The Rams continue to insist that Todd Gurley‘s left knee is fine, and he will continue to be the “focal point” of the offense. But they matched the Lions’ offer to Malcolm Brown this offseason and, on Friday, used a third-round choice on a running back.
Los Angeles selected Memphis running back Darrell Henderson with the 70th overall choice.
Rams coach Sean McVay insisted it had nothing to do with Gurley and everything to do with Henderson.
“Yes. This had to do with his skillset,” McVay said, via quotes distributed by the team. “He was a player that we identified as a unique playmaker. He can obviously so some things as a runner, but the versatility that he provides and some of the things that he can do are what was so enticing about him for us. You see the explosiveness — over 8 yards a carry. There’s a lot of good things that you’d seen with what he’s done and his résumé at Memphis. We’re excited to get him in here and get to work and really learn under Todd and Malcolm.”
Gurley missed the final two regular-season games with “knee inflammation” before gaining 118 yards from scrimmage against the Cowboys in the divisional round. He then played a complementary role the rest of the way.
The Rams have talked about managing Gurley’s workload, while keeping him a mainstay in the offense.
“Like we have said all along, we anticipate Todd being a huge part of this like he has been the last couple of years,” McVay said. “As far as managing the workload, those are things that we talk about with Todd and as you continue to get educated on, is that something that we should do for the long haul or something that is or isn’t going to affect Todd most importantly and how does that affect our team? But we added a really good playmaker was a big thing.”
Gurley has averaged 326 touches per season over the past three seasons.