Peter G. Aiken-US PRESSWIRE
A new simulation run by the hivemind machines at DraftTek gives us a full 7-round mock draft to analyze. Will any of the eight selections suggested actually happen come April?
For those of you unfamiliar with DraftTek, it's an intoxicating website.
They have a team of analysts who compile assessments of team needs at every position, compile a big board that goes 400 prospects deep and then runs a computer simulation that addresses needs, BPA and records a short video of you through your webcam at your most humiliating moments (part of the draft process, yanno).
What gets spit out of the ol Draftomatic3000 is a 7-round mock draft that inspires some, depresses and inflames others.
Because it's a computer simulation, you get a bit more wackiness in the mock drafts that come out. Of course, I appreciate that as it's a bit closer to the wackiness of the actual NFL Draft that adheres to mock drafts not in the slightest. Adding to the allure is that with each pick throughout the entire mock, you get two alternate selections from the simulator that add more intrigue. Enough about computers; let's mock.
16. Arthur Brown: LB, Kansas St.
Alternate Pick #1: Cordarrelle Patterson - WR, Tennessee
Alternate Pick #2: Sharrif Floyd - DT, Florida
Okay, before all of the Rams fans out there go nuts arguing picking a guy that's never played Outside Linebacker and would only fit as a Will in the Rams' 4-3 system, let me explain. This simulation is based on team need and player ranking. The Rams desperately need an Outside Linebacker and our rankings have put Alec Ogletree behind Arthur Brown this week. The combine is going to change the entire landscape of the draft. The ranking of Arthur Brown could look genius or foolish very shortly. All that said, Arthur Brown is the reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. He has back-to-back 100-tackle seasons and elevated a defense mocked by the entire league for years to almost-feared status. The only questions on Brown are can he bulk up enough to be effective against the run in the NFL and do any off-field issues remain. The former I will leave up to the NFL scouts; the later I believe Brown has cleared up. Should his stock be lowered by character issues, I believe his combine interviews will quell them.
Would definitely add some athleticism to the linebacking corps. Have to wonder about not spending a 1st rounder on WR, O-line or safety...but anything's possible.
Given the alternates at the pick, I guess it's notable that Floyd comes off the board at 19 to the Giants, a pick that was equally confounding. That kinda makes the option at 22 obvious for the simulation:
22. Cordarrelle Patterson: WR, Tennessee
Alternate Pick #1: Terrance Williams - WR, Baylor
Alternate Pick #2: Giovani Bernard - RB, North Carolina
The Rams need a #1 WR talent on the roster and right now it just isn't there. They really have not had one since Torry Holt left in 2008. Cordarrelle Patterson has the talent to become a #1 WR in the NFL. He is not AJ Green nor is he Julio Jones. It will not happen right away. What Patterson does have is return ability to allow him time to work into that #1 WR role the Rams need. Cordarrelle broke records in both junior college and in his one season at Tennessee, proving he can make leaps without losing much production. Should Patterson fall to the Rams at #22 and the Rams believe in his potential, this could be a good match. Watch the NFL Combine and the Free Agent wire, as the Rams will only likely grab one guy since the depth is there already in the receiving corps. Defense is really the word for the Rams' draft in this analysts opinion, but the players just aren't falling yet.
I'm still very, very, very skeptical of Patterson at WR, despite the obvious athleticism and return ability. More on that in days and weeks ahead.
And just a point of order: the opening of day 2 is going to be painful, Rams fans. Plenty of prospects who could come in and make an impact immediately are going to fly off the boards leaving us with diminished options. Obvious, sure, but worth reminding ourselves ahead of the "damn"s we'll be uttering from picks 33-45.
Look at this list: D.J. Fluker, Tavon Austin, Gio Bernard (still my top RB), Eric Reid, Larry Warford, Justin Hunter, Tyler Eifert, DeAndre Hopkins, Matt Elam...outside of Warford (who I'm not as high on), I wouldn't have a problem with any of those guys on the Rams. Hell, I wouldn't be uncomfortable with any of them, save for Bernard, at 22nd in the 1st round. So who do the computers give us?
46. (2-14) Eddie Lacy: RB, Alabama
Alternate Pick #1: Travis Frederick - OL, Wisconsin
Alternate Pick #2: Oday Aboushi - OT, Virginia
Eddie Lacy is the best pure runner in the draft, period. His size, strength and vision make him a talent that cannot be matched. The Rams need to replace Steven Jackson and have only this draft, or the next to accomplish it. Lacy is one of the only two backs in the draft (with Giovani Bernard) that can do it. Drafting Eddie Lacy to take some punishment from Steven Jackson and allowing Jackson to tutor Lacy would be awesome for the Rams. Lacy still needs to better develop as a pass catcher and a blocker, but with that being said, few would argue that Jackson stands out in those categories. Daryl Richardson is not an everydown back, but could compliment Lacy just as he did Jackson. I believe that Bernard fits the Rams better, but (in this mock) the Rams gambled he'd be available here in Round 2, and lost. Still, Eddie Lacy is a fine consolation prize.
Let's just move right along...
78. (3-16) Robert Lester: S, Alabama
Alternate Pick #1: Brian Winters - G, Kent St.
Alternate Pick #2: Chase Thomas - OLB, Stanford
110. (4-16) Everett Dawkins: DT, Florida St.
Alternate Pick #1: Bennie Logan - DT, LSU
Alternate Pick #2: Gerald Hodges - OLB, Penn State
142. (5-16) Xavier Nixon: OT, Florida
Alternate Pick #1: Rashard Hall - S, Clemson
Alternate Pick #2: Hugh Thornton - G, Illinois
174. (6-16) Zaviar Gooden: OLB, Missouri
Alternate Pick #1: Stansly Maponga - DE, TCU
Alternate Pick #2: Kerwynn Williams - RB, Utah St.
206. (7-16) Eric Martin: DE, Nebraska
Alternate Pick #1: Ace Sanders - WR, South Carolina
Alternate Pick #2: Rodney Smith - WR, Florida St.
Welp...I get that computer models don't always end up with the best results (oh hai, BCS!). This sure would be a draft that would spur some comment from most of us, I'd expect.
I started asking around week 10-ish what tack this front office would lean toward this offseason - looking to craft a respectable offense or trying to put together a top defense. This leans heavily on the latter. Look at the class:
|16||Arthur Brown||LB||Kansas St.|
|110||Everett Dawkins||DT||Florida St.|
Now look, I'm a fan of the concept of BPA in the realistic sense. Nevertheless, it's hard to back a draft that brings in three offense players -- one with concerns about his technical ability (Patterson), one a primarily power running back and the last a RT with questionable movement skills. On the defensive side, the numbers get inflated because of the later picks, granted. But two defensive linemen and two outside linebackers? Overkill for me.
Who knows, maybe some of yall will enjoy this draft with Patterson's potential, Lacy's...well, headlines. And look, I can get with the argument that the defense can elevate this team to the playoffs in 2013.
I just worry that a draft like this leaves so much to be answered for on the offensive side that if things don't pan out across this draft, there would be too many missed opportunities.