I remember when this was the newest razor on the market... Seriously, how many blades does one man need to shave his face? Anyways, this is my third attempt at a Rams mock for the year, and I'll preface by saying that I'll humbly accept any constructive criticisms of it. I wanted to go in a slightly different direction than the general consensus (which at the moment has us picking up Warmack and 16 and Vaccaro at 22) mostly due to the likelihood that they won't be there at the given times. This draft class is very thin, and as a result we'll likely see bigger risks taken early in the draft. So, without further adieu....
Round 1, Pick 16: FS, Kenny Vaccaro, Texas - On a defense that is approaching "elite" status, few holes remain. One such hole is at the safety position. Craig Dahl's play resulted in a large majority of the big plays against our defense this year, and it's a general consensus that he needs to be upgraded. Also, with two mobile QBs in our division, we absolutely MUST have more athleticism in our safety position. Enter: Kenny Vaccaro. Vaccaro has both the range to cover, and the size/abilities to play in the box. Grabbing him here will likely take our defense to the next level, and the pick isn't much of a stretch. Jeff Fisher loves defensive backs, and Vaccaro has the potential to be great.
Round 1, Pick 22: OT/OG, Dallas Thomas, Tennessee - With Joeckel, Warmack, and Fisher gone (Joeckel to the Eagles, Warmack to the Titans, and Fisher to the Chargers in this scenario), there remained only two offensive linemen worthy of first round consideration: Jonathan Cooper and Dallas Thomas. I went with Thomas for a couple of reasons. First, his versatility. Thomas has played both LT and LG in the tough SEC. He would likely project to play either RT or either G spot in the NFL. He could immediately improve our LG spot, or perhaps replace Barry Richardson (although my opinion has been swayed on Richardson... He really did start to play well late in the season). Second, the skillset. Cooper is a bit undersized, and might move to C in the NFL... He also projects best in a zone blocking system.
Round 2, Pick 16: WR, Robert Woods, USC - It's difficult at this point to predict which receivers will be available in round two. However, if I were to look at the talent available at the receiver position and compare it to the fit with the Rams, Woods would rank third on my list behind Patterson and Allen; both of which will likely be first round picks. Woods' route running ability, along with his speed (which hopefully he'll regain soon enough... darn ankle injury) should really work well with our current corps. He would likely take Austin Pettis's spot on the depth chart, and could have the ceiling of a Roddy White type player.
Round 3, Pick 14: OT/OG, Cyril Richardson, Baylor - In similar fashion to Thomas, Richardson has experience playing at multiple spots on the offensive line. Priority #1 for the Rams next season is scoring more points, as stated by our FO. This all starts with protecting our QB and opening up holes in the ground game. Richardson should help at both.
Round 4, Pick 16: S, Brandan Bishop, N.C. State - Whether Quentin Mikell is back next year or not is up in the air. He has a hefty salary, but has also been wonderful for the team the past couple of years. If nothing else, we need depth in the back end of our secondary, and Bishop provides that. He's a sleeper prospect who could really fit our scheme.
Round 5, Pick 16: WR, Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State - A man who helped his stock in the East-West Shrine Game, Bumphis now looks as though he could be a good pickup at this point. He could also hopefully help us in the return department.
Round 6, Pick 16: DT, Everett Dawkins, Florida State - At this point in the draft, we can begin to focus on depth. Behind Brockers and Langford, we don't have great depth at DT. Dawkins could help provide that.
Round 7, Pick 16: FB, Braden Wilson, Kansas State - At this point in the draft, it's nice to be able to pick up a guy who can truly have an impact on your team. While Wilson will undoubtedly not be as valuable as Daryl Richardson, he could help our rushing attack with his blocking, and subsequently help his fellow 7th rounder out.
So to recap where this would leave us:
LT | LG | C | RG | RT
Saffold | Thomas/Richardson | Wells/Turner | Dahl/Thomas/Richardson | Richardson/Thomas/Richardson
To me, that looks like a unit much more capable of scoring points.
I hope you enjoyed reading, and I look forward to seeing your feedback.