The Rams have been aggressive in attempting to improve their team under general manager Les Snead. In fact, they’re mortgaging a bit of their future to do that.
Los Angeles is entering its fifth consecutive year without a first-round pick. The team has traded their first-round pick for a veteran player in every draft since 2018, and they aren’t scheduled to have another first-round pick until 2024 — unless they trade up to get a pick.
That seems highly unlikely given the Rams’ lacking draft assets.
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In wake of the Von Miller trade, the Rams are operating with virtually no draft capital. They currently have no picks in the first four rounds of the 2022 NFL Draft. The team will need to land a lot of compensatory picks to restock its bare cupboard.
Here’s a look at what the Rams currently have in terms of 2022 draft capital and what they are projected to earn via compensatory picks.
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Rams draft picks 2022
The Rams currently have just three draft picks in 2022 after the wheeling and dealing that they have done over the past year-plus.
Los Angeles sacrificed its 2022 first-round draft pick as a part of the Matthew Stafford trade. They also sacrificed their own second- and third-round picks in the trade to acquire Von Miller.
The trading wasn’t limited to picks on the first two days of the draft. The Rams also sent a fourth-round pick to the Texans as part of the Brandin Cooks deal while sending a sixth-round pick to the Patriots for Sony Michel.
Here’s a look at the picks the team officially owns in the 2022 NFL Draft.
- Fifth-round pick (own)
- Seventh-round pick (own)
- Seventh-round pick (via Miami in Aqib Talib trade)
It may look like the Rams won’t pick until the fifth round of the 2022 NFL Draft, but compensatory picks will certainly change that.
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Rams potential compensatory picks
The NFL awards compensatory picks to its clubs depending on the free-agent losses that they deal with in the previous offseason. The bigger the contract signed, the higher the pick. So, the Rams’ 2021 free-agent losses will result in the gain of 2022 NFL Draft picks.
So too will the hiring of Brad Holmes to be the Lions’ general manager. The NFL has added a program that awards teams that have a minority head coach or general manager hired from their team with a third-round compensatory pick. That one is set in stone, so technically speaking, the Rams have four sure-fire draft picks, the earliest of which will come at the end of the third round.
The other compensatory picks have yet to be awarded, but the Rams can receive a maximum of four, not including the pick awarded for the Holmes hiring. According to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, the Rams are projected to get five total compensatory picks because of their losses.
Here’s a look at Zierlein’s projections:
- Third-round pick (via Brad Holmes hiring)
- Fourth-round pick (via Browns signing John Johnson)
- Sixth-round pick (via 49ers signing Samson Ebukam)
- Sixth-round pick (via Seahawks signing Gerald Everett)
- Sixth-round pick (via Browns signing Troy Hill)
Save for Holmes, these picks aren’t guaranteed to land in these spots, but the point is that the Rams seem poised to benefit heavily from compensatory picks. That should replenish their draft stash and will give them a chance to have eight or so picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.