Sean McVay enjoyed unprecedented success in his first two seasons leading the Rams.
He was voted NFL coach of the year in 2017, led his team to two division titles and also a Super Bowl.
Perhaps one day the NFL’s youngest head coach will enjoy another personal milestone: Leading a team with a first-round pick he helped select.
McVay must wait at least until next year after the Rams traded the 31st pick and a sixth-round pick to the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday for picks in the second and third rounds Friday.
“Feels par for the course,” McVay said after the first round ended.
Not that McVay was upset.
-They now have four picks in the top 100, including a second-round pick (No. 45), three third-round picks (Nos. 79, 94 and 99) and single picks in the fourth (No. 133), fifth (No, 169), and seventh (No. 251) rounds.
The Rams went into the draft with a first-round pick for the first time since 2016, when they selected quarterback Jared Goff with the No. 1 pick. They had the 23rd pick last year, but about a month before the draft they traded it to the New England Patriots for receiver Brandin Cooks.
On Thursday, with the second-to-last pick in the first round, general manager Les Snead knew legitimate first-round talent might be thin by the time the Rams’ turn came. Trading back for more picks, especially for one in the second round, was thought to be the Rams’ favored course of action.
“Early in the process, we knew the pool of players that we might be dealing with, so you always have a few favorites that if they did fall … that maybe you hold pat and pick,” Snead said after the first-round was complete. “But if those chosen few didn’t, we felt it would be better to again add another third-round pick.
“And to have, at the end of the day, four picks in the top 100 instead of just three.”
Said McVay: “The good thing is that a lot of the things that we anticipated ended up playing itself out. It kind of went according to what we had thought in a lot of instances.”
The Rams were looking for a defensive lineman to help replace Ndamukong Suh but the depth of that position group played out with 13 linemen and edge rushers selected in the first 30 picks, including five of the first seven.
As the Rams’ chance to pick approached, the Seattle Seahawks were positioned to make the two picks before them.
The Seahawks selected Texas Christian defensive end L.J. Collier, and then traded the 30th pick to the New York Giants, who selected Georgia cornerback Deandre Baker.
The Rams then traded their pick to the Falcons, who chose Washington offensive tackle Kaleb McGary.
“It worked out the way that we wanted to,” McVay said. “We had some other plans that could have potentially played themselves out that didn’t but there was a clarity towards the end.
“And that’s exactly what we had hoped for and that’s what we got tonight.”
The Rams will turn their attention to the middle and late rounds, where they have had noteworthy success the last two drafts.
The Rams selected players such as tight end Gerald Everett, receivers Cooper Kupp and Josh Reynolds, safety John Johnson, linebacker Samson Ebukam, offensive linemen Joseph Noteboom and Brian Kelly, linebacker Micah Kiser and defensive lineman John Franklin-Myers. All of them will start or compete for starting roles in the upcoming season.
So the Rams are confident in their ability to mine the later rounds for talent.
“We still have to draft right and develop right,” Snead said.
The Rams’ NFC West opponents appeared to get stronger Thursday night.