Rams 2024 NFL draft: Breaking down 10 picks, five defenders, four on offense, kicker

HERMOSA BEACH, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 25: Fans attend the Los Angeles Rams Draft Experience presented by SoFi on April 25, 2024 in Hermosa Beach, California. (Photo by Kaelin Mendez/Getty Images)
Fans attend the Rams Draft Experience in Hermosa Beach. (Kaelin Mendez / Getty Images)

Breaking down the Rams 2024 NFL draft picks. They picked five defenders, four on offense, and a kicker:

Jared Verse — edge

Florida State's Jared Verse (5) celebrates his team's 24-23 victory over LSU.
Florida State's Jared Verse (5) says he has been proving doubters wrong at every level of competitive football. (Matthew Hinton / Associated Press)

6 feet 4, 254 pounds, Florida State, Round 1, Pick 19

Notable: Verse played two seasons at Albany before transferring. He amassed 31½ sacks during his career, including 18 at Florida State. In 2023 he had at least two sacks in four games, including 2½ against Florida.

Last season: Verse had nine sacks and 1½ tackles for losses in 13 games for the Seminoles. He was an AFCA All-American.

Why the Rams drafted him: Future Hall of Fame defensive lineman Aaron Donald’s retirement left a gaping hole in a pass rush that already was in need of reinforcements. Tackle Kobie Turner and edge rusher Byron Young showed promise last season as rookies but, for the Rams to compete for a Super Bowl title, new defensive coordinator Chris Shula needs more players who can consistently pressure quarterbacks.

Braden Fiske — defensive tackle

Florida State defensive lineman Braden Fiske reacts after a sack against Louisville.
Florida State's Braden Fiske likely fits into the Rams' system as an interior defensive lineman. (Erik Verduzco / Associated Press)

6 feet 4, 292 pounds, Florida State, Round 2, Pick 39

Notable: It’s a Seminoles draft for the Rams. Fiske played at Florida State with edge rusher Jared Verse, whom the Rams selected in the first round with the No. 19 pick.

Last season: Fiske played in 13 games and had 43 tackles, including six sacks.

Why the Rams drafted him: Just as they did with Verse, the Rams sought a player who could help them make up for the loss of the recently retired Aaron Donald. Fiske, who played at Western Michigan before transferring for his final season, joins a front that includes second-year pro Kobie Turner, edge rushers Byron Young and Michael Hoecht and nose tackle Bobby Brown III.

Blake Corum — running back

Michigan's Blake Corum (2) gives the Rams more versatility at running back.
Michigan's Blake Corum (2) gives the Rams more versatility at running back. (Paul Sancya / Associated Press)

5 feet 8, 205 pounds, Michigan, Round 3, Pick 83

Notable: Corum rushed for 58 touchdowns during his Michigan career and helped lead the Wolverines to the College Football Playoff championship last season.

Last season: Corum played in 15 games and rushed for 1,245 yards and 27 touchdowns, including two in the championship game.

Why the Rams drafted him: Kyren Williams emerged as a 1,000-yard rusher last season, but the Rams needed another back to lessen his load. Corum was a key player in a winning program and demonstrated durability at Michigan. He gives Rams coach Sean McVay and quarterback Matthew Stafford another weapon for an offense that is expected to be the Rams’ strength.

Kamren Kinchens — safety

Kamren Kinchens of Miami runs through drills during practice for the Senior Bowl.
Kamren Kitchens will compete for a safety spot with the Rams. (Butch Dill / Associated Press)

5 feet 11, 203 pounds, Miami, Round 3, Pick 99

Notable: Kinchens, a Florida native, intercepted 11 passes during his three-year Miami career, the first Hurricanes player since Sean Taylor to amass 10 or more.

Last season: Kinchens played in 10 games and intercepted five passes. He was first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference.

Why the Rams drafted him: With the decision not to re-sign Jordan Fuller, the Rams need depth at safety. Kinchens joins a position group that includes Kam Curl, who was signed as a free agent, and Quentin Lake and Russ Yeast. None intercepted a pass last season. New defensive coordinator Chris Shula would like nothing more than for Kinchens to help create turnovers.

Brennan Jackson — edge

Washington State's Brennan Jackson could help fortify the Rams' pass rush.
Washington State's Brennan Jackson could help fortify the Rams' pass rush. (Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

6 feet 4, 264 pounds, Washington State, Round 5, Pick 154

Notable: Jackson, who played at Great Oak High in Temecula, had 20 career sacks, which ranks eighth in Washington State history. He also had 33½ tackles for lost yardage.

