Hey guys, this mock was created in response to the post created by ramsrock (intriguing post by the way), in which we
trade #16 and #46 to the Bills for pick #8. This led me to thinking, what if we instead traded #22 to the Bills, who wanted to jump back into the first round and draft a signal caller? Pick #22 is worth 780 on the draft chart, meaning we can receive pick #41(490), pick #71(235), and #136(38), along with, say a 5th or 6th for next season.
I know initially there are a couple problems with this, and here I will try my best to explain this reasoning. First, this draft is not loaded with top-heavy talent, which means talent can be had down the line. Due to this, we can afford to trade down and still pick up talent which is equivalent or slightly less to that which can be had in the early rounds. Also, the Rams are not "one piece" away from super bowl contenders next season. While we improved greatly, another year of that type of improvement could have us knocking on the door in 2014, which is already shaping up to be a talented class. In this draft, the Rams will be able to keep their picks, and land the impact players which will put them over the top. Also, I know this seems like a heavy price to pay to move into the bottom of the first round, however keep two things in mind. First, Buddy Nix has stated numerous times he wants to draft a signal caller, and will not hesitate to pull the trigger if he has too. Second, Nix and co are a generally aggressive bunch, and with a new staff in place, they may be pushing really hard to get their guy, similarly to Rex Ryan and Mark Sanchez (minus the tattoo hopefully)
Now onto the draft:
1.16- Kenny Vaccaro, SS, Texas. Vaccaro is a pick the Rams need to make, as Craig Dahl's only strength is something which Quintin Mikell does much better. Putting him in coverage was a disaster, and us Rams fans had the pleasure of watching that all season. Vaccaro is the type of safety who fits perfectly in today's NFL, as he has the prototypical size and athleticism to be able to play both free and strong safety. Playing against the likes of Vernon Davis, Zach Miller, and an emerging Rob Housler twice a year, Vacarro will be crucial in covering these receiving threats, as well as holding his own in run support.
2.41- DJ Fluker, RT, Alabama. The ideal right tackle, Fluker is an absolute mauler in the running game, and has a mean streak which could make that right side of the offensive line relatively nasty. Playing in the SEC, Fluker has already played against top level talent, and will able to step in from day one and start. While his pass blocking needs to be refined (he struggles with speed rushers), Fluker offers a skill set which can be refined, and eventually turn him into one of the better right tackles in the NFL.
2.46- Datone Jones, DE, UCLA. Anyone who has been watching the Senior Bowl this week can justify this pick, as Jones has been absolutley lighting it up, showing an impressive combination of speed and power while beating offensive lineman efficiently. Pass-rushers are great to have in today's NFL, and with the option offense growing as well, Jones' athleticism serves as a bonus. While at UCLA, Jones has also been versatile, sliding inside on passing downs, and even dropping into coverage. This pick becomes even more crucial if William Hayes, who was tremendous this season, decides to leave in free agency.
3.71- Larry Warford, OG, Kentucky. At 6-3, 333 pounds, Warford is a monster on the inside, and open lanes on the ground with raw power. As a plus, he is also a much better athlete than people give him credit for, providing solid pass protection, as well as being able to pull quickly and open up running lanes to the outside. Despite Kentucky's play this season , Warford remained outstanding, highlighted by his performance against Sheldon Richardson when they battled Missouri.
3.78- Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech. Rogers is an extremely talented prospect who happens to fall into this spot because of character issues which ultimately got him kicked out of Tennessee. There is no questioning his talent though, Rogers is an explosive wideout who plays with toughness and an attitude which screams playmaking potential. Rogers also has a great size to speed combination, while possessing fluid hips and the ability to rack up YAC. It's obvious the character concerns are an issue and he is still a little unpolished, however if put into the correct locker room, there is no doubt Rodgers can be a great wide receiver in this league, and a great addition to the Rams.
4.110- Gerald Hodges, OLB, Penn State. Hodges is a solid prospect in the fourth round, as he possess great instincts, and seems to have a nose for the football. His athleticism is also above average, and he can get to the flats when coverage is his main priority. In Hodges, the Rams would be selecting a steady, unspectacular linebacker who would successfully hold down the weakside linebacker position for years to come, and complete an outstanding front seven which would do nothing but cause havoc.
5.136- D.J Swearinger, FS, South Carolina. Swearinger is an underrated safety prospect, and could turn out to be a steal in the fifth round of the draft. He lined up all over the place at South Carolina, playing both safety spots and cornerback, both on the inside and the outside. Possessing a great combination of speed and smarts, Swearinger is not afraid to lay a nice hit, or play isolated coverage. Swearinger could be used all over the secondary, and initially provide some quality depth before taking over the free safety spot from Quintin Mikell.
5.142- Travis Kelce, TE, Cincinnati. The younger brother of Philadelphia's Jason Kelce, Travis is an intriguing tight end who fits the description of a seam-stretcher, while also holding his own as a blocker. He was an integral part of the Bearcats passing attack, and put his skills on full display against Duke in his final game, scoring the winning touchdown in the final moments of the fourth quarter, taking a pass 80 yards to the house. Kelce would form with Lance Kendricks and provide a solid 1-2 punch, and greatly assist Sam at the same time.
6.174- Branden Smith, CB, Georgia. With Fletcher set to leave as a free agent, the Rams need to find his replacement, and further strengthen their depth at a crucial position. At the East-West Shrine game, Smith had an interception, showing great instincts to sit on the route and snag it midair. He also had another potential interception mysteriously sail right through his hands. Smith has quality speed, which is a plus when out there for nickel situations. He even took snaps on offense, just watch the video from the link below!
7.206- Ace Sanders, KR/PR, South Carolina. Step 1: There's a post about Tony Horne which was recently posted, find it. Step 2: Scroll down the comments and watch that GIF in which Ace scores that ridiculous punt return against Missouri. Step 3: Smile and hope we have that guy as our primary return man next season.
**Below are links of the players I have mocked to us... unfortunately I could not get the hyperlink to work, so you will have to copy and paste it into your address bar**
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W2vFYz-1pE (Kenny Vaccaro, #4)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljabRfKOFrI (D.J Fluker, #76)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOic2NiRkj0 (Datone Jones, #56)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYIGR4EWIKA (Larry Warford, #67)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BHOXRyDLuw (Da'Rick Rogers, #21)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFPQNY8zdho (Gerald Hodges, #6)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMVXXAF0u64 (D.J Swearinger, #36)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxxDN81kT8A (Travis Kelce, #18)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCtSJFVt4Yk (Brendan Smith, #1)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3djgbjiKX0 (Ace Sanders, #1)
Thanks guys, let me know what you think!