First Round Prospects and How They Fit: Offensive Edition

For the next couple of months, we're going to continue to see mock after mock; each giving their opinions of where each player will fall... And while I'll admit, this is a very fun thing to do (I'll probably even write up my own mock later today), at this point it's extremely speculative, and has far too many variables to get any real pulse of who the Rams will take, and when they'll take them.

However, something that can be done (and is being done by all 32 NFL teams, along with countless others), are player evaluations. Most of these are general purpose, but in order to create more realistic mock drafts, we need to know how each of these players will fit into our specific scheme.

For example, I've seen mocks that have OG Jonathan Cooper mocked to us at 22. While it IS a possibility, it's a VERY, VERY small possibility at this point. Yes, he's a great prospect, but schematically he doesn't make sense. Cooper is much more likely to excel in a zone blocking scheme, and may even move to center. The Rams are not currently a zone blocking team, and likely won't be becoming one any time in the near future.

So, in this post I'll be covering offensive prospects that are currently being projected to the first round (according to, along with a few borderline first/second rounders who will in some way or another be filling a need for the Rams and the order of priority that, if available when we draft (be it by trade, or down at 16 or 22), that we will take them.

Offensive Tackles

Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M - Joeckel is turning out to be an absolutely elite LT prospect. He has constantly stifled some of the nation's top pass rushers, and almost undoubtedly at this point is a top 5 pick. While LT definitely isn't the largest hole on the offensive side of our roster, if you get an opportunity to take an elite prospect, you generally jump on it. Priority: 1

Eric Fisher, CMU - Fisher is another potentially elite tackle prospect whose stock has been helped both by his showing at the Senior Bowl and the decisions of Taylor Lewan and Jake Matthews to return to school. At this point, he is a legitimate top-10 pick who is often being mocked to the Cardinals at 7. He has the size and athleticism to play either tackle position, and while probably being more effective in a zone blocking system, could still be absolutely dominant in our system. Priority: 2

Lane Johnson, OU - Johnson is another prospect who benefits greatly from Lewan and Matthews returning to school. While not on the same level as the other two top tackle prospects, Johnson is at this point being considered a top-20 pick. He has a fair amount of upside, but I'm hearing mixed reviews of whether or not he could come in and play RT right away. He would still be a great value pick, but likely wouldn't come in and start right away. Priority: 10

D. J. Fluker, Alabama - Fluker is an absolute behemoth whose run blocking skills are unquestioned, but pass blocking skills are anything but. He's actually very similar to what we already have in Barry Richardson, and therefore I find it unlikely that we take him, considering that Richardson is only 26, has similar upside, and improved greatly over the course of last season. Priority: 16

Offensive Guards/Centers

Chance Warmack, Alabama - Warmack is the perfect fit for our system, and potentially one of the safest prospects in the draft. He's big and nasty, and would solidify the LG spot for the next 10 years for the Rams. He's a far better fit for our team than his jersey is for him, and if available regardless of where we pick, will be difficult to pass up. Priority: 3

Jonathan Cooper, UNC - As mentioned in the intro, Cooper is an excellent prospect, but really doesn't fit our schematics. He's likely a zone blocker, and could potentially move to center. He'll be great for whoever takes him, I just seriously doubt that it will be the Rams. Priority: 17

Dallas Thomas, Tennessee - Thomas is a guy who likely projects to be an NFL guard, but could also potentially be a RT. His versatility is what gives him value for a team like the Rams with multiple potential holes. He's another good run blocker who would fit in well with what we're trying to do on offense. Don't be surprised to hear his name called by the Rams, especially if he's available in the second. Priority: 11

Barrett Jones, Alabama - Jones is one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft this year. He's played virtually every position on the offensive line, and has excelled the entire time he's played for Alabama. The only big question mark is, where does he best project in the NFL? The answer is likely at the Center position, but he'll likely be plugged in wherever the team who needs him has a hole. He's very intelligent, and could be a very valuable commodity in this league for years to come. This is another guy that I wouldn't be surprised if the Rams picked, especially in the second round (although I doubt he's available then). Priority: 8

Wide Receivers

Keenan Allen, Cal - Arguably the top WR prospect in this year's draft, Allen is the prototypical West Coast receiver. He has great size, and is great after the catch. However, the Rams aren't currently running a West Coast offense. So while Allen may still be a high priority for the Rams, he may be an even higher priority for others. He would be a great playmaker to add to our offense, but offers a very similar package to what both Brian Quick and Brandon Gibson offer, albeit with a higher ceiling. Priority: 5

Terrance Williams, Baylor - Williams is a prospect whose stock has been all over the place as of late. I've heard very mixed reviews on him, but he looks to be a quality prospect; flashing both size and straight-line speed. He could offer a much-improved version of what Austin Pettis currently brings to the table, and therefore I wouldn't be extremely shocked if the Rams called his number... However, I don't expect that they will. Priority: 13

