Disclaimer: At this point my mock is a complete shot in the dark. So many things can happen(injuries, free agency, combine results, off field issues)that the draft will most likely not go the way i expect. So if you are unhappy with the results that i expect you are free to voice your opinion below.
Picks: Alright so the season has concluded. While watching the Redskins be so terrible it netted us the #2 pick in the draft, its still hard to swallow our 7-9 record. However the past is the past and its time to move on. In this draft we have ourselves the #2 picks as well as the #13 pick. At the time of this writing Les Snead has announced that the #2 pick is up for grabs to the highest bidder. I believe strongly that this pick will be traded down.
Draft Day: I dont believe our team is a Super Bowl contender yet and still has plenty of holes to fill which is why our regime has been so eager to trade down and stockpile picks. Now over the course of the time before the draft they could fall in love with a prospect and sit at #2 and take him or trade down only one or two spots to secure that player, my draft is going off the assumption that this is not the case. So with that being said i do believe we trade down with Atlanta from the #2 spot down to the #6 spot. Atlanta believes they have a Super Bowl contender and are only a couple of talented players away from the roster that takes them to the promise land. Atlanat has proven they are eager to trade up for players that they know will make a difference. The Julio Jones trade worked out brilliantly, and the Desmond Trufaunt trade has also benefitted them. I see no reason why they wouldnt attempt to trade up to grab Clowney if they fall in love with him(which im expecting they will). Clowney is a freak prospect who fits a glaring need for the Falcons roster. It dosent hurt that Snead has good connections with Atlantas front office and that we also have a trade history with them. For this mock its my prediction that the Rams with give the 2014 #2 pick to Atlanta for their 2014 #6 pick, 2014 3rd Round, 2014 5th Round and 2015 1st rounder.
With our own pick #13 there are a countless number of options the Rams could go with here and they most certainly will depend on what the Rams do with their #6 selection
Selections: Finally its May 8th, after reading and hearing every day since the Super Bowl about the draft, it is finally upon us and after all the trades and agonizingly slow previous picks, you hear "With the 6th pick in the 2014 NFL draft the St. Louis Rams select....."
#6 Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
This pick is still very hard to predict at this point. Our biggest needs consist of Tackle, Guard, Wide Receiver, Cornerback and Free Safety. There are no Corners or Safety's expected to go this high in the draft. We have selected Receivers quite a few times over the past two years and i don't believe the coaching staff has given up on them. Fisher has never taken a Tackle before the 2nd round or a Guard before the 4th round. However if there were ever a Tackle that Fisher would take with a high pick in the 1st Round i think it would be Matthews. Obviously it has never been a bigger need then now after Jake Longs knee injury. Matthews perceived value falls within the parameters of this pick and it dosent hurt that Fisher not only coached Bruce Matthews(Jake Matthews HOF Dad) for 8 years but also played at USC for 2 years with him as well. Fisher tends to stick with players and coaches he has connections to. Jake Matthews is about as complete as it comes with a Tackle prospect. He is on top of that versatile having played both Right and Left Tackle at Texas A&M. This could very well go a different way but the reasons that i stated above has left me at this point in time with no other likely pick then Jake Matthews.
#13 Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
This is far from the sexiest pick at this selection and the Clinton Dix crowd is sure to be displeased with this selection. But there are a few reasons i can see this pick happening. To me it dosent seem like Fisher puts a strong value on Safeties. Only one time in his draft history has he taken one in the 1st round. And last year Safety was considered a bigger need then it is this year but Fisher waited until the 3rd round to pick McDonald. If you remember last year at this time Kenny Vaccaro was the overwhelming favorite to be selected with our #16 pick. And that never came to fruition. I have a strong feeling that its the same situation this year. Now onto Hageman, i do enjoy watching him play. He is constantly in the backfield disrupting plays and going after the QB. He has size that is very similar to what Langford in now. However Hageman has more experience in a 4-3 defense. He is far more athletic and powerful and costs a hell of a lot less.Cutting Langford would open up 6.5 Million in Cap Space. I dont see Langford sticking around for next season. But wouldnt be suprised if the Rams kept him(making this selection pointless). This would complete the D-Line and we would have a group of young 1st round picks all the way across the D-Line for years to come.
#46 Calvin Pryor, FS, Louisville
Now some of you may have heard of Calvin, for those of you who havent he is one hell of a player. Though he is on a Louisville squad who plays some pretty easy opponents he makes play after play. For a Free Safety he is a hard hitter which is something Fisher values out of his Safeties. A Safety tandem of McDonald and Pryor could be menacing, both can lay the wood and support the run well. Now there isnt much highlight footage of Pryor yet but you will start to see them pop up as the draft approaches. He is a player that makes splash plays but could work on consistency. But at that this defense could use some more of those splash play especially from our safeties. Weighing in at 6'1 210lbs he has all the size you could want from a Free Safety and i will be interested on how his combine performance will go. As far as stats in Pryors Freshman year (in which he didnt start in every game) he posted 43 tackles, 1 sack, 2 interceptions, 7 pass defends and 2 forced fumbles. Sophmore year he posted 100 tackles, 1 sack, 3 interceptions, 7 pass defends and 5 forced fumbles. His Junior year which is this season he has posted 68 tackles, 0 sacks, 3 interceptions, 5 pass defends and 2 forced fumbles. Now his Junior year stats indicate he has regressed from his sophomore year but Pryor didn't post stats in 3 games. Against FIU and Central Florida both were blow outs so its understandable. But the 3rd game against Memphis he wasnt allowed to play for violating team rules. As you all know that last bit wont concern Fisher or Snead a bit. For those who question small school safeties look at Jonathan Cyprien of Jacksonville. A former Florida International Strong Safety he has come into the NFL and played very well for the Jaguars.
#77 A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
Now i know that this of all picks this might be the most common and controversial but it just makes so much sense. The Rams arent quiting on Bradford yet. He will be back as the starting QB next year and we need a more competent backup. I have a feeling the Rams wont try and get as fancy next year with all the spread 4 receiver sets. We will play a more ball control offense which McCarron is very accustomed to. I dont think McCarron is all to bad when it comes to being a dynamic passer but he isnt going to blow you away either. If he does well enough and Bradford struggles then we have someone to push Bradford. If Bradford steps up, plays well and we start winning a good amount of games we at least have a upgrade over Clemens who can come in a run the offense but also be a far better pocket QB. Its pretty cut and dry here with McCaron, he is a steady QB who dosent make a lot of mistakes and will keep us in games if Bradford go's down again. Now could this pick be Aaron Murray or even Zach Mettenberger(after ACL injury) sure it could but playing in a pro style offense bodes well for McCarron who should be able to come in and help us compete in games if god forbid Bradford gets hurt again.
Conclusion: So there you have it, my first mock of the year and initial thoughts as well. I will be updating this mock when news comes along(player decides to go back to school, off field incidents, trades, combine results ect..) and will be adding more rounds as we get closer to the 2014 NFL Draft and i have more of a chance to look into lower round prospects. Thank you all who have read the entire article i know it was very long and there is a lot of information. Please if you see any error in stats let me know and if you have any thought on the mock please comment below and let me know your thoughts.