RD. 1 PICK 16
~~~trade down ATL (RD. 1 PICK 30, RD 2 PICK 30, RD. 4 PICK 30, 2014 PICK RD. 2) ATL SELECT DESMOND TRUFANT
RD. 1 PICK 30
-Quinton Patton WR Louisiana Tech
>Ten years from now Patton could turn out to be the best WR in this class. He has amazing route running skills, some of the most reliable hands around, very quick, legit speed (though not a burner, 4.48-4.51), can create after the catch, tough, moderate size to line up anywhere (6’ 204), I really just don’t see any true flaws in his game. This might be a slight reach since he is projected to come off somewhere in the top 16 picks of the second, but he may very well be worth it.
RD. 1 PICK 22
~~~trade down to RD. 2 TOP 7 for mocking sake we will say it is with Philadelphia (RD. 2 PICK 3, RD. 4 PICK 3, 2014 RD. 2, 2014 RD. 3) EAGLES SELECT QB EJ MANUEL
RD. 2 PICK 3
~~~trade down 10-15 range, let’s say Carolina (RD. 2 PICK 12, RD. 4 PICK 11) PANTHERS SELECT WR KEENAN ALLEN
RD. 2 PICK 12
-D.J. Fluker OT/OG Alabama
>The perfect prospect to play LG for us and if we later lose Saffold, Can plug right into RT. The best run blocking tackle in the draft and the talent and measurables to later be a damn good pass blocking tackle.
RD. 2 PICK 14
-Khaseem Greene OLB Rutgers
>Maybe the most complete and NFL ready LB in this draft. Not receiving the hype of Alec Ogletree or Arthur Brown, but has a more complete game than both, and better and more consistent production throughout his college career.
RD. 2 PICK 30
-Bacarri Rambo FS Georgia
>The best ballhawking safety in this draft class. A splash play machine, to plug in immediately. A future pro bowler.
RD. 3 PICK 16
-Sanders Commings CB/FS Georgia
>Commings would definitely complete our CB depth. We lost Bradley Fletcher, and now could use some more depth. With the addition of Commings we could have arguably the best CB depth in the NFL. Also Commings can play safety, which would allow a lot of creative scheme versatility. He can come on and play one position in one package and never leave the field playing another position the very next play. He is also a very good tackler with good ball skills and coverage.
RD. 4 PICK 3
-Brandon Williams DT MSSU
>A big, strong, physical, DT, who happens to be adept at creating pressure from up the middle. He and Michael Brockers could grow into the best interior D-linemen tandem in the league.
RD. 4 PICK 11
-Christine Michael RB Texas A&M
>The most complete RB prospect in this draft class. The purest runner hands down. Absolutely makes it look easy, and actually fits our gun-power run scheme.
RD. 4 PICK 16
-Shawn Williams SS Georgia
>The most underrated safety prospect in this draft class. A very good tackler, in the box and the open field, Williams was the unquestioned leader of one of college football’s best defenses last yr. He challenged his teammates to step up, because the effort wasn’t there, and he was the first of his team to do just that the next game having arguably the best game of his career. He also has very good ball skills and the versatility to play both safety positions.
RD. 4 PICK 30
-Aaron Dobson WR Marshall
>Arguably the best hands in this year’s draft class. Dobson is a size/speed guy, with great hands, acceleration, routes, and strength. He could possibly be one of the biggest steals of this draft.
RD. 5 PICK 16
-Zaviar Gooden OLB Missouri
>Everyone knows the best defenses have depth. That’s something that we lack but can build in this draft through the middle rounds. We literally have nothing behind our starters. Gooden would be a nice value pick, but also a plan for the future. He can be depth this year, but Jo-Lonn Dunbar is a free agent after this season, Gooden has arguably the best potential in this draft, and could be the heir apparent to Dunbar in case he walks next off-season. Creating a future LB core of Gooden, Laurinitis, Greene. We would easily have one of the better LB cores around, with the potential to create a lot of turnovers and the outside speed on both sidesto stop outside runs as well as mobile QBs from doing damage with their legs.
