I've said before that Fish/Les does what they want in the draft without much influence from the so-called experts. However, I think the dust has settled enough for me to know what I think about our draft, so here's my latest and possibly last Mock Draft 2013.
1A) Jon Cooper, G/C N. Carolina.
Most sources now have him about equal with Warmack as a guard, but I see him as the long term answer at Center. Wells won't be around much longer and it just seems too good an opportunity to have such a talented player train at Center while playing Guard. Rok will be ready at Guard soon as well. This solidifies our line with talent and versatility. He's really they key pick of the draft for me.
1B) Cordarelle Patterson, WR Tenn.
It looks like his inexperience and immaturity has shown up in enough interviews that he will fall to this level. This is a pick from the Skins, so it's a natural spot for a risky pick. Austin was long gone at 16 and I would consider Hunter and Hopkins here as well.
2) Jon Cyprien, SS FIU (or Fl. A&M or wherever)
The Safety market has seemed to soften at the top of the draft, so I see Cyprien being available to us here. I also Elam and Reid and possibly Thomas here, but Cyprien seems the most well rounded Safety after Vacarro.
3) Jamie Collins, OLB Southern Miss.
Collins is a large, fast, angry OLB who is a perfect plug and play at SOLB in a 4-3. 6'3" and 250 allows Jo Lon to stay at WOLB, where he's better suited. Earlier in the draft season, I had a man crush on Ogletree. I've been converted to the idea that Ogletree is a weak side LB. This player is also a key draft choice. So much so that I considered overdrafting him in the 2nd round since other very good Safeties will still be available at this spot.
4) L'evian Bell, RB Mich. St.
This could be a stretch. Bell had a nice combine and has had a good draft process in general, so I could see him going in the mid to late 3rd to a team like the Steelers. If Bell isn't available here, I'd wait until the 5th and select Joseph Randle (RB, OK St.), who is also a less desirable option here in the 4th.
5) Xavier Nixon, OT Florida St.
There are 4 players I liked here, but I think the most likely to be here is Nixon. This is a rich man's Rok. He's a little better known than Rokevious, but I see him similarly, big physical RT type and might play some guard. The others I considered were: Br. William (OT, NC), Dallas Thomas (G/T, Tenn.), and Quessenberry (OT SJ St.). Only 1 of these 4 should fall to the 5th and I'd be very pleased with any of them at this juncture.
6) Josh Boyd, DT Miss St.
Boyd meets a lot of my criteria for high draft pick selection (big time conference, multi-year starter, good health),so I think he's a good value here and could contribute. Not an elite performer in the SEC, but very good and started and finished 3 seasons in the SEC. That's a pretty good recommendation. He performed best when Fletcher Cox was his line mate and I'm thinking Brockers will draw similar attention that allows him to be a big contributor.
7) Cooper Taylor, SS Richmond.
Taylor is 6'5" and about 220 lbs. He is very fast and has nice instincts. There are several very large safeties available in this draft and I think the Rams need to try to develop the kind of player who might be effective against these hybrid Tight Ends in that 3rd and 5-10 yard situational defense. Another player I like here is Ray Ray Armstrong. Also big at 6'3" and 225, but Ray's a bit of a loose cannon back there, which might be good or bad. Another possiblity with this pick is T.J. Moe who is a "playa" and should make you Mizzou fans rock the house.
As a bit of history, 2 years ago I was all over Leonard Hankerson as a 2nd round WR and we passed on him twice in the 2nd and 3rd (Pettis and Salas). That year, I was even more convinced that K.J. Wright was a perfect fit for us at SOLB in the 3rd round and the Sea Gulls got him a few pick ahead of us and he is a very solid performer.
To be fair, I was also all over Isiah Pead in the 3rd last year and that looks like it might have been less than exciting. Jury's still out though, we'll see. I also thought Stephen Hill, the kid from Georgia Tech., was gonna be a star and that we made a huge mistake letting him go. The jury's still out on whether he'll be a star or not, but he did perform better than Quick until he was injured..
This year my key picks are Cooper in the 1st and Collins in the 3rd. The 4th round selection of Bell is pretty key as well. Otherwise, our RB production will be severely diminished.
Love to hear what you think. Especially about these key selections. Have fun!