A week or so ago, I posted a poll question about what Rams' fans wanted to do with our #2 overall pick. The overwhelming response was that we needed to trade back with whoever's willing to give up the most to get as many extra draft picks as possible. Then the other day, I cited a couple of high-profile, draft day trades in the last decade to give us some expectation as to what we could realistically expect to get back in trade value for that #2 pick. Today, I thought I'd put together my "best case scenario" draft for the Rams come April. I've read every single mock draft on this site over the course of the last couple of months so I thought to myself "Everybody else is doing it, so why can't we?" And after drinking that light beer with less taste earlier, making a Cranberries reference circa 1993 is the second unmanly thing I've done today...
For the purposes of this draft, I'm going to assume that the Rams trade back with the Washington Redskins for them to nab RG3. In return, we'll swap picks in the first round and get their 2nd round pick (#39 overall), their 4th rounder (#102 overall) and a first rounder in next year's draft. Not too much. Not too little... I'll only do a 4-round draft because we don't have a 5th round pick and they always take guys we've never heard of in the 6th and 7th rounds anway...
1 (#6) Riley Reiff OT Iowa [6'6" 300]
Everyone here is in agreement that we need to fix our offensive line. We will never compete on a consistent basis until we do. Drafting Reiff here is a win-win. It will allow us to free up some much needed cap space by either cutting bust OT Jason Smith or forcing him to restructure his contract and kicking him inside to guard. Some people may be upset that we're losing out on Matt Kalil but the truth is, I like Reiff as much, if not moreso, than Kalil anyway. He's a mauler, mean and nasty by nature and has good technique by hard work and training. Pairing him up along with Harvey Dahl gives our O-line a nasty demeanor that is much needed. Whether he would play at RT or LT is still up in the air but it's an improvement either way. Of course, this means that we would lose out on the Justin Blackmon sweepstakes that I'd been counting on all year but one thing to lessen the pain from that would be...
2 (#33) Mohamed Sanu WR Rutgers [6'2" 215]
Last year during draft season, we talked alot about "mancrushes". Sanu is one of my three mancrushes this year (along with Reiff and well, we'll get to the other one later). Sanu made Rutgers fans forget about losing Kenny Britt when he bolted for the NFL. Rutgers then head coach Greg Schiano (now the head coach in Tampa) had enormous praise for Sanu's character, work ethic, leadership and skill. He seems to have the skill set to be a #1 receiver in this league one day - elite hands, size, versatility, route running, willingness to go across the middle, willingness to block and physical style of play are all strong suits to his game. I still think that we'll need to add another receiver in free agency - one that can make an immmediate impact and Sanu can be the one to grow with Bradford long-term and maybe even be the #1 on this team down the road.
2 (#39) Jerel Worthy DT Michigan St. [6'3" 310]
This is the first of the picks that we got from the Redskins for trading back. One of the potential first round defensive tackles is bound to fall to the top of the second round this year and I think Worthy could be that guy. A strong, explosive presence that lives in opponents' backfield. Worthy alone would not be the answer to our defensive line's problems but adding someone like Jason Jones in free agency along with him could make this unit a lot stronger.
3 (#66) Doug Martin RB Boise St. [5'9" 219]
I'm bound and determined to find us a complementary back to Steven Jackson this year. While he's still the leader of this team, SJax is not getting any younger and our attempts to find a change of pace for him in free agency and late round picks has never worked. Martin is being compared by some to Ray Rice. He could take a year or two to learn the ropes and limit some of Jackson's workload and then be the feature back down the road. There are a number of backs that I like in this draft but I think that Lamar Miller and David Wilson will probably be gone. Other running back options here could be Chris Polk, Cyrus Grey or Isaiah Pead but I think Martin has more upside than either of them.
4 (#96) Nigel Bradham OLB Florida St. [6'2" 240]
OLB has been a position that we've needed to draft for years but the previous regime has ignored this completely. Some of us are still stewing over the fact that they passed on Mason Foster last year to take a steroid-using WR with hands of stone and a complete inability to signal a fair catch. Nigel Bradham should help us to forget that. He is my other "mancrush" in this draft with prototypical size for the position, speed and a physical style of play that loves to deliver the big hit. He's played the Will backer for the past 3 seasons at FSU and led the team in tackles each year. He's fearless, versatile and solid both against the run and in pass protection. Don't get me wrong - there are still deficincies in his game. Otherwise, he wouldn't be a 4th rounder. But getting a solid OLB in the 4th round rather than having to take someone like Zach Brown in the top of the 2nd round is the definition of value. Please draft this kid!
4 (#102) Trumaine Johnson CB Montana [6'2" 204]
This would be the second of this year's picks that we get from Washington. I actually thought that going into last season, we had one of the most underrated pairs of cornerbacks in the league in Ron Bartell and Bradley Fletcher. If they both come back healthy along with Jerome Murphy, we're probably OK at the cornerback position. But that's a very big IF when one is trying to come back from his second knee surgery in 3 years and the other is recovering from a broken neck. And we absolutely cannot risk having Justin King see the field for us again. Trumaine Johnson is probably a 2nd or 3rd round talent that could fall because of playing for a small AFCA school and some injury concerns. But he has ideal size for the position, good hands, enormous upside and even some value as a kick returner. If we can even get just a couple of our corners back and healthy, we could give him some time to develop. But I think we all learned last year that having depth at the cornerback position is a must in this pass-happy league. Besides, drafting a cornerback semi-early is significantly cheaper than signing a Cortland Finnegan which would allow us the cap space to sign other free agents in a higher area of need.
And remember, we'd still have an extra first round pick in next year's draft too! That's it. I'm open to thoughts, ideas, compliments, criticisms and death threats.