Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox is not an name you see often as an option for the St. Louis Rams' sixth pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, but at least one expert says that Cox is exactly who Rams fans should be keeping an eye on as the draft gets closer.
Earlier on Wednesday afternoon, Pro Football Weekly draft expert Nolan Nawrocki hosted a conference call for the media to talk about the 2012 NFL Draft. Nawrocki was asked about his most recent 2012 NFL Mock Draft that had the Rams selecting Cox with the sixth pick. What he had to say will be of keen interest to Rams fans.
Nawrocki explained that he believes Cox to be the best interior defensive lineman available in the 2012 NFL Draft. Cox can rush the passer and possesses the versatility to play anywhere on the defensive line, inside or outside. According to Nawrocki, Cox is "dominant" as a three-technique, but can play the five-technique or on the outside, similar to what Jason Jones did in Tennessee.
Though he stood by the value of Cox as a sixth pick, Nawrocki pointed to Jeff Fisher's history for having strong, versatile interior linemen on his teams, including Albert Haynesworth and Jason Jones.
The Rams signed Kendall Langford, a free agent defensive tackle, to do the same thing. They signed him to a larger contract than the sixth-overall pick would get too at four-years, $24 million.
Though depth is essential, I wonder if the Rams would have two high-end players filling the same role. Langford is only 26, which is why I think he is the player Fisher et al envision as their top interior defensive lineman.
Ultimately, Nawrocki thinks the Rams will trade out of the sixth spot.