RD. 6 PICK 16
-David Bass DE MWSU
>A low key beast from the division 2 level. How he ended up at the DII level is a mistake on the college scouts, and someone who saw him play but didn’t offer, should probably lose their job. Bass had 40 sacks in his career, over 20 deflections, and 4 interceptions (one returned 55 yds for a td). 4 interceptions and never dropped into coverage by design, just amazingly rare instincts.
RD. 7 PICK 16
-Braden Hansen OG/C BYU
> The perfect replacement for Rob Turner. He can play either G/C, but finished his career playing predominately at the center position. A smart and physical player, who had he played in the SEC may be viewed as a 2nd-3rd prospect.
(LOVE THAT MOVIE, SUPER FUNNY)
Now, let’s not get too excited. This is merely what I want to happen. I wish I had some sort of mind control powers, I would make this happen. In this scenario we would draft 10-11 players out of 12 that will probably end up as starters a year or two from now. 10-12 because Bass will never be a starter only because we have Chris Long and Robert Quinn, but he will be someone hard to retain when his rookie contract is up because of insanely high production as a rotational guy (I would say 14-18 sacks over a 4 yr span as a rotational guy). And the other guy who may or may not become a starter is Dobson. Dobson would have to beat out Brian Quick (which could be very possible) to be a starter. I would call their battle 50/50depending on the progress quick makes this offseason and next.
Again this is merely what I want to happen not what I believe will happen. So since the purpose of a mock draft is to try and predict what a team wants to do, without adding what you want them to do, that is what I am going to finally do in this third edition mock. But try to remember this; DRAFTS ARE NOT DONE BY A ONE PLAYER PER PICK DECISION, TEAMS HAVE A LIST OF POSSIBLE PLAYERS PER PICK THAT THEY WOULD LIKE TO DRAFT, AND THE PLAYERS IN EACH GROUP PER PICK ARE LISTED IN A ORDER GOING BY AVAILABILITY, BEST PLAYER IN DRAFT, MOST VALUE, HOLE FILLER, IMPACT, AND ROLE, aka the big board. Again I have taken out all biases in this mock, and gone solely off of the extensive research I have done the last couple of months. Now it’s time to trust everything that I have read, watched, learned, and heard. Time to believe the data I have collected will point to what our beloved rams are planning going into the weekend. Without further ado my official 2013 St. Louis Rams mock draft…
ROUND 1 PICK 16
1. Tavon Austin WR WVU
2. D.J. Fluker OG/OT Alabama
3. Alec Ogletree OLB Georgia
4. Sheldon Richardson DT Missouri
5. Cordarrelle Patterson WR Tennessee
6. Matt Elam FS/SS Florida
7. DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson
8. Kenny Vaccaro FS Texas
9. Eddie Lacy RB Alabama
10. Jonathon Cooper LG/C UNC
ROUND 1 PICK 22
1. D.J. Fluker OG/OT Alabama
2. Alec Ogletree OLB Georgia
3. Matt Elam FS/SS Florida
4. DeAndre Hopkins WR Clemson
5. Eddie Lacy RB Alabama
6. Jonathon Cooper LG/C UNC
7. Quinton Patton WR Louisiana Tech
8. Keenan Allen WR Cal
9. Arthur Brown OLB Kansas St
10. Terron Armstead OT/OG Arkansas PB
ROUND 2 PICK 16
1. Eddie Lacy RB Alabama
2. Quinton Patton WR Louisiana Tech
3. Kyle Long OG/OT Oregon
4. Menelik Watson OT/OG Florida St
5. Khaseem Greene OLB Rutgers
6. Jonathon Franklin RB UCLA
7. Justin Hunter WR Tennessee
8. Larry Warford OG Kentucky
9. Bacarri Rambo FS Georgia
10. Sio Moore OLB UCONN
ROUND 3 PICK 16
1. Bacarri Rambo FS Georgia
2. Sio Moore OLB UCONN
3. Sanders Commings CB/FS Georgia
4. Brandon Williams DT MSSU
5. Gerald Hodges OLB Penn St
6. Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina
7. Aaron Dobson WR Marshall
8. Mike Gillislee RB Florida
ROUND 4 PICK 16
1. Gerald Hodges OLB Penn St
2. Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina
3. Aaron Dobson WR Marshall
4. Mike Gillislee RB Florida
