Hello again to the terrific fans here at Turf Show Times. I've been busy as of late with college and such, but I wanted to write up one more mock before the combine hits and changes my opinion on everything.
A couple of notes before we begin:
I'm assuming that we're unable to retain Amendola or Gibson, but hold on to SJ39 and Mikell, along with Barry Richardson.
I also believe that Cordarrelle Patterson, Kenny Vaccarro, and perhaps even Keenan Allen will be gone by pick 16, but Chance Warmack will still be available. Reasons for each:
Patterson - His ceiling is so ridiculously high... Some have said even higher than Julio Jones. If a team were to trade up for a receiver, it would be this guy rather than Keenan Allen.
Vaccarro - Top safety available, in a time of change for the league in which the read option is becoming an effective offense... He's versatile enough to play against the run and the pass. Safety talent is also lacking in the NFL, and many teams could use an upgrade. Similar to the Bucs taking Barron at 7 last year, I believe Vaccarro goes early.
Allen - If a team needs a reliable go-to-guy early in the draft, Allen is that guy. He isn't quite the playmaker that Patterson is, but at this point is a much better receiver. Buffalo and Miami could both use a guy like Allen.
Warmack - Chance Warmack may be the best prospect in the draft, but guard just isn't that significant to most teams.... Especially to most of the teams picking in the top 15. He'll provide absolute solidity to the interior of an offensive line, but can't provide the "game changing value" that the skill position guys can early.
Therefore, while our main area of need is still the OL, our receiving corps is once again quite thin.
Round 1, Pick 16: Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama - Am I being a bit optimistic? Perhaps... But I still see this as a real possibility. The draft isn't as bad this year as most proclaim it to be... that is, unless you need a QB. There are quite a few talented defensive players and skill position guys... 16 would be a perfect spot for him to land, too... as he absolutely won't be available at 22... Teams with less holes than most teams drafting in the top 15 would LOVE to grab this guy.
Round 1, Pick 22: Matt Elam, S, Florida - Jeff Fisher definitely loves his DBs... And I believe that Elam is someone that the Rams will, without a doubt, have their eye on. He's an absolutely punishing hitter, and will help provide the Rams with more and more turnovers this year... Vaccarro is the better player, but Elam might honestly be better for our team identity.
Round 2, Pick 46: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson - I absolutely love this guy as a player... and if he lasts this long in the second round, I think that we snatch him up. Hopkins is THE GUY we need to make the offense flow. We currently have a big receiver in Quick, and a deep threat in Givens, but if Amendola and Gibson leave, we need a receiver to come in whose game is based on route running. Not to mention, he also has 4.4 speed and can beat defenses over the top... Oh yeah, and he has great hands and body control. I believe that he and Chris Givens would work exceedingly well together.
Round 3, Pick 78: Da'Rick Rogers, WR, Tennessee Tech - Much like we did last year with CBs, I believe we double up on receivers fairly early in the draft this year. Rogers is a first round talent with some character concerns, but I could easily see the Rams rolling the dice on him. He has legit #1 receiver capabilities, and would add a guy with amazing toughness and skills to our receiving corps. Our goal for next year is to score more points, first and foremost... Adding both Rogers and Hopkins will help us A LOT with that.
Round 4, Pick 110: Brandon Williams, DT, Missouri Southern - Once again similarly to last year, we dip into the pool of small school prospects. Williams has consistently showed up strongly against every level of competition that he's been put up against... However, most of that competition hasn't been NFL-caliber, therefore he's likely a mid round pick. He would be a great pick up for us, especially given his motor. He could initially provide depth, and likely replace Kendall Langford in the intermediate future.
Round 5, Pick 146: Cameron Lawrence, OLB, Mississippi St - The Rams will likely look for another guy to try at the WLB position, and why not Lawrence? He's a high effort guy, who made a lot of plays at the collegiate level. If nothing else, he could at least be a solid special teams contributor.
Round 6, Pick 178: Kyle Juszcyk, FB, Harvard - After cutting Brit Miller, the Rams tried playing both Lance Kendricks and Steven Jackson as fullbacks in different situations... However, that position isn't ideal for either, and a replacement needs to be found. Juszcyk played well at the Senior Bowl, and could help us right away.
Round 7, Pick 210: Trey Wilson, CB, Vanderbilt - With Bradley Fletcher unlikely to return, the Rams will need to add some depth at the CB spot late in the draft. Wilson appears to be a solid corner, and could provide nice depth for us.
As always, feedback/criticism is accepted. So give me your thoughts, and tell me just how wrong I am.