Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
If the Rams end up with options like this in the 2013 NFL Draft, Fisher and Snead have some difficult decisions to make.
It's Monday, and that can only mean that the time has come for another random guess as to who the St. Louis Rams and 31 other teams will be selecting in the 2013 NFL Draft. In this week's mock draft from SB Nation, the Rams go in a similar direction as before, finding help along the offensive line and at wide receiver.
Let's take a look:
16. Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
The offensive line will be a focus for St. Louis this offseason. The roster has steadily improved in recent years, but the offensive line remains an issue. Lane Johnson's value may be even higher than this pick, so the Rams luck out.
This mock supposes the Rams pick Johnson over Chance Warmack. That could produce an interesting situation. Warmack is one of the top players in the draft, but he's also a guard. Tackles carry more positional value and most consider Johnson a close third behind the top two in the draft.
What would the Rams do with Rodger Saffold under this scenario? He'd probably get moved to the right side, where most figured he would end up when the Rams drafted him in 2010. However, he's come along playing on Sam Bradford's blind side. Last season was his best yet, except for the injuries that limited his time on the field.
22. Keenan Allen, WR, California
Aside from the offensive line, finding Sam Bradford weapons to work with will be the Rams' main concern on draft day. With two first-round picks, St. Louis should be able to address both needs. Keenan Allen needs to have a solid showing at his pro day to justify this pick, but this fall, he was the best wide receiver in this class. He needs to prove that his knee is OK and that he has the straight-line speed to be a No. 1 wide receiver.
Something to remember about Les Snead: he knows the value of a good receiver. The Falcons weren't afraid to deal up in the draft to get Julio Jones when Snead was one of Thomas Dimitroff's underlings. There is no Julio Jones in this draft. Allen could turn out to be a solid receiver, especially if there really is anything to those Anquan Boldin comparisons. I can't imagine Joe Flacco gets the deal he just did without Boldin on the roster.
But is Allen that good? If he is, he'd be the best receiver on the Rams roster. How long will it take him to catch on in the NFL? Will the Rams have to give him a mulligan year like Brian Quick? Taking a receiver is such an obvious need for the Rams, but it's a move that needs to pay some immediate dividends. If Allen can replace Danny Amendola as a reliable target on intermediate routes in the middle of the field, along with some upside to do more with the ball in his hands, it could be a nice little upgrade.
Allen is the second receiver off the board in this mock; DeAndre Hopkins is the first at No. 12. Cordarrelle Patterson gets picked right after Allen, and Tavon Austin is the last man off the board, Would either of those two players be a better pick for the Rams?