5. Shamarko Thomas SS Syracuse
6. Oday Aboushi OT/OG Virginia
7. Earl Watford OG James Madison
ROUND 5 PICK 16
1. Shamarko Thomas SS Syracuse
2. Oday Aboushi OT/OG Virginia
3. Earl Watford OG James Madison
4. Robert Lester SS/FS Alabama
5. Micah Hyde CB Iowa
6. Xavier Nixon OT/OG Florida
7. David Bass DE MWSU
8. Kevin Reddick OLB UNC
Ace Sanders WR/RET South Carolina
ROUND 6 PICK 16
1. Xavier Nixon OT/OG Florida
2. David Bass DE MWSU
3. Kevin Reddick OLB UNC
4. Spencer Ware RB LSU
5. Connor Vernon WR Duke
6. Nathan Williams OLB/MLB Ohio St
7. Xavier Brewer CB Clemson
8. Will Pericak DT Colorado
ROUND 7 PICK 16
1. Nathan Williams OLB/MLB Ohio St
2. Xavier Brewer CB Clemson
3. Will Pericak DT Coloardo
4. TJ Moe WR Missouri
5. Melvin White CB Louisiana-Monroe
6. Kieth Pough OLB Howard
NOTE: One of these two first round picks (IF NOT BOTH) will be traded. The trade range is going to be 26-39 (rd 1 pick 26 [PACKERS]-rd 2 pick 7 [JETS]). I reached this conclusion in large part due to their willingness to collect picks last year as well as Les Snead openly admitting that he "loves picks". They have a no hurry attitude and have shown the ability to trust their board, and regardless of where they are picking they believe there will be good talent available due to the trust they have in their scouting department. I came up with this range because picks 26-39 all have similar needs and depending on who is on their board they’ll be dying to jump one another to beat the teams in front of them for the BPA and that player will be a need. In this scenario I have 5 players who teams are going to be willing to jump for.
1. Cordarrelle Patterson (16 TRADE)- If Patterson is available at 16, and all signs point to that being the case, expect teams to be ready to sell their soul to get him. The Steelers are said to be one of the most interested teams in Patterson, and that was sort of backed up when Patterson became the only player both Steelers GM and HC went to see at his pro day. The Steelers draft at 17, teams know they like him and are looking for a Mike Wallace replacement. Pick 16 is the hot spot. The following teams are candidates to jump up for the explosive WR, as they have all shown some to major interest and have been looking for WR help:
a. CHICAGO (RD 1 PICK 20, RD 4 PICK 20)
b. CINCINNATI (RD 1 PICK 21, RD 3 PICK 22, RD 7 PICK 34)
c. MINNESOTA (RD 1 PICK 25, RD 2 PICK 22) THINK THE TRADE DOWN W/DALLAS LAST YR
d. HOUSTON (RD 1 PICK 27, RD 2 PICK 27, RD 6 PICK 33, 2014 PICK RD 3)
e. NEW ENGLAND (RD 1 PICK 29, RD 2 PICK 29, 2014 PICK RD 2)
2. Chance Warmack and Jonathon Cooper (16 TRADE)- I have reached the conclusion the only way the rams will draft either Warmack or Cooper is if all of the players listed for the pick at 16 are gone, in which case they would trade 16 and if one or both players are available at 22 and that list has been cleaned as well, they will then select the one that is available or the better prospect for their team, in this case I would predict Cooper since he can eventually move from guard to center after a year when the rams CUT Scott Wells (his knees won’t last much longer). Considering the unlikelihood of all the players being gone and the belief at least few players will remain from the pick 22 list, the rams will trade 16 to a team that wants either guard. The list of possible teams include:
a. COWBOYS (RD 1 PICK 18, RD 4 PICK 17)
b. GIANTS (RD 1 PICK 19, RD 4 PICK 19)
c. BEARS (RD 1 PICK 20, RD 4 PICK 20)
d. COLTS (RD 1 PICK 24, RD 3 PICK 24, RD 6 PICK 24
e. PACKERS (RD 1 PICK 26, RD 2 PICK 25)
f. BRONCOS (RD 1 PICK 28, RD 2 PICK 28, RD 5 PICK 28)
