California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

    Rams, Chargers Prepare For NFL Draft

    Draft day in the National Football League is when dozens of players become instant millionaires and franchises get their new stars. Of the thousands of collegiate players that are eligible to be drafted, only 256 will be chosen.

    For the second year in a row, the Cleveland Browns will have selection of the number one pick in the draft. Besides the first pick in the draft, they will also have possession of the number four pick. The Browns will be the first team since the Washington Redskins in 2000 to have two selections in the top five.

    โ€œWith their recent moves, it seems like it might be pointed to them taking Saquon Barkley at number 1,โ€ said Jack Wang, Los Angeles Chargers beat reporter for the Orange County Register. โ€œBesides that, Iโ€™m not sure who they like at quarterback.

    According to a recent article by the Washington Post, two Southern California natives are among the top prospects in this yearโ€™s quarterback class: Josh Rosen, a native of Manhattan Beach who played at UCLA, and Sam Darnold, a native of Capistrano Beach who played at USC. Both are being considered for quarterback-needy teams at the top of the draft like the Cleveland Browns, the New York Giants, the New York Jets and the Denver Broncos.

    โ€œBoth look like excellent prospects. Josh Rosen is more of a traditional kind of pocket type guy. Heโ€™s very fundamentally sound and very smart,โ€ said Rich Hammond, Los Angeles Rams beat reporter for the Orange County Register. โ€œSam Darnold is more like a Brett Favre type of guy. To me, he has a higher up side.โ€

    The Rams, who own the number 23 pick in the draft will be looking for help at the linebacker, offensive lineman and wide receiver positions according to Hammond. Many notable players from last yearโ€™s team that went 11-5 and made the post season for the first time since 2004 are no longer with the team.

    Alec Ogletree, the leading tackler for the Rams last season, was traded to the New York Giants. Sammy Watkins, the receiving touchdown leader last season, signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. Trumaine Johnson, one of the leaders in defensive touchdowns, signed with the New York Jets. Robert Quinn, one of the leaders in sacks, was traded to the Miami Dolphins.

    โ€œIt does hurt seeing all those guys that really contributed to the team leave so abruptly,โ€ said Jacob Flint, a Rams season ticket holder since their arrival in Los Angeles. โ€œWe did acquire some really good players though. Marcus Peters is huge. Aqib Talib from the [Denver] Broncos is also really good.โ€

    The Chargers own pick number 17 after missing the playoffs once again. The Chargers havenโ€™t been to the playoffs since 2013. According to Wang, the chargers will be looking for help at linebacker, defensive lineman and kicker.

    โ€œ[One of the biggest needs] is probably linebacker and special teams. I say that even though their roster is in a position where they can afford to draft the best player availableโ€ Wang said.

    Wang mentioned the Chargers lost several close games last season, in part because they could not find consistency at the kicker position.

    โ€œThey struggled at kicking. They cycled through four different kickers, none of whom really had any kind of sustained success,โ€ Wang said.

    According to an article on, the Chargers are possibly looking at drafting a quarterback to succeed Phillip Rivers. Although Rivers had one of the best statistical years in his career, he will be turning 37 later this year.

    โ€œI would be a little surprised if they drafted a quarterback at 17. A guy that might be available there is Lamar Jackson,โ€ Wang said. โ€œ[Head Coach] Anthony Lynn has said in the past that he likes a quarterback who can keep a defense guessing with their legs.โ€

    Although NFL franchises prepare months ahead of the draft, anything can happen on draft night.

    โ€œThings can change, the people you were targeting might be gone, someone who you had really highly valued at another position might fall into that position and you can change your mind really quickly.โ€ Hammond said.

    The NFL draft will be held April 26-28 at AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas.

    Manuel Lira