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The St. Louis Rams have two first-round picks in 2013. How will they spend them?
The St. Louis Rams have four first-round picks in the next two NFL drafts. It's the kind of bounty any pirate worth his salt would love to plunder, but it was Les Snead doing the plundering of the Washington Redskins last spring. Needless to say, an already pretty good Rams team can set themselves up for a very bright future with that many first-round picks. And what about 2013?
Dan Kadar of Mocking the Draft, which is now just SB Nation NFL Draft, rolled out a first look, a very early first look, on Friday. (My only quibble is that he has the Rams finishing worse than the Redskins).
The picks are:
13. St. Louis Rams - Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Based on our early season evaluation, there is no better offensive tackle prospect in the nation than Joeckel. If he happened to fall wherever the Rams pick, he would be the ideal choice. The Rams' offensive line currently features Wayne Hunter and Barry Richardson. Having even one of the two would be a bad idea. But having both is dangerous to Sam Bradford's health.
15. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) - Keenan Allen, WR, California
The Rams have spent a lot of draft picks the past three seasons on marginal wide receivers. They drafted Mardy Gilyard in 2010 and he's off the team. They took Greg Salas in 2011 and he's off the team. They also added Austin Pettis and Brian Quick the past two seasons. Both are still on the team, but non-factors. A player like Allen is a true No. 1 wide receiver St. Louis needs.
This sounds crazy, but I'm not convinced of the most obvious picks here. It's hard to argue with either one of these. Both fill huge needs for the Rams, needs that must be addressed before the 2013 season begins.
This being a Jeff Fisher team, do not be surprised if they look for a safety in the first round. Seriously. The Rams are getting by with the safeties they have, but Quintin Mikell makes $6 million in 2013 and $7 million in 2014. He turns 33 next year. If that's not a cap casualty, I don't know what is.
Fisher and Snead could take a look at Kenny Vaccaro from Texas or Eric Reid from LSU. It depends on where the team ends up picking, but this is the first time in a few years that the draft has featured safeties with an easy first-round grade.
Don't rule out the possibility of a running back either. I know it sounds crazy, but Steven Jackson is gone. Isaiah Pead has a long way to go to prove that he can be a viable 50 percent, and Daryl Richardson still has some distance to cement his status as more than a viable backup. I think it's an outside shot, but, again, Jeff Fisher.