3. Manti Te’o (22 TRADE)- I know a lot of people don’t believe Te’o is a first round player because he is too slow, or his bad performance in the national championship game. But a lot of those same people believe Keenan Allen should still be a first round pick regardless of his 40 and slow healing knee, and those same people believe Alec Ogletree should be a first round pick and he looked equally as bad against Bama. Also Te’o ran a 4.71 (the same as Allen) at his pro day, Ogletree ran a 4.7, big difference huh??? The fact of the matter is Te’o’s tape doesn’t lie. He has the best instincts and Football IQ of any LB in this draft. And displayed better cover ability than Ogletree and Arthur Brown. Teams will have to trade up for Te’o because he will be a first round pick and it will be by the Vikings. Vikings GM Rick Spielman is in love with Notre Dame players. He literally believes that the players that come from ND come from one of the best programs, and are some of the best talent a team can have. Spielman was the Vice President of Player Personnel from 2006-2011 in 2012 he became GM. In his 7 years as a key member of the committee that brings in talent, Spielman has had his hand in on the addition of 10 former ND players, 5 of which is still with the team. And to take it to another level, the Vikings most glaring need is MLB. The depth chart should be blank at that position, they have NOTHING!!! Expect Te’o to come off the board when the Vikings are on the clock. Which means teams wanting Te’o will have to trade up. Possible teams with a whole at the position include:
a. PACKERS (3-4) (RD 1 PICK 26, RD 4 PICK 25)
b. TEXANS (3-4) (RD 1 PICK 27, RD 4 PICK 27)
c. BRONCOS (4-3) (RD 1 PICK 28, RD 3 PICK 28)
d. FALCONS (4-3) (RD 1 PICK 30, RD 3 PICK 30, RD 6 PICK 30)
e. RAVENS (3-4) (RD 1 PICK 32, RD 2 PICK 32)
f. JAGUARS (4-3) (RD 2 PICK 1, RD 4 PICK 1, 2014 PICK RD 2, 2014 PICK RD 3)
g. EAGLES (3-4) (RD 2 PICK 3, RD 4 PICK 4, RD 5 PICK 3, 2014 PICK RD 2, 2014 PICK RD 5)
h. LIONS (4-3) (RD 2 PICK 4, RD 4 PICK 35, 2014 PICK RD 1)
i. JETS (3-4) (RD 2 PICK 7, RD 3 PICK 10, RD 7 PICK 9, 2014 PICK RD 1)
4. Deandre Hopkins(22 TRADE)-Hopkins is being viewed as the safest WR in this class by many. He has the size, speed, route skills, hands, YAC ability, pretty much everything you want your WR to have. I have even heard people call him "the ideal #2 WR with the potential to become a number one down the road". There is little chance he makes it out of the first round, and 22 may be a good spot to trade up to get him since after 22 every team with picks remaining in the first round (except for the colts and packers) have all shown BIG TIME interest. That means the Vikings, who pick 23 and 25, are just as interested as the rest of the group, and that means to ensure that they can have their guy teams will look into a trade up. Those teams include:
a. TEXANS (RD 1 PICK 27, RD 4 PICK 27)
b. BRONCOS (RD 1 PICK 28, RD 3 PICK 28)
c. PATRIOTS (RD 1 PICK 29, RD 3 PICK 29)
d. RAVENS (RD 1 PICK 32, RD 2 PICK 32)
NOTE: If you have been paying attention closely, the rams are truly about to become Sam Bradford’s team. Two years ago, when the rams played the giants in the second game of the season, the rams had them on their heels in the first half. This had everything to do with the rams staying with the no huddle offense for about 80% of the first half. In case you still don’t remember, this was the game where in order to stop our offense, giant players begin faking injuries. After the game Sam was asked, "You looked really good in the hurry up offense, is that something you are most comfortable with?" Sam gave a honest answer saying "yea, it’s something I did a lot of at Oklahoma and something I want to do a lot more of." Only problem was Steve Spagnuolo was too dumb to catch on. After Spags was fired and during the two weeks that Josh McDaniels was still on staff, Sam begin lobbying for McDaniels to stick around. He said he really likes his offense (spread/no-huddle) and knows he can flourish in it. Of course McDaniels had no interest in working with Jeff Fisher and left (not that Fisher wanted to keep him anyways).