Last season: Jackson had 8½ sacks and 12½ tackles for lost yardage for the Cougars.

Why the Rams drafted him: Jackson’s selection continued the Rams’ heavy emphasis on pass rushers to help fill the void left by Aaron Donald. The Rams selected Florida State edge rusher Jared Verse in the first round and Florida State tackle Braden Fiske in the second. Jackson joins a position group that includes second-year edge rusher Byron Young and veteran Michael Hoecht.

Tyler Davis — defensive lineman

Clemson defensive tackle Tyler Davis (13) runs onto the field before agame against North Carolina.
Clemson defensive tackle Tyler Davis (13) add more beef to the Rams' front. (Jacob Kupferman / Associated Press)

6 feet 2, 301 pounds, Clemson, Round 6, Pick 196

Notable: Davis was selected first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference in each of the last three seasons.

Last season: Davis played in 13 games and had 3½ sacks. As a junior, he had 9½ tackles for lost yardage, including 5½ sacks.

Why the Rams drafted him: It has become more than a trend. Davis is the fourth defensive lineman selected by the Rams to help make up for the loss of Donald. Davis is the second interior line prospect, joining second-round pick Fiske. Davis is a nose tackle who could allow Kobie Turner to move to the three-technique spot. Bobby Brown III is in the final year of his rookie contract.

Joshua Karty — kicker

Joshua Karty kicks a field goal for Stanford.
Joshua Karty had been very consistent kicking field goals inside 50 yards for Stanford. (Godofredo A. Vásquez / Associated Press)

6 feet 2, 207 pounds, Stanford, Round 7, Pick 209

Notable: Karty, who was selected All-Pacific-12 Conference the last two seasons, is the first kicker drafted by the Rams since they took Sam Sloman in the seventh round in 2020.

Last season: Karty made 23 of 27 field-goal attempts and all 21 extra-point attempts.

Why the Rams drafted him: The Rams desperately needed a reliable kicker after the debacle that was the 2023 season. They started it with veteran Brett Maher and then turned to rookie Lucas Havrisik before returning to Maher. The Rams no doubt are hoping Karty can become an effective weapon the way Greg Zuerlein was after being drafted in 2012.

Jordan Whittington — receiver

Texas wide receiver Jordan Whittington (13) turns upfield against Oklahoma.
Texas' Jordan Whittington (13) adds depth to the Rams' receiving corps. (Jeffrey McWhorter / Associated Press)

6 feet 1, 205 pounds, Texas, Round 7, Pick 213

Notable: Whittington moved from running back to receiver after the 2019 season. He caught a combined 92 passes in the last two seasons.

Last season: Whittington played in 14 games and caught 42 passes for 505 yards and a touchdown.

Why the Rams drafted him: Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua and Demarcus Robinson are the starting receivers, and Tutu Atwell also will play. The Rams need depth, however, because Kupp is entering his eighth season and was injured for much of the last two, Robinson is playing on a one-year contract and Atwell is in the final year of his rookie contract.

Beaux Limmer — center/guard

Arkansas offensive lineman Beaux Limmer (55) gets ready to run a play against Kent State.
Arkansas offensive lineman Beaux Limmer (55) gives the Rams more depth up front. (Michael Woods / Associated Press)

6 feet 5, 302 pounds, Arkansas, Round 7, Pick 217

Notable: Limmer played several seasons at right guard before moving to center for his final college season.

Last season: Limmer started 11 games at center and played one at left guard for the Razorbacks.

Why the Rams drafted him: Coleman Shelton, who started at center last season, signed with the Chicago Bears. The Rams released veteran Brian Allen. So second-year pro Steve Avila is moving from left guard to center for a line that was bolstered by re-signing guard Kevin Dotson and signing free agent Jonah Jackson. Limmer will provide the Rams with depth at center and possibly guard.

KT Leveston — offensive line

Kansas State offensive lineman KT Leveston celebrates.
Kansas State's KT Leveston adds more depth to the Rams' offensive line. (John Raoux / Associated Press)

6 feet 4, 326 pounds, Kansas State, Round 7, Pick 254

Notable: Leveston mainly played left tackle during his college career, but he is projected as an NFL guard.

Last season: Leveston started 13 games for a Kansas State team that finished 9-4 and 6-3 in the Big 12 Conference.

Why the Rams drafted him: Leveston could provide depth for an offensive line that has been fortified by the re-signing of Dotson and the free-agent signing of Jackson. Leveston’s experience at tackle also could make him an eventual successor to Joe Noteboom as a swing tackle. With no pressure to play right away, Leveston can learn from the veterans.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.