LAS VEGAS, NV - DECEMBER 22: Doug Martin #22 of the Boise State Broncos runs for yardage ahaead of Keelan Johnson #10 of the Arizona State Sun Devils during the MAACO Bowl Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium December 22, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Boise State won 56-24. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Mike Mayock, the NFL Network's draft guru, released his top five players at each position in the 2012 NFL Draft on Monday. Many of the names will be familiar, and some will surprise you. It's also worth noting that the list will change between now and the draft. Which players should be on the St. Louis Rams' radar this year?
(Note, the list is not online at NFL.com, but our friend Evan at Rotoworld has the list).
Diving in after the jump.
I'll leave quarterbacks off the list, since that's the one position where the Rams would not be bidding on the top five players. It is worth noting that Robert Griffin III is second on the list, confirming his status as an attractive trade chip for the second pick.
Richardson will get picked early in the first round. I'll be interested to see if he's on the Rams list if they do end up trading down in the draft. It would depend on which spot they trade down to, and who is available.
Keep your eyes on Martin. He's tearing it up in early reports from the Senior Bowl this week. Here's Draft Countdown on Martin:
...was the best running back on the field today for the North squad and it wasn't even close. While not known for his explosiveness Martin displayed good acceleration through the hole and flashed enough speed to get outside and turn the corner. Martin also showcased his hands as a receiver, catching a number of dump off passes, and the toughness is still there as evidenced by his determined running in 11-on-11's. Martin was definitely one of the stars of the day.
The Rams need a running back, but what their priority should be is up for debate. Do-it-all guys like Steve Jackson are few and far between. They need a complement to Jackson, but they also need someone who can carry the load if Jackson misses time after more than 1,000 touches over the last three seasons.
There's no need to discuss Blackmon. He looks like the best of the bunch and a top five pick. The Rams could take him at #2. Floyd and Wright pulled out of the Senior Bowl because of injuries, which is too bad for them. Jeffery's an unknown that will have to answer questions about his speed and work ethic among others.
Who the heck is Chris Givens? Good question, he's been MIA in the receiver conversation so far, but if Mayock thinks this highly of him, that won't last. He's 6'2" 203 lbs. There are questions about whether or not he can get separation against NFL corners.
This is probably worth its own post given that he has Kalil second to Reiff. I still think Ohio State's Mike Adams will crack this list. He's tearing it up at the Senior Bowl this week. From Tony Pauline at SI.com:
Have to also be excited about Mike Adams (T/Ohio State), who justified his rising draft stock with a strong practice.
I'm a huge fan of DeCastro. I'd make him the second or third lineman off the board, and, in fact, I did make him the second OL off the board.
Glenn and Osemele are both turning heads at the Senior Bowl this week. Keep an eye on them. Some think Glenn could even play on the outside, at right tackle, and he sounds an awful lot like Rams OL Harvey Dahl.
Poe and Cox look like 3-4 guys; Poe as an NT and Cox as a five-technique. Still is not in Mobile in order to let an ankle injury heel before the Combine. Many see him as the top DL in the draft. He has the make up to be a good interior lineman, penetrating at the three-technique or holding strong against run blockers. He could even move to the outside in some special packages.
Brockers is a late-riser after surprising people by declaring for the draft. Less experienced than Still, but he could be the first DL off the board this year. Would be fit in any system.
This is more of a shocker than any list. Kirkpatrick is the second best in the eyes of most draft watchers. Jenkins is at the Senior Bowl this week, and he'll have to overcome reports of him slacking at North Alabama this season.
Dennard's stock is sinking like a stone at the Senior Bowl. He's struggling. Here's Wes Bunting from the National Football Post:
He's a compact kid who displays some natural click and close ability. However, he allows his cushion to be eaten up far too much in his drop and lacks much of a burst/second gear when asked to turn and run. He's a guy who opposing receivers were able to routinely outpace today as he didn't demonstrate the type of speed needed to run out of his transition vertically.
We're going to be getting heavy into our draft coverage this week, so stay tuned.