But one thing Fisher will do is actually listen to Sam, and he gets it. This guy can run an offense similar to the patriots or packers, or even the saints. It’s what he wants, and it’s when he is at his best. Fisher got a firsthand look at this, this past season in several fourth quarter comebacks when the rams put the game in Bradford’s hands and watched him work his up-tempo, no-huddle, magic. After one game Bradford again said, "Yea, I feel like when we get rolling like that it’s going to be hard for any team to stop us. Obviously, the no-huddle is something we practice, but I think it comes naturally to the entire offense." Being the modest guy he is when he said the entire offense he was referring to himself.
Now take a look at what Bradford, Brady, and Brees did in a power offense over the span of their first 3 years:
Bradford (42 games) Brady (48 games) Brees (42 games)
9,378 yds 10,227 yds 8,551 yds
45 TDs 69 TDs 55 TDs
34 Int 38 Int 38 Int
Not too bad when you put it up against the elite. He would have surely came out with the most yds had he played all 48 possible games, while maintaining the least amount of turnovers, and probably won’t reach second in touchdowns. But the best part is all of this was done with the weakest supporting cast.
Now the rams are looking to finally go to a more spread out up-tempo offense. One Bradford is most comfortable with. Fisher has said repeatedly, this year they are going to let go of the rope, and let him loose and "It’s something we started to do in the second half of the season". Fisher has also said he has never had a QB as good as Sam. This came from the guy who had Steve McNair. But to do all of this they need the right personnel. Thus we have the explanation for the massive search for explosive receivers. Les Snead is on record saying "we are not looking for a big body, chain moving, red-zone, type of receiver. We already have one of those", he was referring to Quick. And then look at the back field, both Isaiah Pead and Daryl Richardson flourished in this type of offense in college. If I had to guess the interest in the big back probably has something to do with short yardage and red zone only. Making it all the more likely a back in the first round is not happening. Second-fourth is a lot more possible. Also when they mention putting talent around Sam they always say he needs a clean pocket to step up in, not we need guys to open holes. So rams fans I hope you’re ready, the old days are long gone, the change is well underway, and it’s officially Sam’s team. Like Fisher said when he got the job, the goal is to bring the Greatest Show On Turf (Mike Martz, spread up-tempo) back.
NOTE: Here are a few excerpts from a two part article I wrote a few weeks back about some thoughts on how the rams seem to be thinking. These are to try to help clarify how I came to these conclusions and why every tackle in this mock is listed as a tackle/guard.
· The rams have repeatedly said they "have to get Sam some help, and help can be out in front of him to make it easier to throw, or it can be someone to catch the ball, and they can come in all shapes and sizes" (that last tid bit is all the hint you need about the interest in Austin). And now Snead has said "You have two starting tackles anyway, but sometimes there are times if you liked tackles before we signed Jake and that’s one of the better players on the board, your first thought is ‘OK, can he play guard?’ and then eventually move to tackle like a lot of guys have done. It may lessen the urgency or the desperation but it wouldn’t preclude you from taking a tackle."
