Rams Could Be Surprise Team Looking For QB In Draft

The teams in need of a quarterback in the 2024 NFL Draft have been known for a while now. The Bears, Commanders, Patriots, Giants, Vikings, Broncos, and Raiders have all been connected to passers throughout the pre-draft process. Ari Meirov of the 33rd Team, though, points to the Rams as a squad that could surprise many with an early quarterback selection later this week.

Los Angeles certainly doesn’t need a new passer for the 2024 season. Matthew Stafford didn’t reach his Super Bowl season numbers of 41 touchdowns and nearly 5,000 yards, but he was impressive in his second-ever Pro Bowl season in which he finished eighth in MVP voting. Stafford did miss two games this year, though, and the eight games he missed in 2022 were enough to show head coach Sean McVay and company that they needed to start looking towards the future.

The team did address the position after Stafford’s injury-marred season, drafting former Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett in the fourth round of last year’s draft. The Rams saw Bennett as a bit of a project heading into the 2023 season, and it’s safe to say the experiment didn’t go according to plan. Initially thought to be the heir apparent to Stafford, Bennett ended up being completely out of the mix in the quarterbacks room as Carson Wentz and Brett Rypien subbed in for two starts that Stafford missed.

On top of that, Bennett found himself on the reserve/non-football illness list and off the active roster entirely. McVay claimed that Bennett was “doing better” in January but said that it was too early to know if he would be ready to be a part of the team again in 2024. With Wentz and Rypien on other teams now, Jimmy Garoppolo and Dresser Winn now sit on the depth chart behind Stafford with Bennett.

So, the Rams will turn to the draft. Obviously, the top four quarterbacks on the board are out of range. At No. 19 overall, Los Angeles would need to put together a massive package in order to move up that far. That could leave two quarterbacks who played on the west coast in college available in Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. and Oregon’s Bo Nix, though. Penix has been consistently connected to the Raiders at No. 13 overall, so even he might not be available.

If the Rams aren’t in love with Penix or Nix, or don’t like them at that value in the draft, their options get fairly thin past that. After the top six passers, South Carolina’s Spencer Rattler is expected to be the next quarterback off the board. Rattler is maybe the only passer with a third-round grade. Tulane’s Michael Pratt is close, with expectations that he’ll be selected late on Day 2 or early on Day 3.

After that, the depth of the position dips a bit. There are plenty of options, but they either slot in as fifth- to seventh-round picks or as preferred undrafted free agents. Popular college names like Tennessee’s Joe Milton, Florida State’s Jordan Travis, and Notre Dame’s Sam Hartman all dominated at the college level but aren’t viewed as more than potential flyers in the draft.

If the Rams are going to surprise teams by going after a passer, they’re going to need to do so in the third round or sooner. If they don’t feel confident in Rattler potentially taking over as a starter eventually, they’re going to have to seriously consider what it will take to get a passer in the first two rounds.

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