Los Angeles Times
No-drama Rams ‘stick to the plan’
Balanced approach helps team address a variety of needs on offense, defense.
Stay in alignment. No surprises. Seamless.
Those were a few terms and phrases Rams general manager Les Snead and coach Sean McVay used Saturday to describe the Rams’ process and results in the NFL draft.
A day after they selected tight end Gerald Everett, receiver Cooper Kupp and safety John Johnson in the second and third rounds Saturday, the Rams added Texas A&M receiver Josh Reynolds and Eastern Washington linebacker Samson Ebukam in the fourth round, Tulane defensive lineman Tanzel Smart and Virginia Tech running back Sam Rogers in the sixth, and Pittsburgh linebacker Ejuan Price in the seventh.
The four new players on offense and four on defense help the Rams address needs at receiver and tight end, and improved depth at linebacker and on the defensive line.
“We feel like we were able to address a lot of those needs, but we also didn’t overreach for any,” McVay
JOSH REYNOLDS, wide receiver
6 feet 3, 194 pounds, Texas A&M, Round 4, Pick 117.
Notable: Reynolds scored 30 touchdowns in three seasons. He finished his college career with 12 catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns against Kansas State.
Why the Rams drafted him: The Rams are attempting to give Jared Goff varied weapons. Reynolds, at 6-3, is currently the tallest wide receiver on the roster and could be a mismatch for smaller cornerbacks.
Last season: Reynolds caught 61 passes for 885 yards and 12 touchdowns. He caught a touchdown pass in eight consecutive games.
SAMSON EBUKAM, linebacker
6 feet 3, 240 pounds, Eastern Washington, Round 4, Pick 125.
Notable: Ebukam recorded 24 sacks during his career. He is the second Eastern Washington player drafted by the Rams, joining receiver Cooper Kupp.
Why the Rams drafted him: Under new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, the Rams are installing a 3-4 scheme. Ebukam is an edge rusher who can fit naturally as an outside linebacker.
TANZEL SMART, defensive line
6 feet 1, 296 pounds, Tulane, Round 6, Pick 189.
Notable: Smart started the final three years of his college career. He was named first-team All-American Athletic Conference as a junior and senior.
Why the Rams drafted him: Smart’s frame is similar to Aaron Donald’s, the Rams’ three-time Pro Bowl tackle. He adds depth to a position group that is regarded as the team’s strength.
Last season: Smart had 181⁄2 tackles for losses, including 51⁄2 sacks. He recovered a fumble and forced another. He made a career-best 67 tackles.
SAM ROGERS, running back
5 feet 10, 231 pounds, Virginia Tech, Round 6, Pick 206. Notable: Rogers began his career as a walk-on. He rushed for 692 yards and four touchdowns and caught 72 passes for 802 yards and seven touchdowns. He also completed three of four passes, including one for a touchdown.
Why the Rams drafted him: Along with his versatility with the ball and as a blocker, Rogers comes from a program that has a history of outstanding special teams play.
Last season: Rogers rushed for 283 yards and two touchdowns and caught 24 passes for 802 yards and seven touchdowns. He also passed for a touchdown.
EJUAN PRICE, linebacker
5 feet 11, 241 pounds, Pittsburgh, Round 7, Pick 234.
Notable: Price was sidelined more than two seasons because of pectoral and back injuries but he finished with 291⁄2 sacks, tying Rams tackle Aaron Donald for fourth on the school’s all-time list.
Why the Rams drafted him: Playing defensive end, Price last season averaged nearly two tackles for a loss per game. The Rams expect him to get into the backfield as a 3-4 edge rusher.
Last season: Price produced 23 tackles for losses, including 13 sacks. He also forced three fumbles.