THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Rams made one pick through the first two days of the NFL draft.
They made 10 picks on Day 3, continuing their active offseason by making five trades Saturday, including sending wide receiver Tavon Austin to Dallas.
The Rams used those picks to address immediate needs at linebacker and improve their depth on the offensive and defensive lines for the future.
“We did think if we could turn a lot of the fourth-, fifth-, sixth-round picks into more picks, we’d have a chance to get fits and fill some roles or get players with traits to have a chance to fill some of those roles,” general manager Les Snead said.
The Rams have made 11 trades since the league year started on March 14, and that doesn’t include the deal with Buffalo for wide receiver Sammy Watkins in August that included their second-round pick.
All of the Rams’ picks came from other teams, either through trades or as compensatory selections.
But the Rams ended up using one of their own choices, re-acquiring the fifth-round pick they sent to Denver for cornerback Aqib Talib in March. Getting the 160th overall pick back for two sixth-round picks, the Rams took Oklahoma outside linebacker Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.
Virginia inside linebacker Micah Kiser was also selected in the fifth, with Louisville edge rusher Trevon Young chosen in the sixth. TCU‘s Travin Howard, a safety turned linebacker, and SMU defensive end Justin Lawler went in the seventh.
Ogbonnia, Young and Lawler will try to replace Robert Quinn, who was traded to Miami in March, and unsigned free agent Connor Barwin. Kiser will compete to replace Alec Ogletree, who was dealt to the Giants in March. Howard can provide added depth at inside linebacker.
The Rams also addressed both lines of scrimmage. After taking Horned Frogs tackle Joe Noteboom in the third round on Friday, the Rams added Michigan State center Brian Allen in the fourth and Maine offensive lineman Jamil Demby in the sixth.
Stephen F. Austin defensive end John Franklin, a fourth-round pick, and Rutgers nose tackle Sebastian Joseph, a sixth-round pick, will get to learn from the likes of Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh.
Tennessee running back John Kelly was the only skill player the Rams took, selected in the sixth.
“Going into year two, you could be a little bit more strategic with some of the needs because collectively as a coaching staff and with our personnel staff we have a much better idea of how our players that have been here fit,” coach Sean McVay said.
Here are some other things to know about the Rams’ busy draft:
MOVING ON: The Rams sent Austin to Dallas for a sixth-round draft pick five years after selecting him with the eighth overall pick in the 2013 draft. Austin never developed into more than a gadget player under former head coach Jeff Fisher, and served as a change-of-pace running back last season under McVay after a wrist injury sidelined him for organized team activities and training camp.
SENIOR SIGNIFICANCE: Noteboom, Kiser, Okoronkwo and Demby participated in the Senior Bowl. Snead said it was a coincidence after six of their eight draft picks in 2017 played in Senior Bowl, but added that the talent level at the event was especially beneficial for a smaller-school player like Demby.
KAMARA 2.0? Todd Gurley established himself as the premier three down back in football with 2,093 yards from scrimmage and 19 touchdowns last season, but Kelly could lighten the workload for the NFL Offensive Player of the Year.
Stepping in for New Orleans rookie sensation Alvin Kamara, Kelly had 37 receptions for 299 yards with the Volunteers last season after catching six passes for 51 yards in 2016.
“I definitely wanted to be able to incorporate the route-running and pass-catching in my game because I know it translates to the league,” Kelly said on a conference call. “I was just blessed to have a guy like Alvin that was able to show me how to perfect my craft on that.”
STILL NEED: The additions of Kiser and Howard give the Rams more options at inside linebacker, but Mark Barron is the only proven starter there. It wouldn’t be a surprise if they add a veteran capable of calling plays and getting everyone lined up. Increased depth and competition at safety could be an aim with undrafted free agents.