"You feel better now? Can you help me bluff my way through this thing for one more year?"
The 2012 NFL Draft is 10 days away ... TEN DAYS! I expect things to ratchet up to a fever pitch in the time between now and then. In terms of making predictions, it's getting tough. Every little tidbit of information, no matter how significant, gets glommed onto and batted around the media cycle long enough to confuse the hell out of those of us who get paid to make sense out all this stuff. Mock drafts are downright impossible, but we take a stab at it anyway.
The latest and greatest from yours truly is out over at SB Nation. As for the Rams, it's a familiar face in the sixth spot, a player that's gotten most of the ink for the Rams' first-round pick in the last two weeks.
Alabama running back Trent Richardson. Let me explain.
Here's my take on the pick in the mock draft.
Jeff Fisher loves Trent Richardson. He even went so far as to troll draft analysts and stat heads with comments last week proclaiming that the position was not at all devalued in his eyes.
Richardson would have to make it this far in order for the Rams to draft him. There's no guarantee that he will. Tampa Bay likes him, and Cleveland could easily justify this selection. The Browns hold all the cards.
Much of how the first round takes shape depends entirely on Ryan Tannehill. If Cleveland drafts him or trades the pick to someone like Kansas City, Miami or Seattle, all bets are off. Claiborne would most likely be the pick for Tampa in that instance, pushing Richardson to the Rams.
But what in the hell is Cleveland going to do? I really like the Justin Blackmon pick there, a great fit for that offense. GM Tom Heckert apparently does too. Will that be enough? Richardson is a better prospect than Blackmon, but Cleveland needs as sure a thing as it can get at receiver, especially if they stick with Colt McCoy for another year. Having the 22nd pick also gives them more flexibility to draft Doug Martin, a surer thing than most receivers they're likely to land there.
The bottom line is that everything at the top of the draft depends on what happens with the fourth pick.