In an ever ceasing quest to jumble your brains before NFL Draft day, Brandon Bate and I have come up with a small twist to boggle, amaze, and dare I say - piss you off?
It's no secret that I'm trying to expand the thought paradigm for the coming draft. Tired of the same players being Mocked to the St. Louis Rams over and over again, I find it more interesting to explore "what if-s?", than constant rehashing of conventional wisdom. So I sought out the person I KNEW had less conventional wisdom than Deandre Poole, the professor at Florida International University. Brandon Bate (DC) joins me today for a look at the Nation Football Post mock draft, and how a few shifts in picks could cause a "kerfuffle" in your already draft weary minds.
For this little exercise, we looked at players available after NFP's #15 pick, then added a #46 pick option to round out the process. I asked DC to make observations on my picks, and I'd do the same to his choices. DC's been taking an online accountant's course, so he's a tad more serious than normal. (Though he did offer to do my taxes next year) I on the other hand, remain keen of both thought and vision. OK, keen may be a bit of a stretch...
What I'm asking you to consider may be the most rational question of the day: Since we have no idea what area of their team Jeff Fisher, Les Snead, and every other NFL team executive truly wants to attack in this draft, isn't it worth a moment to take a different view of what could happen? DC and I said yes, so we each took three draft picks - one each of #16, #22, and #46 - to see what it would look like. The only proviso being we couldn't take the same players.
Here we go...
Mock Draft courtesy of NFP - Make sure to check out their draft big board and depth charts
|1||KC||Eric Fisher||OT||Central Michigan|
|4||PHI||Barkevious Mingo||OLB||Louisiana State|
|5||DET||Bjoern Werner||DE||Florida State|
|6||CLE||Tavon Austin||WR||West Virginia|
|7||ARI||Luke Joeckel||OT||Texas A&M|
|9||NYJ||Ezekiel Ansah||DE||Brigham Young|
|10||TEN||Sylvester Williams||DT||North Carolina|
|13||TB||Tyler Eifert||TE||Notre Dame|
|15||NO||Menelik Watson||OT||Florida State|
|17||PIT||Cornellius Carradine||DE||Florida State|
|22||STL||Jonathan Cooper||OG||North Carolina|
|25||SEA||Xavier Rhodes||CB||Florida State|
|27||HOU||Arthur Brown||ILB||Kansas State|
|30||ATL||Jamar Taylor||CB||Boise State|
|31||SF||Jonathan Cyprien||FS||Florida International|
|32||BAL||Manti Te'o||ILB||Notre Dame
My pick at #16 - Sheldon Richardson, DT, Missouri
Why MY pick is better than YOUR pick: You take Warmack, so I took Richardson. Warmack is a strong choice, no doubt about it. You get an "A" for the obvious choice, and a "D" for originality. But let's look at these two players, because when you do, you'll find they both solve position needs. True, Sam Bradford would love to have Warmack blocking Willis, Navarro and Washington as the come screaming up the middle of the line on a blitz. But what Sam doesn't know is Warmack is afraid of anyone who screams. All they have to do is yell "Boola-boola" at him and he curls up in a ball. No, really. That's why I went for Richardson here. Offensive guards are titchy characters, many of whom have dreams of opening flower shops later in life, and have cute kitten pictures stuck to their refrigerator doors... I draft he-man, massively strong guys like Richardson because they like pizza, hot dogs and beer. Warmack doesn't, so he's un-American. He may actually be from France? So DC, you just drafted a Frenchman, who will retreat faster than I will after making a trade in a Mock Draft. Pitiful...
Brandon's pick at #16 - Chance Warmack, OG, Alabama
Why MY pick is better than YOUR pick: Chance Warmack may not only be the best offensive lineman in this year's draft, but it's possible he's the best overall player. Sheldon Richardson is what? The 3rd best defensive tackle? Not to mention that our offensive line has been the subject of much misery for several years, and our defensive line has become one of the team's strongest units. Kendall Langford may not be the answer at DT, but he's certainly not a liability. Also, is Richardson going to be able to create holes for Steven Jackson to run through? Oh wait, that's right. The Rams don't have a proven power running back anymore. They've got Isaiah Pead - who rushed 10 times in 2012 - and Daryl Richardson, who weighs 200 lbs. wet. Plugging in Richardson does minimally improve the Rams defensive front...Chance Warmack improves all facets of the Rams offense. Harvey Dahl's most likely gone after this season. Is there another Chance Warmack available in 2014's NFL Draft? Didn't think so
Brandon's pick at #22 - Cordarrelle Patterson, WR, TEN
DC - Why MY pick is better than YOUR pick: DJ Fluker may not be a bad pick for the Rams at 22...but he's not the best pick. Jake Long is here for a while, and the Rams would be wise to retain the services of Rodger Saffold in 2014 and beyond. Saffold has proven - when healthy - that he possesses the versatility/dependability that the Rams saw in him prior to drafting him. So where does that place Fluker? If your plan is to utilize him at the RT position in 2014 - which is certainly his best fit - then the 22nd overall pick hands Saffold a Gatorade bottle during TV timeouts this year. Saffold played well at LT...expect his productivity to increase on the right side in 2013.
