Whether the season is going well or in the tank, it's never too early to talk about the 2012 NFL Draft. Obviously, you can tell where the St. Louis Rams stand, since people are already weighing the options for trading down the chance to pick Andrew Luck in the draft. One position that the Rams simply must consider is cornerback, and one player that is making a loud case for an early draft slot is LSU cornerback Morris Claiborne.
Claiborne is only a junior. He has plenty of time to decide whether or not to enter the 2012 NFL Draft. If he continues to roll through LSU's season at his current pace, he might not have any choice but to head for the NFL as a high first-round pick.
He thrived last year playing across from Patrick Peterson. With teams throwing away from Peterson, Claiborne was able to snag five interceptions. Many wondered if he would play as well without Peterson on the other side of the field, and so far the results have been very promising. He picked off two passes against Mississippi State in week three of the college season. The week after that he added a 99-yard kick return touchdown in LSU's win over West Virginia.
Rob Rang at NFL Draft Scoutstill has him ranked as his fourth corner, behind Dre Kirkpatrick, Janoris Jenkins and Alfonzo Dennard, but those rankings could shift if he continues to play this way. Here's what Rang said about him:
He's been even better this season and possesses the quick feet and sticky hands usually reserved for wideouts.
Sticky hands...quick feet...that sounds exactly like what the Rams could use in their secondary. Claiborne is also a very good tackler, still more of what the Rams so desperately lack right now.
Fortunately for you, dear reader, we happen to have someone who knows quite a little bit about LSU, our own 3k.
This draft class has a handful of corners ticketed for the early part of the first round, where the Rams seem destined to pick in 2012. It will be a position to keep your eye on as the draft gets closer.