Top 10 Rams Prospects

Okay, so here's my big board for the Rams; the why is available after the jump.

#1: OT Matt Kalil

#2: CB Morris Claiborne

#3: G David DeCastro

#4: WR Justin Blackmon

#5: DT Dontarie Poe

#6: DT Michael Brockers

#7: DB Dre Kirkpatrick

#8: OLB Zach Brown

#9: WR Kendall Wright

#10: DT Devon Still

Okay, so let's start with the explanation. After the jump, I'll go player by player as to why I've placed them where I did. Most of these guys are projected first rounders, so unless we make multiple trades we'll probably only land 1 or 2 of these guys... but who knows where we'll end up picking. So let's get started.

OL - Dahl has shown the versatility to play inside or outside, Saffold has potential to play a good LT or RT, and Smith will probably be moved inside (which oddly enough, in his combine notes from when he was drafted they mentioned that he could be moved to LG and be a good contributor), so I won't be specifying G or T, because either would help.

At this position, there are about 3 prospects that should be considered early in the draft.

OT Matt Kalil - There's tons of info out here on him, but basically he's supposed to be it and the whole shabang. Unfortunately, when we trade back he's probably not going to be here. But still comes in at #1

G David DeCastro - This guy is going to be legit. He has all of the intangibles, plays very intelligibly, and has good strength. He would really solidify our line, and should be #3 on our draft big board after Kalil and Claiborne.

OT Riley Reiff - The more I see of this guy, the less I like him. Watching the tape of his game vs Oklahoma, there were quite a few plays where he seemed to not be putting out nearly the effort needed. Also, he did terrible at blocking for outside running plays; most of which turned out to be negative plays. Still a good prospect, but won't be available as late as I would grab him. He gets an honorable mention.

Wide Receiver - As much as I love watching Brandon Gibson drop passes and Denario Alexander get hurt, I really think we should pick up some talent here, but doing so in the first may not be wise. There are a lot of solid, above average receivers, but really not any do-it-all types that would warrant a top 10 pick. However, I'll briefly go over the fit of valuable prospects for our team as I see it.

Justin Blackmon - He's a great possession receiver, and growing to be a fan favorite for our first round pick. But he's nothing above solid. Comparable to Anquan Boldin, he has a chance to be a 1000 yd receiver with the correct talent around him, none of which can be found anywhere in the St. Louis area. The only comparisons to Larry Fitzgerald that I see are the work ethic and attitude, because athletically he's not even in the same league. Fitzgerald has two inches on him height wise, and 9 inches of vertical (Blackmon's has been reported around 33 and Fitzgerald's was 42). He's still a good prospect, but not where we're picking at. Still good enough to be #4 on my big board though.

Kendall Wright - This is my favorite WR in the draft, because he's the optimal #2 WR. I don't see any real #1 receiver prospects outside of Jeffery who doesn't seem to care much about his craft and Hill who is still very raw and looks more like a track star playing football than a football player. Kendall Wright offers speed (faster than 4.61, just wait til his pro day), agility, solid hands, and fearlessness. He isn't afraid to go over the middle and take a hit. He's the kind of guy who will humiliate in a 1-on-1 match up against most DB's and be a huge contributor for years to come a la Steve Smith or DeSean Jackson. His lack of size and the amount of other talent in this draft drops him to #9 on my board though.

Stephen Hill - Post combine, everyone seems to be buzzing about this guy; and it's easy to see why... Blazing speed, good size, circus catch ability, all things you look for in a #1 WR. However, he's still more of a Demariyus Thomas than a Calvin Johnson. Not that that's a terrible thing, seeing as Thomas excelled in the Broncos run-first style offense and racked up about 600 receiving yds. But saying that he's anything close to Calvin Johnson from a prospect standpoint is ridiculous. He has a ton of upside, but I don't want him unless its in the third round. Another honorable mention.

DT - The Rams were absolutely terrible against the run last year. Some of this was system based; blitzing one side of a formation and then getting burned to the other, but the problems are also talent based in the DT and OLB spots. Which one of these is a bigger need is very subjective, but there are more talented DT prospects, so let's go over them first.

Michael Brockers - Raw, powerful, with a ton of upside. There are people who say that he could be the best defensive player in the draft. This could very much be the case... but he's not a sure thing (but what prospect is really). He would make a great inside presence as a 4-3 DT, which we're lacking right now. He could definitely use some coaching, though, as he doesn't have many moves so to speak. He'll be #6 on the board.

Dontarie Poe - Blew away the combine, and is absolutely physically imposing. Great strength and great speed for his absolutely massive size. Has drawn some comparisons to Haloti Ngata, which is very high praise. He will demand a double team and really open things up for our DEs. Most people see him being a NT in a 3-4, but he could easily excel as a 4-3 DT as well. I'll put him at #5 on our big board.

Devon Still - Even with those other two behemoths, this guy could be the #1 DT in the draft. He's very polished, and has a variety of moves at his disposal. Would also make a great interior pass rusher. However, he's lacking in open field explosiveness, so don't expect much out of him on extended plays. He comes in at #10

OLB - "Second Rate" would be the best way to describe our linebackers other than JL55. It's time to go cash for clunkers and pick up some talent. But do we want the flashy sports car or the solid SUV?

Zach Brown - The potential for this guy is limitless. He's possibly one of the fastest LBs to enter the NFL, and isn't lacking in size either. There aren't many RB's in the league who will be able to outrun him, and he could be a 3 down player as well, doing well in coverage. His work habits and commitment have been questioned, as he seems to disappear at times.. but this is something that I believe a coach like Jeff Fisher can really work with. He's an excellent prospect, and if he falls to the 2nd round, he can be a steal for us. He comes in at #8 on the board.

Lavonte David - Another guy with a lot of upside. He has great athleticism and outstanding instincts, and is another guy who would be a steal in the 2nd round as he's projected late first. He has shown the ability to cover TE's and has also been a very solid tackler. However, he is undersized. This could really keep him from excelling at the pro level, depending on his work ethic in the weight room. Another honorable mention.

CB - When our cornerbacks are healthy, they can generally get the job done. However, health is a luxury not found in the Ram's secondary. These prospects are here though because of the talent available, not as much because of need.

Morris Claiborne - This guy can play, plain and simple. Going up against SEC speed and talent, he was an excellent man corner. He's a big part of the reason that Tyrann Mathieu could be so aggressive. At #4 or #6, he will probably be the BPA, and our team will be better because of him. That earns him #2 on my board.

Dre Kirkpatrick - I like my cornerbacks big, and Dre Kirkpatrick is big. At 6'2", he won't be out-sized by many of the guys he has to cover, and will be great in the redzone with the emergence of the 1 on 1 jump ball play. He's also very athletic, and could potentially end up being a safety (which the Rams could also use depth at). He'll thrive in a zone scheme, and can also do work in man, provided that he can put on a bit of size. That's the big worry, that he wont be physical enough to excel at the next level. However, even as a nickel or a safety, I think this guy will make a great contributor. And that gets him #7 on my big board.

Janoris Jenkins - Here is another guy loaded with talent. Although slightly undersized, he can excel as either a man or zone corner. On the field, he's about as good as they come prospect-wise. His off the field troubles are what keeps him out of the top 10... Still, he gets an honorable mention.

So that's it for now. I'm sure not everyone will agree, so let the discussion begin :)

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