NFL draft guru Mike Mayock dispensed a considerable amount of wisdom in a conference call with the media yesterday. I sat in on it for a portion of the call, and was able to pick up a few tidbits related to the St. Louis Rams and some players that might be on their draft board when the 2012 NFL Draft rolls around in April.
Quips from Mayock with reaction after the jump.
Obviously, Mayock acknowledged the possibility of the Rams trading down. Were Cleveland the team wanting to trade up, he says that the Rams should be "ecstatic" about the possibility of netting the fourth and 22nd pick in return.
With two picks in the first round, and possibly even an extra pick in the second or third round, the Rams could make out like bandits in the draft. Having all those picks would also allow them to make addition deals, targeting specific players at the appropriate draft slot.
Player observations from Mayock:
- Matt Kalil - He suggested that Kalil or Blackmon were the most logical picks if the Rams keep their second pick. As for Kalil, Mayock raved about his all-pro potential. He described Kalil as "wonderfully gifted" with "great feet, long arms." He did note that Kalil had some work to do, citing his "core strength," but as a pass blocker he was second to none in this draft. 3k has a ton more on Kalil in his latest Prospect Playbook feature.
- Justin Blackmon - He still has Blackmon as his top receiver in the draft, and said that there was no reason for him to slip past the seventh spot ... "as long as he runs 4.5s or better."
- Kendall Wright - Keep an eye on Wright, he's sneaking up draft board, and with a big Combine could contest for a top-15 pick.
- Chris Rainey, RB/WR, Florida - Les Snead, the Rams' new GM, described a preference for players that were "explosive." That's exactly how Mayock described Rainey, who might run as fast as 4.25 in the forty. He noted that Rainey "catches well" and a number of teams have him as a third- or fourth-round pick. He could be an excellent combo with Steven Jackson. A 2010 stalking charge will require some reassurance.
- Trent Richardson - Speaking of running backs, Mayock said that Richardson was the only one worth a first-round pick. "Tremendous feet ... really good balance and vision." Don't rule out the Rams and Richardson given their emphasis on the running game and the potential to trade down.
- Michael Brockers - Mayock unofficially made him the top defensive lineman in the draft, saying he could be a top ten pick. He noted that Brockers can play on the outside as well as the inside. A fit for the Panthers with their first-round pick.
- Riley Reiff - He firmly believes that the Iowa product will be a top ten pick, because of the value of the position. He did say that Reiff was better than Packers tackle Bryan Bulaga when he was drafted. I mocked him to the Rams in my last mock draft at SB Nation.
- Rueben Randle - Expect to hear much more about this kid after the Combine. Mayock said he's worthy of a first round pick. He has him fourth on his top five receivers, behind Michael Floyd, Wright and Blackmon.
We'll hear much more from Mayock as the draft season goes on ... just wait until next week when things really heat up.