NFL Draft Class Recaps - NFC West
Updated: Sep 6, 2022
By Aaron Ussery
Round 2, Pick 55 - Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
McBride appeared to be the consensus TE1 in this class, and Arizona is a landing spot where he'll get a good shot at earning a starting job. Zach Ertz is likely around for another year, but not much more than that. McBride is a well rounded Y-TE type with upside as a receiver and a blocker, projecting as a solid multi-contract starter in the mould of a Kyle Rudolph or Delanie Walker.
Round 3, Pick 87 - Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State
Thomas has every chance to earn one of the team's starting EDGE jobs. He won't be enough to make up for the loss of Chandler Jones, but he is a high floor player who can easily become a quality number two rusher. The problem, of course, is that the team still doesn't have a number one rusher.
Round 3, Pick 100 - Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
Sanders adds to the spaghetti that Steve Keim is tossing at the wall in order to try and replace Chandler Jones' production. He's a different sort of player than Thomas, projecting more as an exclusive stand-up five tech type. He'll challenge Devon Kennard and Dennis Gardeck for reps in that role, while Thomas contends with Markus Golden and Victor Dimukeje for reps at the true base end role.
Round 6, Pick 201 - Keontay Ingram, RB, USC
Nearly 100 picks later we see Arizona add to the backfield. Chase Edmonds left town, leaving Eno Benjamin as the only real backup to James Conner. With Conner's age and injury history, another body was needed. Ingram brings more size and contact balance than Benjamin, which could help him take a larger chunk of snaps in the rotation.
Round 6, Pick 215 - Lecitus Smith, IOL, Virginia Tech
Smith was good value in the sixth round, in my opinion. He fits what Kingsbury likes to do in the running game, offering tremendous value as a pulling guard. He's likely a year one backup, but I wouldn't be surprised if he takes a starting job from either Justin Pugh or Will Hernandez come 2023.
Round 7, Pick 244 - Christian Matthew, CB, Valdosta State
A pick that left me scratching me head, as Matthew wasn't someone I was familiar with prior to the draft. He's a bigger corner, standing 6'2" and weighing in at 195 lbs, which in theory could help him compete for a backup spot at the outside CB position behind Marco Wilson and Jeff Gladney.
Round 7, Pick 256 - Jesse Luketa, LB, Penn State
Steve Keim can't seem to help himself when it comes to hybrid linebacker types. Luketa looks most comfortable when rushing off the EDGE, but he has ability to play some off ball. He doesn't have the range to leave him there full time, but he'll likely flash enough ability in camp to stick on the roster as a backup rush linebacker behind Zaven Collins.
Round 7, Pick 257 - Marquis Hayes, IOL, Oklahoma
The second of two late round guard selections, Hayes was seen by some as a Day 2 caliber player. He's antithetical to Smith, who is a more technically based blocker but a bit lacking in strength. Hayes, on the other hand, is incredibly strong. He plays with a wild streak, which leads to more penalties than you'd like to see, but his physicality and vision as a puller makes him a good fit. Like Smith, I could see him eventually taking over as a starting guard come 2023 (when both Pugh and Hernandez are set to be free agents).
Los Angeles Rams
Round 3, Pick 104 - Logan Bruss, IOL, Wisconsin
The latest in a long line of NFL caliber Wisconsin O-Linemen, Bruss has tackle experience but likely will play guard for the Rams. Austin Corbett left town in the offseason, and Bobby Evans hasn't shown much so far in his career. There's a good chance Bruss is one of the team's starting five some September.
Round 4, Pick 142 - Decobie Durant, CB, South Carolina State
Durant is undersized, but with high-level ball skills that make him a worthy gamble in the fourth round. He projects best in the slot, where the team also managed to bring back Troy Hill for at least the 2022 season. There's an easy to envision scenario where Durant takes over long term as LA's nickel corner.
Round 5, Pick 164 - Kyren Williams, RB, Notre Dame
Williams' stock fell heavily during the draft process following some very disappointing athletic testing. He seems to play much faster than he tests, however, and comes with some of the best third down skills of any RB in the draft. Darrell Henderson is in the final year of his rookie deal, leaving Williams a great chance to prove himself as a long-term RB2 to Cam Akers.
Round 6, Pick 211 - Quentin Lake, S, UCLA
Lake adds to the mix at safety, where both Nick Scott and Taylor Rapp are coming up on the final year of their contracts. The Rams will likely opt to try and keep one of the two, but certainly not both. Lake is a smart, instinctual player who helps keep the cupboard stocked at a position where the team has had a strong history of draft success as of late.
Round 6, Pick 212 - Derion Kendrick, CB, Georgia
Like Kyren Williams, Kendrick's draft stock absolutely tanked following some bad testing numbers. However, while his recovery speed never looked elite, you'd have to think a 4.78 40 time is a bit misleading. Kendrick has great ball skills as a former 5-star wide receiver, and lead the Georgia defense in interceptions last year. I see him as a boom-or-bust prospect, where he will either be starting for this team in two years or will be off the roster entirely.