Yes, we've all got a bad case of mock draft fatigue. Let's just get on with the real thing, but when a guy like Greg Cosell checks in with his opinion, we're willing to sit up and listen. The NFL Films guru offered his take on the draft and the Rams' potential picks on Monday. Let's take a look.
No. 16 Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Who will run the ball for the Rams? How about Alabama running back Eddie Lacy? St. Louis can't play effective offense without a consistent running game. I don't do discussions of "value". Those philosophical conversations don't have any meaning for coaches in the middle of the season when they are trying to win games. There are arguably three backs in this draft that are foundation / feature backs: Eddie Lacy, Le'veon Bell and possibly Montee Ball. Lacy is easily the best of the three, and without question, one of the 20 best players in this draft. He's my pick for the Rams. He's a decisive and powerful downhill runner with deceptively quick feet and short area burst. He's a move the chains sustainer who was very effective in confined space. The only question with Lacy, and it's a legitimate one, is, does he have the mindset and mentality to be a foundation back. He did not truly fill that role for Alabama. There's no question, however, he has the physical attributes. By the way, I'd rather have Lacy and DJ Swearinger than Kenny Vaccaro and Bell.
Somewhere 3k is beating his head into a wall. I know the running back thing is pure anathema to most of you, but think about the last time a Jeff Fisher team had a running back that wasn't carrying the rock 20 times every Sunday.
The 16th pick seems a little high for Lacy to go. Then again, we don't have access to what NFL teams are thinking. All we have are draft experts being fed information that is sometimes accurate and sometimes way off. There's no question that the Rams need running back help. What is in question is just what kind of help they need. Isaiah Pead was billed as a guy capable of playing all three downs. Someone inside the building at Rams Park must be having second thoughts about that given all the talk about finding another running back to replace Steven Jackson.
No. 22 Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
I'm selecting defensive tackle Sylvester Williams from North Carolina, another player whose game impressed the more I watched. This is a draft with some very athletic defensive tackles, and Williams fits that profile. What I really liked was he improved significantly as the season progressed. Early in the fall, he did not always play to his athleticism. He absolutely did later in the season. Williams showed excellent initial quickness with the balance, body control and closing burst to finish. He showed quick and active hands to both strike and swim. He played multiple positions along the Tar Heels defensive front, so he brings both position and scheme versatility. I see him best as a one gap penetrator, but he can be equally as effective as a two gap DT. Think about a DL with Williams and Michael Brockers at DT, and Chris Long and Robert Quinn at DE. Not bad.
Another head-scratcher. I know that a lot of people have turned aside this idea given the Rams have Kendall Langford and Brockers under contract as well as William Hayes who moves inside some as well. Les Snead, however, has been pretty clear about never having enough defensive linemen. Sylvester would give the Rams a real threat from the inside and the flexibility to make some decisions with Langford's contract down the road.
We'll see what happens. I doubt the Rams take another defensive tackle in the first round. However, if they can't move up or down with one of those picks, there is the very real possibility that an interior defensive lineman is the pick just because it's the best player on the board.
After all, given Fisher and Snead's success rates for offensive and defensive prospects last year, maybe going defense isn't such a bad move after all.