Tavon Austin, West Virginia - Austin is a man who has been generating a lot of buzz around TST, but I just can't buy into it. He's an absolutely electrifying playmaker, but I don't see him being a reliable target in our offense. What he brings to the table is very similar to what Chris Givens brings, but with less size and more agility. His greatest skills for the Rams would be in the return game. He's a guy who will excel on a team that can use him as a 3rd option, such as the Patriots or the Broncos, but I don't think that he brings enough to the table for the Rams to consider him in either the first or the second. Priority: 15

DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson - Hopkins is a very intriguing prospect who would fit with the Rams. He has good speed, strength, and hands, and could be a very reliable target. He would also be a great compliment to our current corps of receivers, and could potentially develop into a #1 target. Expect this guy to be near the top of our board as far as receivers go. Priority: 6

Justin Hunter, Tennessee - Hunter is a prospect with similar measurables to last year's Stephen Hill, but with much more film. He has excellent size, and before his knee injury, also had excellent speed. While the speed is beginning to return, some doubt that he will ever reach the athletic heights that he had before the injury. He's a prospect with some question marks, but a ton of upside. The Rams could definitely take a look at him in the first couple of rounds, and he would work in our system, but as of this point I'm not sold unless he falls. Priority: 14

Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee - Patterson is a Madden player's dream. He has insane athletic ability, and combines it with size (6'3") and strength. If any receiver goes in the top-10 this year, it's likely to be Patterson. He's an absolute matchup nightmare for teams, and within a few years could be an absolutely elite NFL receiver. His lateral movement is the best I've ever seen for a man of his size, and I think that he brings something to the table that would really benefit the rest of our receiving corps. This guy will likely be very near the top of the Rams' big board. Priority: 4

Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech - Rogers is a 1st round talent with character concerns; very similar to Janoris Jenkins whom we selected last year. He also fits our team personality, being both tenacious and physical. He has both the speed and size to develop into a #1 receiver, and if his character concerns cause him to fall to the second or third round, the Rams will find it tough to pass on him. Priority: 9

Tight Ends

Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame - Personally, I would be upset if the Rams grabbed a TE in the first or second round this year... but I won't let my personal bias take away from the talent of both Eifert and Ertz. Eifert is an excellent receiver and would be a difficult matchup for any team, given that he's 6'6" 250 lbs. He's also improving as a run blocker, and truly has the potential to develop into an elite NFL tight end. Free agency will be very telling as to whether or not the Rams will consider him, but as of now he's a real possibility. Priority: 7

Zach Erts, Stanford - Something else to point out before this evaluation is the importance of TEs in the Rams' offense. They were very valuable as both blockers and receivers this season, and that does make it more likely that we grab another talented one. Ertz is just that. He has very similar size to Eifert, and also great receiving ability. It's tough to say whether Ertz or Eifert will truly be rated higher by the Rams when the evaluation process is finished. Priority: 12


Rams' Offensive Big Board:

1. OT, Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M

2. OT, Eric Fisher, CMU

3. OG, Chance Warmack, Alabama

4. WR, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee

5. WR, Keenan Allen, Cal

6. WR, DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson

7. TE, Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame

8. OL, Barrett Jones, Alabama

9. WR, Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech

10. OT, Lane Johnson, OU

11. OL, Dallas Thomas, Tennessee

12. TE, Zach Ertz, Stanford

13. WR, Terrance Williams, Baylor

14. WR, Justin Hunter, Tennessee

15. WR, Tavon Austin, West Virginia

16. OT, D.J. Fluker, Alabama

17. OL, Jonathan Cooper, UNC

I hope you enjoyed reading, and as always, I'm open to any comments/criticisms.

Stay tuned for a similar piece over defensive prospects.


My Rams' Top-34 Board:

1. OT, Luke Joeckel, Texas A&M
2. OT, Eric Fisher, CMU
3. OLB, Jarvis Jones, Georgia
4. DT, Star Latulelei, Utah
5. OG, Chance Warmack, Alabama
6. S, Kenny Vaccarro, Texas
7. DT, Sheldon Richardson, Mizzou
8. WR, Cordarrelle Patterson, Tennessee
9. WR, Keenan Allen, Cal
10. DE, Damontre Moore, Texas A&M
11. DE, Bjoern Werner, Florida State
12. WR, DeAndre Hopkins, Clemson
13. TE, Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
14. OL, Barrett Jones, Alabama
15. S, Matt Elam, Florida
16. DT, Kawann Short, Purdue
17. WR, Da'Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech
18. OT, Lane Johnson, OU
19. DE, Sam Montgomery, LSU
20. DE, Barkevious Mingo, LSU
21. S, Eric Reid, LSU
22. OL, Dallas Thomas, Tennessee
23. TE, Zach Ertz, Stanford
24. WR, Terrance Williams, Baylor
25. WR, Justin Hunter, Tennessee
26. DT, Jonathan Hankins, Ohio State
27. DE, Ezekiel Ansah, BYU
28. DE, Alex Okafor, Texas
29. WR, Tavon Austin, West Virginia
30. OT, D.J. Fluker, Alabama
31. LB, Alec Ogletree, Georgia
32. S, Phillip Thomas, Fresno St
33. OL, Jonathan Cooper, UNC
34. DE, Dion Jordan, Oregon

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