Rams make first 1st-round pick since Jared Goff, take Florida State DL Jared Verse

The Los Angeles Rams did something at the 2024 NFL Draft they hadn't done in many years. They actually made a pick in the first round.

With the 19th overall pick of the draft, the Rams selected Florida State defensive end Jared Verse. It was the first time they had selected a player in the first round since drafting Jared Goff first overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Per, that run ties the 1984-1990 Washington Commanders franchise for the second-longest first-round drought in league history, behind only Washington's 11-year drought from 1969-79.

In Verse, the Rams are getting a high-floor player who earned back-to-back All-America honors with the Seminoles. He posted 18 sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss in two seasons after transferring to Tallahassee from Albany.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - FEBRUARY 28: Jared Verse #DL51 of the Florida State Seminoles speaks to the media during the 2024 NFL Draft Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
The Rams made a safe pick with Jared Verse. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)

Here's how Yahoo Sports' Nate Tice described him:

"Verse is all about power, power, power. He loves to fire off the ball and lock onto offensive tackles and push them into quarterbacks’ laps, or drive them into the path of a running back trying to get outside. He doesn’t have many auxiliary moves, lacking finesse and bend to supplement his hammerhead approach, which means certain teams are going to like him for their defensive make-up more than others, especially given his not exactly ideal overlap of size and style.

"I like Verse a lot as a high-end secondary pass rusher and overall useful player who can help solidify any run defense. His pass rushing upside has a ceiling because of his lack of overwhelming bend."

A high-power rusher might prove useful for a team that just lost Aaron Donald to retirement.

The quick answer is yes, if you accept that flags fly forever.

The Rams won the 2022 Super Bowl featuring two of the players they traded huge value for and remain a competitive team, going 10-7 last season, thanks to their veterans' continued excellence, plus the emergence of players like Puka Nacua (2023 fifth-rounder) and Kyren Williams (2022 fifth-rounder).

If you want to actually determine if the Rams got more value for their team through what they acquired vs. the picks they gave up, we'll let you be the judge. Here are players the Rams acquired using their seven first-rounders, plus the actual pick, between 2016 and 2024:

Not many of those players the Rams "gave up" ended up working out, though there's always the players the Rams could have drafted, such as Justin Jefferson in 2020 or Christian McCaffrey in 2018. Of course, that presumes the Rams would have made the best pick possible.

Anyway, the Rams earned this reputation, leaned into it and eventually got rewarded. There were some dicey years, but general manager Les Snead most certainly earned that "F*** them picks" shirt he wore at the Super Bowl parade.