Here's the good news: every player has a chance to be taken in the top-10 picks of the 2013 NFL Draft. No, seriously. Besides the technicality of that statement, draftniks are giving at least two dozen prospects a chance to go that high in the draft, because nobody knows and players are doing well with their chance in the national spotlight this week in Indianapolis.
That could be a good thing for the Rams when it comes to picking 16th and 22nd overall.
Check out their first pick in the latest mock draft from SB Nation:
No. 16 - Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
The Rams are in position to come away with two solid players and get some value in the middle of the first round. Chance Warmack is just what St. Louis needs on the interior of the offensive line.
Hey, y'all wouldn't be disappointed with that one would you? How does this happen, since Warmack is one of those players that has a chance to be drafted in the top five picks? The biggest change is Lane Johnson moving up the board. He gets picked at No. 11 in this mock. He can play left tackle and is athletic as hell (official description). That counts more than an interior linemen ... or it used to.
Guards are worth more than used to be, just ask Les Snead.
"If you look at the guard market over the last few years in free agency, it's gone up for a reason," Snead said during his media availability at the Combine. "As you see the way teams play on defense, if your quarterback can step up in the pocket _ it's easier to step up and throw than run around. Sometimes when you run around, you've got to stop and figure it out. You look at the Saints, I think the Saints have invested well in guard and Drew Brees was one that would step and has had a lot of success."
The value of defensive tackles has been going up in recent years too, slightly before the value of guards started to rise. It's not a coincidence. Will that translate to Warmack getting picked early in the draft or slipping to the middle of the first round, which has traditionally been the place where the most talented guards get picked?
Receivers are still pretty highly valued, and the Rams land one with the next pick in this mock.
No. 22 - Keenan Allen, WR, Cal
Keenan Allen ranks higher than Cordarrelle Patterson on my board, though I'm not blind to Patterson's upside. Allen's injury causes him to drop a little bit, but he's the total package at wide receiver. He compares favorably to Dez Bryant on the field.
I'm torn on Allen, who is the second receiver picked here, after DeAndre Hopkins. The Anquan Boldin comparisons are grounded in reason, but translation is always an issue when jumping from college to the NFL. If that really is his ceiling, it's exactly what the Rams need right now, a reliable pass catcher to be Sam Bradford's top target, especially with Danny Amendola likely to get away in free agency.
Then again ... Tavon Austin and Cordarrelle Patterson are still on the board. Austin's 40-time was the big story on Sunday, but he's more known for his quickness. He just proved he has the straight line speed to go with it. The man is a matchup nightmare for defenses, and paired with Chris Givens, the Rams would be stretching the field and forcing defenses to prepare for anything.