After years of mediocre to sometimes down right terrible drafting, we finally witnessed what a quality GM/Coach brings to a team last year. Snead and Fisher worked magic with this roster last off-season and the Rams are relevant again. I did a post last night about possible free agent additions that could drastically improve this team. Please take a look, as this post is going to assume that a couple of those moves take place.
First, the Rams signed a big name #1 WR through FA. In this case that man is Dwayne Bowe. They also re-signed Amendola, so the Rams go into this draft basically set at the receiver position. I'm also assuming the Rams cut Quinten Mikell to rid themselves of his over priced contract and resigned Darian Stewart on the cheap after this injury filled season. In doing so they were able to resign SJ39. I still think at least one defensive free agent will be added at either S or OLB but let's assume that didn't happen. Onto the draft.
Most mocks I've read have the Rams picking in the middle of the pack. So I'm going to put the Rams pick at 17 and the 2nd 1st rounder (from Washington) at 18.
Round 1, Pick 17: The Rams select.... Jake Mathews / OT / Texas A&M
In this situation the rams were lucky enough to have a 1st round talent OL drop to them. If Lewan or Mathews is available and they haven't signed a lineman through FA. This is a no brainer. For far too long the Rams have failed to fix an offensive line that has let Bradford get punished year in and year out. They've finally improved this season under Jeff Fisher, but still need 1 or 2 more pieces to complete the puzzle. This guy gives them 2 tackles that can keep Bradford upright for years to come.
Round 1, Pick 18: The Rams (from Washington) select..... C.J. Mosley / LB / Alabama
This pick could go so many ways depending on how the draft plays out. With so much talent coming out at the linebacker position, it's hard to say who will go where. But rest assured, the Rams will go defense with one of there 1st round picks. Either a LB or S. Jo-Lonn Dunbar has improved the OLB position drastically for the Rams this year. But the Rams need a young, up-and-coming LB to pair with JL55 and this guy fit the bill perfectly. Laurinaitis and Mosely tear up offenses for years to come behind an already stacked defensive line.
Round 2, Pick 17: The Rams select..... Eric Reid / S / LSU
Mikell and Dahl have worn out there welcome in the St Louis' starting lineup. Mikell isn't a bad player, average is more accurate, but $6 million a year salary makes him expandable. Dahl is that guy that I've always rooted for, and he's a great run defender, but unfortunately he's absolutely terrible in coverage. Darian Stewart is a guy I believe can develop into an Oshiomogho Atogwe type player (before he left St Louis). Most people are probably saying I'm an idiot for thinking that, but he's shown glimpses when he's healthy. And don't forget Atogwe took about 3-4 seasons before he was a very good safety. Pair Stewart with Reid, thats a pretty good tandem with some quality coaching. Reid has prototypical size, and uses it to lay some big hits. He had a down year this season, often getting burned or taking bad angles on tackles. But look back to 2011 and he was a force. Most believed this was due to his fellow DBs Brandon taylor, Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu. Hmmmmm, I seem to remember the Rams picking up a few pretty good DBs last year. Perfect fit.
Round 3, Pick 17: The Rams select..... Tyrann Mathieu / CB/S / LSU
WHAT!!!! Don't act so surprised, Fisher has a history of drafting troubled players and Mathieu is as talented as they come. Why add another DB to an already crowded roster? Too much of something is never a bad thing, and Mathieu can play safety as well. Fletcher won't be back next season. That gives us Finnegan, Jenkins, Johnson. I still beleive Johnson would be better suited as a S. You could then put Mathieu in the slot where he is extremely dangerous. It doesn't hurt that he's a pretty darn good return man too, something the Rams haven't had since the Hakim era.
Round 4, Pick 17: The Rams select..... Joseph Fauria / TE / UCLA
Lance Kendricks has been showing improvement in his receiving late this season, and he's a fantastic run blocker. But he's also going to be going into year 3 as a below average option in a passing game that is begging for more playmakers. Look no further than Joseph Fauria. He is probably the exact opposite of Kendricks. Outstanding red-zone receiver that needs improvement blocking. If Lance Kendricks continues to improve, and Fauria develops into an at least average blocker. Well St Louis has got themselves a couple great TEs.
Round 5, Pick 17: The Rams select..... Marcus Lattimore / RB / South Carolina
Some of you will say this pick is too risky. Some of you will say he won't last to the 5th round. In this scenario, he's available. For you "To Risky" people. He's unquestionably the most talented back in his class minus injury. Yes, he suffered a devastating injury, one that will more than likely see him sidelined for the 2013 season. Good news for the Rams is (since they resigned SJ39 in this scenario) they don't need him to play right away. He can rehab his knee and come back in 2014 and learn from Jackson in what would probably be SJs last season. The Rams need a replacement for Jackson, and Richardson is a complimentary back plain and simple. If he doesn't pan out, thats a shame, at least it was only a 5th round pick, but if it does pan out..... The Rams strike gold and get one of the steals of the draft.
In the later rounds look for a WR for depth and a OG Fisher can develop.
That's my take, what do you think?