· When I think of linebacker and the rams I think athletic, fast, great leadership, and really physical. But more than anything I think really, really, frickin, smart (footballs Einstein’s). The reason I think of these things is because of Fisher and Snead’s history. Fisher loved guys like Keith Bullock, Gerald McRath, David Thornton, Stephen Tullock, etc. And Snead had his hand in on the drafting of guys like Sean Weatherspoon, Akeem Dent, and Stephen Nicholas. All of these guys are true three down linebackers who can play run, cover, and rush the passer, and they are all brilliant football players, with a very high football I.Q. across the board.
· I keep hearing the idea of the rams taking Eddie Lacey is nothing but a smoke screen, or it’s a stupid, absurd, idea, and it will never happen. Well the people that say all that obviously never paid attention to Jeff Fisher during his tenure in Tennessee. In the 07’ draft, in the second round Fisher took Chris Henry. So the following year with other holes to fill in the first round, no one can honestly say they predicted him drafting Chris Johnson. Well, he did.
· The rams don’t view Kenny Vaccaro as the defensive difference maker the media has hyped him up to be. Even Jim Thomas (no one is more tuned into the rams than Thomas) has said he has yet to hear the rams mention Vaccaro's name even once. Finally someone has said it, there you go, soak it in. The rams have shown loads of interest in Matt Elam, Sanders Commings, and Baccari Rambo. One of these guys is more likely to fill one of the voids at safety since they are more of Fisher's preference.
· The rams lost two receivers, and while they have five on the roster (enough to play a game with), only two, Chris Givens and Austin Pettis, has any true game experience, while two have never played in a real game. I don’t see it as being unlikely that the rams draft two wide receivers. Remember from part one, I mentioned Fisher and Snead saying making strength a power for a position group, well why would that only apply to CB. Last year the rams drafted two CBs, two WRs, and two RBs. I believe them when they say they want to build through the draft and make a strength a power, because last year there were a lot more needs than this year and we had ten picks, which was enough to cover everything if one play per need was drafted. But when you only draft one per need you still have a need because there is no depth, causing the position to lack strength.
· I said last year when we made the RGIII trade that I doubt if these picks are for drafting. I think they are for trade bait to load up on more picks. Just think if we trade a first for next yrs first and do it again next yr, and again the yr after that, etc etc… The rams will always have extra picks, creating for better and more flexible draft scenarios. I remember a time when the patriots use to do this. Every yr they would take a first and trade it, and get back a pick or two between rounds 2-5, plus a first next yr. It gave them so much fire power and the ability to build a strong roster. The rams are looking poised to do that. And after showing no hesitation last year with the willingness to move back expect more of the same this year. Last year the rams traded back 3 times. That is a pretty high number. But it was genius since in return we went from 20 picks between years 2012-14, to 26 picks over the same time frame, with the possibility of future compensatory picks.
· Look for the rams trade back more than once much like last yr in order to continue the double dip (two WR, two S, two LB) technique they have shown interest in, and has paid dividends. If you think it hasn’t look it this way; imagine if we only took one CB, WR, and RB, and it was the first of each group. That would have meant we would have played last yr with Quick, who saw abiut 100 plays all yr (struggling to adapt), so no Givens and his 710 yds from scrimmage production, Jenkins who was the best CB in the draft so we r good there, but Tru played extremely well just was overshadowed, and we would have had Isaiah who carried the ball a whopping 10 times and had 3 fumbles on the year, and runs very timid/indecisive and waits for the hole to much rather than hitting it. This is why double dipping and depth is good. All made possible by trading down. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, expect to see more of this method draft weekend.
NOTE: The Falcons are rumored to be looking to trade up. Who do you think they called first? Possibly a good friend and ex-employee of the organization, in Les Snead. It doesn’t hurt that he has connections to them and owns two first round picks, and both of them are higher picks than where the Falcons are currently sitting (this note was a late addition to the list, but a very useful and informative one nonetheless that I just couldn’t leave out).
Greatest Show on Turf (Party Hard) (via meltingkrayons)
We are headed in the right direction!!!!!!!!!!