St. Louis Rams & The NFC West: Know Your Enemies

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As St. Louis Rams fans, you’ve probably seen your fair share of 2013 NFL Mock Drafts. You probably also know that Wide Receiver, Offensive Line, and Safety are positions that will need a lot of attention in the offseason. What you may not know is what our NFC West opponents are planning. Know your enemies…

The 16th and 22nd picks for the St. Louis Rams in April’s draft are absolutely incumbent upon what happens prior to their clock starting…unless, of course, they decide to move up. If, however, they stay put at their current draft positions, the Rams should have a pretty good feel who should still be on their wish list.

Mock drafts are fun. Often times, though, they are not accurate. You’ve got to imagine that a group of ten NFL experts would be able to figure it out though, right? No? Oh…well, at any rate, here’s a list of ten of the most recent NFL Mock Draft’s - for the Rams opposition - from some pretty reputable sources.


Arizona Cardinals - 7th Pick of Round 1

Mel Kiper Jr. [ESPN]
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Mike Mayock [ESPN]
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Dan Kadar [Mocking the Draft]
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Rob Rang [NFLDraftScout.com]
Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Dane Brugler [NFLDraftScout.com]
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Josh Norris [NFL.com]
Mike Glennon, QB, N.C. State
Daniel Jeremiah [NFL.com]
Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
Bucky Brooks [NFL.com]
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
Gil Brandt [NFL.com]
Matt Barkley, QB, USC
Walter Cherepinsky [Walterfootball]
Chance Warmack, G, Bama

Player Most Mocked: 4 out of 10 pick Eric Fisher

Consensus Position: 6 out of 10 picks for Offensive Tackle

Offense or Defense? 10 out of 10 picks for Offense

Seattle Seahawks - 25th Pick of Round 1

Mel Kiper Jr. [ESPN]
Jonathan Hankins, DT, Georgia
Mike Mayock [ESPN]
Sam Montgomery, DT, LSU
Dan Kadar [Mocking the Draft]
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Rob Rang [NFLDraftScout.com]
Datone Jones, DE, UCLA
Dane Brugler [NFLDraftScout.com]
Jesse Williams, DT, Bama
Josh Norris [NFL.com]
Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida St.
Daniel Jeremiah [NFL.com]
Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Bucky Brooks [NFL.com]
Sam Montgomery, DE, LSU
Gil Brandt [NFL.com]
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Walter Cherepinsky [Walterfootball]
Sylvester Williams, DT, UNC

Player Most Mocked: Datone Jones & Sam Montgomery

Consensus Position: 8 out of 10 picks for Defensive Line

Offense or Defense? 8 picks Defense; 2 picks Offense

San Francisco 49ers - 31st Pick of Round 1

Mel Kiper Jr. [ESPN]
Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Mike Mayock [ESPN]
Justin Hunter, WR, Tenn
Dan Kadar [Mocking the Draft]
Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida Int’l
Rob Rang [NFLDraftScout.com]
Jonathan Jenkins, DT, Georgia
Dane Brugler [NFLDraftScout.com]
Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington
Josh Norris [NFL.com]
Jonathan Banks, CB, Miss. St.
Daniel Jeremiah [NFL.com]
Tavon Austin, WR, WVU
Bucky Brooks [NFL.com]
Matt Elam, S, Florida
Gil Brandt [NFL.com]
Jonathan Hankins, DT, Ohio St.
Walter Cherepinsky [Walterfootball]
Jonathan Cyprien, S, Florida Int’l

Player Most Mocked: Jonathan Cyprien

Consensus Position: 3 picks each for DT & Safety.

Offense or Defense?: 8 picks Defense; 2 picks Offense

Player Most Likely To Be Selected: Anyone Named Jonathan


...Knowing what your favorite NFL team needs heading into April is no secret. With the implications of the new rookie wage scale - and the propensity for teams to move up as a result - the draft order can rapidly change, and all of the aforementioned mock drafts can be thrown out the window. That doesn’t, however, change the fact that the majority of these gentleman recognize areas of opportunity on these NFC West teams, and for good reason.

Trust that the coaching staff and management of these organizations also see these areas of need. For the Cardinals, it appears to be a no-brainer that they go offense. They obviously have a glaring need at the QB position. The revolving door of backup quarterbacks taking first-team snaps has got to end at some point. But can Kevin Kolb, John Skelton, and Ryan Lindley could all still be likely candidates for the starting gig… at least according to the majority vote by the experts. Six of ten picked an offensive tackle as the position of choice in round one, while three of the remaining four thought that a new Quarterback was the best move for the Cardinals.


The NFC West has quickly become a division known for stout defenses, and the Rams aren’t excluded from that conversation. Interestingly enough, though, is that the majority of the Draft Experts see the Seahawks and 49ers leaning heavily towards defense in April’s draft [to the tune of 16 out of 20 mock selections]. Eleven of those 20 selections were projected as defensive line players.

So ponder this, Rams fans. The 49ers and Seahawks - both of whom made the playoffs in 2012, and have top-five defenses - are [potentially] aiming to bolster their defensive front in the 2013 Draft. If, by chance, these experts were to be accurate, how would that effect your mock draft? You’ve seen Gil Brandt mock Eddie Lacy at 16. You’ve also seen WR’s, LB’s, and Safeties go in Rams’ first round mocks. Would that change, knowing your [potential] surroundings?

Many fans think that it’s time for Steven Jackson to move on. Fair enough. He is nearing 30 years of age, and he certainly isn’t as explosive as he once was. Question his power - his drive - his ability - if you must, but also ask yourself this: "Without Steven Jackson, what is the Rams answer in the running game against elite defenses who look to grow stronger?" Maybe Steven Jackson isn’t the answer…then what is?

The Rams have a lot going for them, having nearly achieved their first 8-8 season since 2006. Face the facts, though. The Seahawks and 49ers look as good as they have in a very long time, and winning the NFC West won’t be as easy now as it would’ve been three years ago…when none of the teams in the West had a winning record. The outlook for the upcoming draft won’t/shouldn’t change based upon what the opposition could do, but it’s certainly something to keep in mind when we make Armchair-GM decisions on the Rams final roster heading into next season.


Thanks for swinging by TurfShowTimes for the most current St. Louis Rams news. Follow Turf Show Times at @TurfShowTimes. Follow Brandon Bate at @NoPlanB_

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