The draft is so close you can smell it. Of course, it's hard to sense anything with all the talk and speculation in the air. At this point, predictions are difficult to impossible, but let's take one last look at a very informed mock draft for some insight into a legit scenario for the Rams this weekend.
Scouts, Inc. has a full seven-round mock draft posted over at ESPN. It's behind the subscription wall, but you can download an Excel file with the full results, courtesy of Mike Sando, self-certified Excel maniac. You really have to be hard core to predict the full seven rounds, since there are likely to be more trades and surprise picks, lots of both, this weekend. Here's their prediction for the Rams:
R1 - Jason Smith, OT
R2 - James Laurinaitis, LB, Ohio State
R3 - Brian Robiskie, WR. Ohio State
R4 - Mike Goodson, RB, Texas A&M
R5 - Louis Vasquez, G, Texas Tech
R6 - Troy Nolan, S, Arizona State
R7 - Brandon Long, DE, Michigan State
Nabbing Laurintaitis in the second round would be ideal for the Rams, and it seems like there's more and more chatter that he may be available there, though it's pure speculation. Robiskie might be exactly what the Rams need in a WR to pair with Donnie Avery - big, physical, plays in well in the middle. He might not make it the third round. As for the first three rounds, those picks address the Rams biggest needs, but leave the debate about how to address those needs with what player wide open.
If you have some insight on any of the guys from rounds 4-7, let's hear it. I think another OT might be a better pick for OL depth than another guard...depending on what they've got in mind for John Greco's future. What kind of RB is Goodson? Would he be a nice change of pace guy for the Rams? Adding a RB isn't a bad move at all. Depth at DB is a need, and, knowing nothing about Nolan, I suspect he could be a special teams contributor. Long seems like the kind of guy Spagnuolo could make into a rotation specialist.
The biggest need not included here, that I'd like to see is a run stuffing NT, a specialist for the DT rotation and depth at the position. Of course, this really isn't the year for DTs. Another LB would make me happy too, but the Spagnuolo regime might well be able to make solid contributors out of last year's LB picks Chris Chamberlain and David Vobora. Both of these position might be more easily address through street free agents and roster victims prior to the start of the season.