Dale Zanine-US PRESSWIRE
The Rams could use almost any position available, but a pass rusher in the first round?
It's Saturday. You're exhausted from all that online shopping. You need a 2013 NFL mock draft to take your mind off all those troubles. I got you.
The latest and greatest from the folks over at Mocking the Draft dropped this week, and it takes a mostly usual, expected path for the St. Louis Rams, picking 7th and 12th at this point in the season. Let's take a look.
7. St. Louis Rams - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
This is far from a popular opinion, but it's November and we have a long way to go. Jake Matthews is the second best offensive tackle on his team, but he's also the second best offensive tackle in the entire country. Whether he declares or not is still up for debate.
Matthews has been forced to play right tackle because of Joeckel, but his skill set suggest he would have no issue moving over to the left side. He's athletic and technically sound, rarely getting beat around the edge. Matthews could stand to add a bit of strength, but he's shown plenty of drive in the running game as well. The Rams are desperate for offensive line help, so Matthews fits here.
Texas A&M has a pair of elite bookend tackles. Luke Joeckel, the left tackle there, is widely considered to be on the same level as Matt Kalil, and will be the first tackle picked. In this scenario he goes at No. 6. Clearly the Rams need an offensive tackle, if for nothing else than the depth. A pick like this would set up an interesting scenario with Rodger Saffold. The coaches have said that Saffold will stay on the outside, and he's clearly the best tackle on the roster now. Would he move to the right under this scenario? It could be one of the more interesting plots to watch in the offseason next year ... assuming the Rams don't stick to Jeff Fisher's historical trends and take a lineman later in the draft.
And the next pick is ...
12. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) - Jarvis Jones, LB, Georgia
The St. Louis Rams could use an upgrade at outside linebacker, and Jarvis Jones fits the bill as the best player on the board. Many have compared him to Von Miller, but that's off base. Miller is a much strong pass rusher and more versatile in his skill set. Jones has crazy speed and burst around the corner, but that's just about all he has. He certainly has upside, but let's not pretend he is the difference maker that Miller is.
This would be an incredible pick, in my opinion, but some don't see the Rams drafting a pass rusher. I think they could really use one, really, really use another. Go back and look at the games this season, too often the Rams aren't getting enough pressure up front. A third of Robert Quinn's sacks came in one game against the Cardinals. I'm not suggesting anything about Quinn other than the Rams, and every team in the NFL, could always use more pass rushers.
What about a wide receiver?
I am of the mindset that the Rams cannot afford to skip a wide receiver in the first round. None of the top guys in this draft are A.J. Green, but they aren't Justin Blackmon either. Keenan Allen is an incredibly gifted player. DeAndre Hopkins from Clemson is going to be rising up draft boards in the spring, and Cordarrelle Patterson from Tennessee is another first-round talent.
But, but, but ...
I know there are those who disagree on taking a receiver in the first-round. I understand, with as many needs as the Rams have, the team can justify almost any pick. The Rams also have some youth at the position these days with Brian Quick and Chris Givens. Danny Amendola is coming back too, and hopefully he can stay healthy. They still need a blue chip player at the position.
For all this debate we've been having on the site lately about Sam Bradford, there's no way the Rams can afford to pass on adding more talent at the position, someone who is a lot closer to being NFL ready than Brian Quick.
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