With the season coming to a close, the St. Louis Rams are siting on the second pick in this year's draft. All of this could change Sunday, because if the Colts lose, and the Rams play like usual, the Rams would have the first pick of the draft.
But, right now let's go with the assumption that the Rams keep the second pick in this draft. It will be a hard spot for the Rams to trade out of, so they will probably have to stay put and decide which player to draft.
I tried to make this as realistic as possible, but since I'm not an expert on the draft, I had fellow TST writer 3k (aka Joe McAtee) to give his opinions on the picks, so let's get ready for more draft talk.
Tevin's mock after the jump...
Round 1: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
There is no way the Rams can't make this pick. Matt Kalil isn't a better prospect than Jake Long coming out of college, but he's still a great player. He will come in and anchor the left side of the line for a decade if healthy.
Why the Rams should consider him: Because the Rams offensive line is a mess. Jason Smith, the Rams old left offensive tackle, might not be a bust, but he's not looking good. The new left offensive tackle Rodger Saffold had a good rookie season, but before his season ending injury he allowed the most sacks on the offensive line.
If the Rams add Matt Kalil, Rodger Saffold can move to right tackle, and Jason Smith can move to guard, Harvey Dahl will stay put, but who the Rams play at center will be up in the air.
3k's note: We've talked about it plenty, and it makes sense. Kalil's pass blocking skills are phenomenal and the ceiling is in elite territory. His deficiency is in the run game, and I think you all know how much stock I put into running the ball. Bear in mind that running off the left tackle isn't exactly the centerpiece of any offensive system, so it's not the most overwhelming fault.
Round 2: Kendall Wright, WR, Baylor
He might not be Justin Blackmon, but he's a playmaker in his own right. He and Robert Griffin III really helped Baylor become a force to be reckoned with this season. He isn't tall and doesn't run a complete route tree, but he just makes plays. He's not just a slot WR; he's been playing some outside this year, but he will have to work on it to do it in the pros. Check out the tape:
Why the Rams should consider him: Because, besides Greg Salas there's no wide receiver on this roster I trust. I don't count Danny Amendola and Brandon Lloyd, because they don't have a contract going into next season. The Rams need speed and athleticism on their roster, and Wright could be the player to do it for them.
3k's note: With the departure of Donnie Avery, the biggest hole offensively is the lack of a deep speed threat. The Rams just don't have a Mike Wallace or Torrey Smith, someone that can flat out run behind corners. Kendall Wright can. If he does drop out of the first round, it would be hard not to take a burner here and Wright's at the top of that list.
Round 3: Danny Trevathan, OLB, Kentucky
Danny is a man that the Rams need on their roster. He needs a little work, but I think he can be a solid player in the next level. He has some speed on him, he's a good tackler, and he can play in coverage. Of course, as a 3rd round pick he needs to work on some things, but with his work ethic he will get there. Also, if Steve Spagnuolo is still the head coach of the Rams, Danny fits the 4 pillars easily.
I got this from www.ukathletics.com:
Trevathan’s accomplishments during the 2011 season included:o 143 total tackles, ranking fifth in the nation and leading the SEC in tackles for the second-consecutive season
o Five fumbles forced, leading the nation’s linebackers in that category
o Four pass interceptions, second in the nation among linebackers
o In addition, Trevathan had 11.5 tackles for loss, three quarterback sacks, five pass breakups, two quarterback hurries and five fumbles forced.
Why the Rams should consider him: Because, the Rams are lacking athletes in their front 7. He brings the speed that the Rams have been lacking, he can cover, and he would be a good sidekick to James L.
3k's note: Trevathan's instincts are off the charts. He's one of those guys like Tyrann Mathieu who are always around the ball and capable of making plays consistently. The real draw on Trevathan is that he's not big enough or fast enough to dominate. I think that come draft time, this will be seen as being a bit too high, but I can see why Tevin reached.
Round 4: Montee Ball, RB, Wisconsin
This was the hardest pick for me. Ball's stock is somewhere between 2-4. I can't see him going in the 2nd or 3rd round, but I can easily see him going in the 4th round. There will be teams that don't like him for two reasons, he probably won't have a super fast 40 time, and because teams will devalue him for his great offensive line.
If he is available in the 4th round, I think he will be an easy steal. He does everything you would expect a running back to do. At worst, I think he will be a good backup/situational starter.
Why the Rams should consider him: For the past two years, the Rams have neglected to give Steven Jackson a solid backup. It's almost time for them to look for a successor, but the Rams need a player who can run if Jackson is injured, tired, or not here this season. Also, I like Ball potential to become an NFL starting running back.
3k's note: I'm with Tevin that Ball likely won't come into play until day 3. While his stats were gaudy this year, they weren't much different than in 2010. The only difference was that John Clay was gone and Ball was able to take nearly 50% of rushing snaps versus 28% the year prior. With Wisconsin's dominant offensive line, it's easy to look great. I've heard people talk about his patience. Well yeah, when you know your O-line is going to create holes every single time, that makes sense. Try running behind the 2011 Rams' O-line a couple hundred times and then see how much patience you exhibit. Ball's a solid power runner and at this point, just about every RB prospect is in play. But I'd rather see the Rams go after someone shiftier and with top-end acceleration like Miami RB Lamar Miller...as long as he drops into the 3rd round.
Closing statement on draft
The Rams need more draft picks, but I think these players will help the Rams make a leap to being a good team in 2012. All of these players are solid pieces to the puzzle that is the St. Louis Rams.