Now, for why my pick makes more sense. The Rams had the league's 18th best passing attack [if that's what you want to call it] in 2012. Even having missed games due to injury, Danny Amendola nearly lead the team in yardage. He's gone. So is the team's second leading WR, Brandon Gibson. That leaves Sam Bradford - who needs to have a career year - with two sophomores and Austin Pettis. That's a recipe for succe....it's a disaster. Cordarrelle Patterson is a play-maker. He possesses the ability to get separation, runs solid routes, and oftentimes makes the difficult catch. Let's face it, much like Chance Warmack, Cordarrelle Patterson could easily be deemed the top player at his position in this year's draft. The Rams have three WR's and need at least three more...meanwhile, you're looking for a backup RT.
My pick at #22 - D. J. Fluker, OT, Alabama
Me: Why MY pick is better than YOUR pick: I took a guy who grew up with the last name "Fluker". That says it all really, because my guy is used to scrapping since his days on the playground. He'll make an excellent right offensive tackle is Rodger Saffold pitches a "I want to be traded" nutty, let alone when he goes down to injury four or five times in the 2013 season.
You picked Cordarrelle Patterson... Here's little tidbit from from Dan Brugler, at NFLDraftScout.com, on Patterson:
"...He needs work on his routes and concentration to better separate and finish catches, but NFL scouts are even more concerned with what's going on between his ears. Patterson's interviews have "turned off" some teams, according to sources, coming off as "egotistical" to go along with questions about his mental aptitude to quickly digest and execute a NFL playbook."
So in a nutshell, you just used a vital Rams' first round draft choice on Mardy Gilyard 2.0?
Brandon's pick at #46 - Eric Reid, S, LSUWhy MY pick is better than YOUR pick: So here we are at pick 46, mid-way through the 2nd round, and it's going to be another 31 picks before the Rams are on the clock again. The Rams kicked Craig Dahl and Quintin Mikell to the curb in the off season. That leaves a whole mess of what I like to call 'Undrafted players' as the last line of defense in the Rams secondary. Darian Stewart might be a solid player...then again, he played behind Craig Dahl the majority of last season. How does that make you feel? And it's a good thing we've got Sheldon Richardson to slow down wide-outs like Percy Harvin, Larry Fitzgerald, and every WR on the 49ers. Shew!
Safety is a HUGE need for the Rams in this draft. But with players like Chance Warmack still on the board at 16, the Rams cannot afford to pass him by for a guy like Kenny Vaccaro...especially when this draft is extremely deep at safety. Darian Stewart may very well be the guy at Strong Safety, but Rodney McLeod CANNOT be the starter at Free Safety. Eric Reid is big, he's athletic, and probably aggressive to a fault. Make no mistake though, the big play ability is there.
Do you enjoy watching the aforementioned NFC West receivers beat the Rams deep over the top? If so, Robert Woods is your man at 46.
My pick at #46 - Robert Woods, WR, USC
Why MY pick is better than YOUR pick: You make a valid point, but I can't help but think options at safety will be there in the third round who are within a hair's breadth of Reid's talent points. D. J. Swearinger, Bacarri Rambo, T.J. McDonald, Josh Evans, Cooper Taylor... The list goes on and on. Here's the thing.. When you read a position class is deep, it means you may want to save draft capital for something like, oh I don't know... A play maker? A guy who actually scores points? Astounding! Unbelievable! You don't want the Rams to score touchdowns, do you? Your RGIII monogrammed pillow case, and your 49ers Huggies underwear are showing good sir! A pox on you, I say!
Woods adds to a Rams wide receiver corps who lost a valued member to free agency. he offers help at the slot position, and could very easily slide into a WR2 position as a rookie based on an NFL-ready portfolio of crisp route running.