With Josh McDaniels as the St. Louis Rams offensive coordinator, just how does that change the Rams' offseason approach to finding a wide receiver? Maybe it doesn't. It's not as though that glaring team need wasn't obvious long before Pat Shurmur was ever a twinkle in Mike Holmgren's eye.
A couple of new mock drafts for the 2011 NFL Draft carry forth the meme that the Rams will take a wide receiver in the first round. I have my doubts about that, but plenty of things can happen between now and the end of April.
Let's look at the mocks...get your hair helmet ready.
Mel Kiper, Jr. has his first mock of the year out today, and his vision for the first round should be one pleasing to Rams fans. His pick for St. Louis: Alabama WR Julio Jones. From the hair:
When they drafted No. 1 overall last year, many people thought the Rams could be looking at wideouts within the top 5 of this year's draft. But their great improvement has them further down the board. Good thing for them, Jones offers top-10 talent at a bargain in this spot. Big and physical, Jones showed a more refined game this past season, eliminating drops and making catches all over the field from every formation. A perfect fit to grow with Sam Bradford.
If Jones is on the board when the Rams pick at #14, then Jones makes all the sense in the world. I don't think he'll be there, unfortunately. That doesn't mean that the Rams can't find a damn good player who'll make an impact with their pick, it just probably won't be a WR. Unless, they reach...and reach is the theme in the latest mock from Mocking the Draft.
Their pick for the Rams: Pitt WR Jonathan Baldwin.
Dan admits it a reach, and it sure is...right now. Baldwin is the kind of player whose draft stock could rise or fall at the Combine and all the other prospect events between now and the draft. Here's MTD's write up on the pick:
The third reach pick in a row is slightly less of one than the previous two. There are concerns that Baldwin is lax on the field and will take plays off. But when he's on, he is as good as Julio Jones. Look for Baldwin to light up the combine and rise his draft stock.
Baldwin is seen by some as a late first rounder and by others as a second rounder. The thing to remember here is just how much draft stock will change in the months ahead, and with such a gap between the two obvious first round receivers and the rest of the bunch, receiver is a position that should see lots of debate. I'm ready.