The latest and greatest 2012 NFL Mock Draft from SB Nation is out today. This edition is designed to reflect a few predictions I think will happen in Mobile, AL, at the Senior Bowl this week, and I fully expect the whole thing to look a lot different this time next week. As for the St. Louis Rams, I finally broke down and pulled the trigger on a trade. I'm not 100 percent convinced that's going to happen, but it just seemed off to have a player like Robert Griffin III being drafted any lower than second, especially with the new salary scale for rookies.
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Let's review the mock and the big trade after the jump.
I had the Browns and Rams swinging a deal for the second pick in the draft. Cleveland gave St. Louis their two first-round picks, which would be an absolute dream come true for St. Louis.
With the fourth pick, the Rams draft Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State.
There's a new regime in St. Louis, and they won't be willing to make the same mistakes of the last one, thinking that Sam Bradford can get by with a group of receivers led by Danny Amendola, the poor man's Wes Welker. Everyone keeps pointing out that Blackmon does not compare to last year's top receivers, but he has loads of talent.
This is about as no-brainer as it gets. With the second pick, the Rams have a tough choice to make between Matt Kalil and Blackmon. With the fourth pick and Kalil off the board, the Rams take the top receiver available in this year's draft.
They can try to pick up a tackle with the second pick, #22, acquired in the deal. And the pick is Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford.
How badly could the Falcons use this pick? Julio Jones is a very good player, but this season was evidence that they just weren't ready to swap all those picks for him. Cleveland will take it ... and give it to the Rams for RG3. New head coach Jeff Fisher made it pretty clear that the Rams will protect quarterback Sam Bradford, and they'll need an upgrade over Jason Smith to do so.
Does Martin fall this far? Probably not, but once we get a better sense of the pass rushers available, I think the picks in between will look a lot different, causing players like Martin to fall a little.
Having the #22 pick would give the Rams plenty of options. I wouldn't rule out a cornerback here, maybe someone like South Carolina's Stephon Gilmore. With Chris Long and Robert Quinn, edge rushers wouldn't be a priority.
There's also the possibility of taking a running back. In fact, I wouldn't rule out the chances of taking Trent Richardson, though it's unlikely, with the fourth pick, and finding another receiver with a later pick in the first round. All of which assumes a trade down.
Plenty could happen between now and then. We'll have updates from the Senior Bowl all week. And for more on the draft's first big event, check out this primer from SB Nation.