Rams mock draft roundup: Early projections for LA’s 2nd-round pick

The 2023 NFL draft is still three months away but experts have been cooking up mock drafts for some time now. The Rams will go on the clock at No. 36 overall in the second round, hoping to land an impact rookie as they try to get back to the playoffs in 2023.

With most mock drafts only projecting the first round, the Rams have been excluded from the majority of projections that have been released so far. Still, we scoured the web to see who draft analysts have the Rams taking in the second round.

Luke Easterling, Draft Wire

The pick: LSU OLB BJ Ojulari

Ojulari is an explosive pass rusher who’s slightly undersized at 6-foot-2, but that shouldn’t deter the Rams from taking him at No. 36. They need high-upside edge defenders who can pressure the quarterback, which most of their outside linebackers were unable to do in 2022.

He had 5.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss last season as a junior and finished his three-year career at LSU with 16.5 sacks, 25.5 tackles for a loss and two forced fumbles.

Skyler Carlin, Rams Wire

The pick: Georgia OLB Nolan Smith

Smith also lacks the length and size the Rams often look for at outside linebacker. However, he displayed great bend as a pass rusher, which allowed him to turn the corner quickly around tackles.

His 12.5 career sacks in four seasons are also reason for concern, but he projects well as a pro pass rusher.

Dane Brugler, The Athletic

The pick: Georgia OLB Nolan Smith

As you can see, Smith is a popular pick for the Rams at No. 36. They desperately need pass-rush help and Smith is likely to be one of the best available at that point in the second round.

Nick Baumgardner, The Athletic

The pick: Utah CB Clark Phillips III

Baumgardner goes against the grain by picking someone other than a pass rusher for the Rams. Phillips is only 5-foot-10 and isn’t overly physical on the outside, but he’s a certified ball hawk. He had nine picks in 31 games, returning four of them for touchdowns.

With David Long Jr. and Troy Hill hitting free agency, the Rams will be on the hunt for cornerback help.

Story originally appeared on Rams Wire