OT - Eric Fisher, Lane Johnson, Luke Joeckel, D.J. Fluker, Oday Aboushi, Menelik Watson, Dallas Thomas, David Bakhtiari, Kyle Long.
G - Chance Warmack, Jonathan Cooper, Larry Warford, Justin Pugh.
C - Barrett Jones, Travis Frederick.
WR - Keenan Allen, Cordarrelle Patterson, Justin Hunter, Robert Woods, Quinton Patton, Da'Rick Rogers, Markus Wheaton, DeAndre Hopkins, Terrance Williams, Tavon Austin, Aaron Dobson, Cobi Hamilton, Stedman Bailey.
TE - Zach Ertz, Tyler Eifert, Vance McDonald, Travis Kelce, Gavin Escobar.
RB - Eddie Lacy, Giovani Bernard, Andre Ellington, Le'Veon Bell, Joseph Randle, Marcus Lattimore, Montee Ball, Stepfan Taylor, Johnathan Franklin.
QB - Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, Zac Dysert, Mike Glennon, Tyler Wilson,Ryan Nassib, EJ Manuel, Tyler Bray.
DE - Damontre Moore, Bjoern Werner, Barkevious Mingo, Ezekiel Ansah, Datone Jones, Alex Okafor, Dion Jordan, Sam Montgomery, Margus Hunt, Tank Carradine.
DT - Star Lotulelei, Sheldon Richardson, Sylvester Williams, John Jenkins, Sharrif Floyd, Johnathan Hankins, Jesse Williams, Kawann Short, Brandon Williams, Bennie Logan.
LB - Kevin Minter, Manti Te'o, Chase Thomas, Khaseem Greene, Arthur Brown, Jarvis Jones, Alec Ogletree.
CB - Dee Milliner, Xavier Rhodes, Desmond Trufant, Logan Ryan, Jordan Poyer, Johnthan Banks, Jamar Taylor, Robert Alford, David Amerson, Blidi Wreh-Wilson.
S - Kenny Vaccaro, Eric Reid, Matt Elam, Zeke Motta, T.J. McDonald, D.J. Swearinger, Tony Jefferson, Bacarri Rambo, Phillip Thomas, Shawn Williams, Jonathan Cyprien.
Above is a list of 98 draft-eligible college players at various positions. This is a list I have been compiling, on an informal basis, for approximately 5 weeks now. What do they all have in common??? What they have in common is they all have been touted as potential first or second round draft picks in the upcoming draft. Every time I have read a comment (especially on TST), looked at a mock draft (both here and on various other sites), read analysis and player rankings (ex. Mike Mayock and Walter Football) that have mentioned or touted a particular player as one that will be drafted in the first or second round, I have added their name to my list. The list is by no means exhaustive, for I can't be everywhere or read everything. However, it should be pretty close to accurate. Please let me know if I have missed anyone that has been mentioned in such a manner.
There will be 62 players drafted in the first two rounds in the upcoming draft (New Orleans lost a second round pick because of Bountygate and Cleveland lost a second round pick for taking Josh Gordon in the supplementary draft). Yet there are 98 players being touted as first and second round picks. That is quite a wide discrepancy. Why the discrepancy? The two most reasonable answers to the question are: 1/ There are many players close enough in talent to make decisions very difficult as to who is worthy of consideration in the first two rounds. 2/ The more opinions you seek, the more opinions you are likely to get. As noted, I kept track of virtually every opinion that I could in compiling the list of 98 players. What can we learn from this list that may be of importance to the Rams in the upcoming draft???
The combine (and other upcoming player evaluations) may have an affect on the composition of this list. Combine results could drop players out of consideration for the first two rounds. Conversely, combine results could raise other players stock into the first two rounds of the draft.
The composition of the draft
Many pundits and "experts" have made this observation regarding the 2013 NFL Draft: The draft does not have an overabundance of elite talent in the first round; however, it is a deep draft, especially at certain positions. With 98 players that could have the talent to get drafted in the first two rounds, it certainly appears to at least support the observation regarding the depth of the draft.
The 98 players listed here break out almost evenly between offense (50) and defense (48). The strength of the first round appears to be on the defensive side of the ball. As many as 20 players could be drafted on the defense side (with perhaps 10-11 DL taken in the first round). This could change if there is a run on QB's in the first round, or if quality wide receivers like DeAndre Hopkins and Tavon Austin also solidify first round consideration. In turn, in rounds 2 and 3, it appears that the offensive side of the ball will be addressed with more frequency (as many as 38-40 offensive players).
If you look closely at the various positions, it is apparent that some positions are very deep through the first 2-3 rounds of the draft. Luckily for the Rams, some of the deeper positions also happen to be areas of need for the team: Safety, Offensive Line and Wide Receiver. There is also significant depth on the defensive line, which could be important if we lose William Hayes in free agency. It should come as no surprise if all four of these positions are addressed by the Rams in the early rounds.
It has been noted that the first round does not appear to have an overabundance of top-level talent in it. However, there appears to be much value that can be found in the second and third rounds. It is something to keep in mind when thinking about the prospect of the Rams trading down in the first round. The fact that the Rams have many needs to fill also may be a factor in considering trading down. Having two first round picks also gives the Rams some flexibility for trading down. Fisher and Snead proved last year that they are not afraid to trade down if it makes sense to them.
Les Snead and Jeff Fisher
Les Snead has been giving some clues about the upcoming draft that have been quoted. This article, that appears in stltoday, hints at the composition of this draft, how he feels about drafts in general and gives his thoughts as to some of the stronger and deeper positions in this draft (particularly Safety). Jeff Fisher speaks of the wide receivers in the upcoming draft in this article. They certainly have given strong hints as to the direction they may head in the draft. The 98 players listed here serve to reinforce their thoughts regarding the direction they may take in the draft.
Thanks for reading! Your comments and opinions are always welcomed and appreciated.