Now I really don't like long-winded mock draft preambles so let's get down to business. Still reaping the rewards from the RG3 trade (Which is looking better by the day), the Ram's have a chance to fill holes with hugely talented players. If the NFL season were to end today the Ram's would have these picks:
#2 (from Washington)
What the Ram's need most is a Free Safety to line up alongside the promising TJ McDonald. With the depth of this draft class the Rams can add an impact OG, CB, WR, or DT in the mid rounds. And assuming Snead and Co. keep are their usual horse-trader selves, it's a safe bet that we'll trade back at #2. Here's the current trade scenario I have cooked up:
Rams #2 to Jacksonville for #5, #41 and a future 1 or 2
At the #2 pick the Jaguars could either take Bridgewater if Clowney is taken first or Clowney/Carr if Bridgewater goes #1. Since Jacksonville would love to nab a franchise QB and would settle for the best pass rusher in the draft, this trade's pretty likely. With that trade the Ram's mock shapes up like so:
#5 (from Jacksonville via Washington) Sammy Watkins WR Clemson
I absolutely love this kid. He gets off the line quickly and accelerates fast out of cuts. A threat downfield, he is also an accomplished route runner with excellent ball skills, and a build that'll allow him to go up for the balls that Tavon just can't. Think about it. Watkins and Austin, a duo that could produce the same numbers that Holt/Bruce did back in the good 'ole days. We could also take Jack Matthews here if he's still on the board, or possibly trade back again like we did to get Brockers a few years ago.
#13 HaHa Clinton-Dix S Alabama
This pick makes sense. McCleod isn't cutting it and Clinton-Dix is the best safety in the draft. The kid's a true ballhawk with good range, instincts, and durability to boot. We can't risk waiting on him since Green Bay and Dallas are also in the market for a safety. I don't see us picking anyone else here.
#41(from Jacksonville) Timmy Jernigan DT Florida State
Not too many teams need DT's and I see Nix III and Hageman going ahead of him. Regardless, the 6-2 298lb Seminole is explosive off the first step and is one of the best run stuffers in the country. Jernigan is an upgrade over Langford, allowing us to cut ties with him and free up $4 million in cap space.
#44 David Yankey OG Stanford
At this pick a lot of guys might be clamoring for Gabe Jackson, but given Fisher's history of lineman with weight issues (see Rok Watkins) Yankey is the safer pick. He has prototypical height/weight with polished technique. May need to get stronger but he's a competitor with a motor that doesn't quit.
#75 Louichez Pourifoy CB Florida
Yes, another pot-loving Florida corner with upper-eschelon talent. #75 is right around where most drafts have him going so this isn't a stretch. Cortland Finnegan's future is murky and McGee hasn't blown me away yet. Adding another physical corner is perfect for this inexperienced but talented secondary.
#106 AJ McCarron QB Alabama
Here's where things get interesting. A lot of people are ready to say goodbye to Sam Bradford, but I'm not. I still think he has potential to be a good, albeit not elite, quarterback. Nevertheless the question mark that surrounds his return leads me to this pick. While not an eye-popping talent, McCarron possesses decent athleticism, throwing power, and accuracy. What he lacks in talent he makes up for in leadership and he sure knows how to win. This could be the pick that lights a fire under Sam Bradford.
#141 Jack Mewhort OT Ohio State
A solid OT at Ohio State, Mewhort has the right mix of height and strength to play in the NFL. Sometimes he lacks in technique and has one off the field incident with the law, but I think that with Fisher's coaching he could be a viable tackle down the road.
#172 Prince Shembo OLB Notre Dame
With all the big needs filled, the Ram's have the luxury of taking the best available player without reaching. I think Shembo will land around here and he could add some solid depth to our linebacking core. What Shembo lacks in talent he makes up for in leadership and work ethic. Great grab here.
#203 Ryan Groy OG Wisconsin
Yes, the third O-Lineman I have us taking. It might sound boring but adding depth is a worth-while cause. Groy has the build for the NFL but lacks mostly as a pass blocker. This late in the draft, he could be someone that gives Harvey Dahl a viable back-up since Saffold won't be able to kick inside to guard anymore.
So there it is, the best mock Ram's mock draft out there. There's no absurd picks like Bridgewater or Clowney, just adding impact players that fill holes. It's not farfetched to say we'll see these guys in horns next year. 'Till next time.