost two starting linemen, center John Sullivan not resigned, and guard Roger Saffold to free agency, who signed with the Tennessee Titans. Evans is a reliable and robust lineman that can create massive gaps in the run game.
Offensive line coach Aaron Kromer loved the selection of Evans, knowing that the team needed to invest for the future. Evans can play all over the offensive line and been practicing during the OTA's. The veteran linemen on the rosters are genuinely impressed with Evans transition and dedicated hard work.
fourth thru Seventh Round SELECTIONS
In this draft, the Rams needed to find a replacement for veteran defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, as they deferred to let him test the free-agent market. In the fourth round, they selected nose tackle Greg Gaines from the University of Washington.
Gaines, another southern California kid, attended La Habra High School, signed with Boise State and then transferred to Washington as when head coach Chris Petersen to the UW head coaching job.
Gaines, a stout defensive lineman, plugged the middle and had a career season his senior year with 55 tackles (6 1/2 for loss), 3 1/2 sacks, and one interception.
In the fifth-round, the Rams went offensive line again and selected David Edwards from the University of Wisconsin. Edwards, a fantastic story played quarterback in high school and converted to offensive tackle. He played on the right tackle for the Badgers that helped produce some quality runners from that backfield.
With seventh-round selections, Rams select defensive players with their two selections. Penn State safety Nick Scott and linebacker Dakota Allen from Texas Tech University were the Rams choices in the final round. Both players are long shots to make the team as positional players, have a higher chance of making the team on special teams.
At Penn State, Scott was an excellent hard-hitting safety that has a great knack for contact. However, Scott excelled well on special teams and is why the Rams selected him late.
As for Allen, he earned a second chance at Texas Tech following an arrest and expulsion. Allen was previewed on Last Chance U, the Netflix special, and received a second opportunity with Tech. Allen's hard work paved his path to the NFL as a seventh-round selection and will need to work hard to make the 53-man selection.