There’s a long way to go until the 2024 NFL draft, and as the season progresses, the Los Angeles Rams are moving further and further away from a top-10 pick. Currently, they’re projected to have the 14th overall selection after improving to 5-6, but they’re closer to a playoff berth than they are a top-five pick.
Dane Brugler of The Athletic released his first 2024 mock draft and at No. 14, he has the Rams addressing a massive hole on their roster: edge rusher. He sent UCLA pass rusher Laiatu Latu to the Rams, giving Los Angeles a promising prospect to pair with the impressive Byron Young for years to come.
Latu doesn’t have ideal length, and I don’t expect him to test off the charts, but some rushers just know how to get after the quarterback — Latu ranks No. 1 in college football with 64 pressures. A pass-rush duo of Latu and Byron Young would be a great foundation for the Rams’ defense.
As Brugler noted, Latu has the most pressures in college football, recording 64 of them in 12 games. He’s tallied a career-best 13 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss, as well, forcing two fumbles and intercepting two passes.
The only edge rusher drafted higher than Latu in Brugler’s mock is Dallas Turner out of Alabama, who went 10th overall to the Titans. The next edge rusher taken after Latu is Jared Verse at No. 17, which is where the Cardinals are currently slotted.
The Rams currently have Michael Hoecht playing opposite Young, but they can certainly stand to upgrade at that spot and Latu would be a great way to do so.