Trading up to No. 1 overall in 2016 left the Los Angeles Rams without a first-round pick in 2017. But they made the most of it. They began by swapping the 37th overall pick for an additional third-round selection, and they ended with one of the best drafts since Les Snead became general manager in 2012. The Rams' most recent draft class compiled an Approximate Value of 23, tied for third highest in 2017, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
Grade: Near perfection.
Best rookie: Cooper Kupp. The third-round pick out of Eastern Washington established himself as a go-to slot receiver and finished as one of the NFL's most productive rookies, with 62 catches for 869 yards and five touchdowns. Kupp doesn't boast elite straight-line speed, but he's a precise route-runner with reliable hands and a knack for getting open. And he surprised the Rams with his abilities after the catch. He eventually became Jared Goff's security blanket on third down.
Most improved rookie: John Johnson, like Kupp, eventually locked down a place in the Rams' starting lineup. Johnson impressed the Rams through the offseason program and in training camp. By Week 5, he became a starting safety, prompting the release of veteran Maurice Alexander. Johnson, a third-round pick out of Boston College, showed great ball skills from the onset. Over time, he grew more and more comfortable with his responsibilities in Wade Phillips' system, making for a dynamic pairing with Lamarcus Joyner.
Most disappointing rookie: It's hard to put Gerald Everett here because he was actually quite good. But he was the No. 44 overall pick, and his impact wasn't necessarily profound. Year 1 in the NFL is especially tough on tight ends, and Everett generally took a back seat to second-year tight end Tyler Higbee. Higbee played on 420 more snaps than Everett, though he finished with only 51 more receiving yards. Everett showed his athleticism with several nifty moves in the open field, but he needs to improve as a blocker to get on the field more often.
Jury is still out on ...: Josh Reynolds, the former Texas A&M receiver who was taken in the fourth round. The Rams considered Reynolds a steal that late. He has good size, at 6-foot-3 and 192 pounds, and good hands. Reynolds impressed during training camp and got the bulk of the snaps when Robert Woods missed three games late in the season because of a shoulder injury. Reynolds projects as someone who can consistently stretch the field. It will be interesting to see how his presence impacts what the Rams are willing to pay to keep Sammy Watkins.
Undrafted rookie evaluation: Perhaps the Rams' most exciting undrafted rookie was Justin Davis, a former USC running back who made a lot of nice moves during the preseason but also had a bit of a fumbling problem. Davis received only one carry during the regular season, which basically made him among the team's most productive undrafted rookies. That's a good thing. The Rams stayed relatively healthy throughout the season and got a lot of value out of their draft.