2013 NFL mock draft: Upgrades all around

Spruce Derden-US PRESSWIRE

The Rams still need an infusion of offensive talent, and the 2013 NFL Draft has exactly what they're looking for.

We're in a lull in the NFL world right now. It's designed that way, giving teams a few days to hide out in the office and weigh pressing considerations before the franchise tag window opens and the Combine gets underway. The St. Louis Rams are negotiating with Danny Amendola, but there are no franchise tagging decisions to be made, which means more time to concentrate on the draft. Fortunately, they have a mountain of mock drafts to help them.

(Also, can you imagine what the NFL would look like if mock drafts decided the real thing?)

Thank heavens they don't, but if they did follow mock drafts, you could probably do worse than the most recent mock from SB Nation.

And the first pick is ...

16. Chance Warmack, G, Alabama

By the end of last season, the Rams moved Robert Turner to left guard and he didn't do a lot to keep the job. Warmack is the draft's best guard prospect and just as good as David DeCastro last year. Warmack is the better run blocker of the two and hard to push off the line of scrimmage.

I'm sort of reticent on drafting a guard so highly, but I'm coming around to the idea. The Rams line did a much better job in pass blocking this year. Run blocking needs work, lots of it, because the Rams just didn't run the ball well enough to improve the offense this year. Look at the two Super Bowl teams, both run the hell out of the ball, both have road graders capable of moving aside the league's most elite defensive fronts. You want to make Isaiah Pead more productive this year? Get him some holes big enough that it makes it easy for him to get out in the open field and use his shiftiness.

22. Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, Tennessee

No Rams receiver broke 700 yards receiving last season and the team doesn't a player that projects as a No. 1 target. Patterson can be the lead receiver for St. Louis. He has the speed to get vertical and should be a star at the Combine. If St. Louis wants to get inventive, Patterson can be dangerous in the running game as well.

Drafting a wide receiver isn't as pressing as it used to be, at least for some. But here's the thing, as improved as the receiver play was this season, the Rams can do better. Free agency could also leave the roster depleted at that position. You want Bradford to succeed and the offense to score more points, then you have to be pulling for the Rams to make major upgrades to the offensive talent.

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