SBNation rolled out their latest and greatest and 2011 NFL mock draft, and it's back on the Julio Jones train for the St. Louis Rams. Looking at the first 13 picks of the draft, the ones happening before the Rams make their selection, the logic is pretty solid. Let's review.
First, you know why Devaney and the Rams would jump for Jones should he make it this far in the first round. It's still unlikely, but there's a scenario unfolding among the chattering classes that is reflected in Brian Galliford's latest mock. Think offensive tackles.
Yes, there's a plethora of defensive line talent to be had for teams throughout the first round, but the need for blue chip offensive tackles never goes away. Teams overlooked Rodger Saffold, until the Rams made him the first pick of the second round last year. Pundits guffawed at the pick. Results on the field said made for a feast of crow.
One key here is Dallas. They're back in the mix for drafting an offensive tackle. Tyron Smith from USC is the hot name right now, but Anthony Castonzo. Detroit has always seemed most likely to take an OT with their 13th pick. For the Rams, the receiver shake out hinges on the Buffalo Bills to start with. Long considered a QB, most mock drafts now have them picking OLB Von Miller, and that makes sense given Miller's ridiculously high ceiling as a pass rushing linebacker. That leads to the Bengals drafting Blaine Gabbert, as opposed to A.J. Green, who they're usually linked to in these mocks.
Green then goes to the Cleveland Browns, who need a receiver...and I wonder what Shurmur's offense will look like with a legit No. 1 in the lineup. The next most logical spot for Jones to be picked is Washington at #10. In this mock, they pick Cal DE Cam Jordan, a perfect fit for their 3-4 defense and also the pick in the TST community mock. Jordan makes sense for Washington, but I even wonder about Jake Locker for them. The last possible spot is Minnesota, but they'll probably make every effort to retain Sidney Rice...and need to fix their QB situation. Quarterback help is probably coming from a veteran once the free agent market finally opens. They pick Da'Quan Bowers in this mock, but talk about his knee injury has heated up and could precipitate a draft day fall.
You don't need Tricky Dick to explain the Domino Theory to you to piece this together. Connect the dots and you've got Julio Jones sitting there for the Rams at #14.