Kevin C. Cox
With two first-round picks, the St. Louis Rams should be looking for cornerstone players to be the bedrock of the roster for years to come. Will either of these two fit the bill?
It's Monday, the St. Louis Rams are not in the playoffs, and that means we've got a mock draft to discuss. As you may have heard, the Rams have a pair of first-round picks to use this year and next thanks to the deal with Washington last year. Together with the players from the 2012 NFL Draft, GM Les Snead is laying the foundation for a talented roster that will be the backbone of the franchise for years to come.
And which building blocks are imagined for the Rams in the latest mock from SB Nation's Mocking the Draft?
16. St. Louis Rams - Chance Warmack, G, Alabama
This is a pick that stayed the same from the last mock. If Warmack happens to be around when the Rams pick, they should set a land speed record for getting their pick to the commissioner's podium. Plug Warmack into the left guard position, get him an extra short, stomach-showing jersey and forget about the position for a decade.
I'm not the biggest fan of using a first-round pick on a guard. I think it's an undervalued position where smart teams can find solid starters later in the draft. That said, you won't hear me complaining if the Rams did manage to snag Warmack in the first round this year. I sort of doubt that it happens, that he falls this far, but David DeCastro was supposed to be best guard prospect in a decade last year and he slid all the way to No. 24. Warmack would certainly be a welcome addition to the offensive line and a difference-maker from day one.
22. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) - Keenan Allen, WR, California
St. Louis may have used two picks in last year's draft on wide receivers, but neither Brian Quick or Chris Givens projects out as a No. 1 target like Allen. He's a big target who can play vertically and work underneath routes. An improved line and receiving corps could be a blessing and a curse for Sam Bradford. If he struggles with a receiver like Allen and the Rams could begin the process of looking for a new quarterback.
Remember last week there was talk that the Rams still felt like they needed to add another blue chip player at wide receiver, in part because of some hesitancy to sign Danny Amendola to a long-term deal because of his injury history. Allen is considered by some to be the best receiver in this year's draft. Whether it's a tight end like Tyler Eifert or a guy like Allen, don't be surprised to see the Rams looking to add to the offensive skill positions with one of their early picks.
Two first-round picks is a lot, but it's still not enough to fill every need the Rams have. Outside of these two positions, Snead and Fisher could easily justify spending a first-round pick on an offensive tackle, free safety, tight end or even another pass rusher from a draft class stocked with them.