Thank God, right? For those of you that haven't quite gotten sick of seeing me posting on TST yet and are actually reading this I promise that this is my last post for a long time. My draft ideas are pretty fluid right up until the night before, and I think I'm pretty set at this point. My first, pre-free agency mock, posted on March 5, went as follows:
1a - Keenan Allen, WR
1b - Matt Elam, SS
2 - Gavin Escobar, TE
3 - Kiko Alonso, LB
4 - Brian Schwenke, C
5 - Gerald Hodges, LB
6 - Marquess Wilson, WR
7 - Mike Purcell, DT
That mock was done with the assumption the Rams would cut Mikell and re-sign Hayes. I did not expect them to sign Cook and Long however. So, obviously free agency changed things a bit. My second mock, posted April 5, had some changes:
1a - Keenan Allen, WR
1b - Matt Elam, SS
2 - Sio Moore, OLB
3 - Phillip Thomas, S
4 - Brennan Williams, OT
5 - Ace Sanders, WR
6 - Cierre Wood, RB
7 - Marcus Cromartie, CB
So now we're down to the night before the draft. I usually just mock who I think the Rams will take, but to be honest that has gotten a bit boring at this point. This time around I'm going to present a scenario of what I would do if I were GM.
First, I really believe the Rams spot at #16 has the potential to be a highly contested spot for two reasons. Both involve the Steelers oddly enough. They need help at receiver, badly. The best receiver in this draft is Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame. Yes, I know he's a TE, but he is more receiver than traditional TE and has the best hands of any receiver in this draft. If he is there at #17 I think Pittsburgh takes him. He's a top 10 talent in this draft, so it's not a given that he'll be there at #17, but if he is they'll be thrilled. The other player is Cordarrelle Patterson. The Steelers will take him if Eifert is gone, maybe even if he isn't. Either way it helps the Rams. The Bears, Giants, and Falcons love Eifert. While I don't think the G-men would trade up, the Bears certainly might try to get ahead of the Steelers to grab him. Atlanta has shown they're willing to deal for a player they covet, and they will need to replace Gonzalez next year. If Eifert is gone, the Steelers could very well grab Patterson. The Vikings will have to jump the Steelers, and likely the Bengals, to get him. Of course there is always the possibility that some other highly regarded player on someones board drops unexpectedly and the Rams get a call with a trade offer to move back. Basically, what I'm saying is that there is a good possibility that the Rams can trade back from #16.
I am not as sold on the viability of a trade out of the #22 spot, although it is possible of course. A QB needy team, or another player coveted by a team falls and they're afraid he'll get snatched if they don't jump, etc...
So here goes:
At #16 the Vikings come calling, and I pull the trigger. Rams get pick #23, 83, 102, & 120. The Vikings receive pick #16 & 113.
Pick 1, #22 - Justin Hunter, WR
At #23 the Jaguars come calling, and I pull the trigger. Rams get pick #33, 64, and 98. The Jags receive pick #23 and 78.
Pick 2, #33 (from Jaguars) - Menelik Watson, OT
At this point I call the Saints and swap Roger Saffold for Chris Ivory and the Saints 6th round pick. The value of Saffold (4th round) equates well with the Saints wanting a 5th for Ivory and throwing in their 6th rounder to even it out.
Pick 3, #46 - Quinton Patton, WR
Pick 4, #64 (from Jaguars) - Phillip Thomas, S
pick 5, #83 (from Vikings) - Khaseem Greene, LB
Pick 6, #98 (from Jaguars) - Sanders Comings, CB / S
Pick 7, #102 (from Vikings) - Brian Schwenke, C
Pick 8, #120 (from Vikings) -Zavier Gooden, LB
Pick 9, #149 - Ace Sanders, WR
Pick 10, #183 (from Saints) - Earl Watford, G
Pick 11, #184 - Josh Boyd, DT
Pick 12, #222 - Terry Hawthorne, CB
So there you have it. I feel pretty good about this draft. Through this draft I've acquired 3 new WR's, including one (Hunter) considered the best available by many, one (Sanders) who can contribute right away on special teams and in special sub packages, and one (Patton) who is a sure-handed, precise route-running beast. I also acquired my RT, C, and LG of the future in Watson, Schwenke, and Watford (Watford will allow me to move Rok to the right side). Getting two LB's and two Safeties helps, and Hawthorne brings more depth at Corner while Boyd adds depth at DT. The trade of Saffold brings in a power RB in Ivory. Overall I'd call this a very successful draft. Any thoughts, comments, etc. are always appreciated.