I joined a gaggle of newshounds on the sidelines at the NFL Play 60 event on Wednesday morning. The purpose: some free oatmeal and an interview with Mike Mayock. The NFL Network draft guru talked up Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox. He confirmed the conventional wisdom that Cox is the best defensive lineman in the 2012 NFL Draft, but it's maybe not the right pick for the St. Louis Rams.
I asked Mayock about the idea of the Rams picking Cox. "I don't see the Rams going that direction," the guru said very matter of factly.
Probing further, I asked about how Cox would fit with the Kendall Langford, the Rams' free agent addition. Mayock noted a very similar profile for both players. Strong with a good push, both players can play on the inside or the outside. It's the ideal fit for Jeff Fisher's defensive linemen model.
A defensive tackle can be had and the second round. Mayock's key for how those teams picking on top is how they balance that pick with picks in the second round. He made a very god example of why Minnesota could go with Claiborne and an offensive tackle in the second round. It torpedoed the fan notion of "best player available."
If Cox isn't the pick, Mayock gave the distinct impression that Justin Blackmon or Trent Richardson could be the pick, either one could be in play for the Rams. He described Blackmon as a very viable top-six pick.