The St. Louis Rams enjoyed their first season with a pair of first-round draft picks following last year's deal with the Redskins for the second overall pick. This year, that produced West Virginia wide receiver Tavon Austin and Georgia linebacker Alec Ogletree. In case you aren't wrapped up completely in day dreams about what those two players can do for the Rams in 2014, here's a little something else to add to that excitement.
Yes, it's insanely early for a 2014 mock draft. The one I did last year for SB Nation had Matt Barkley going first overall ... whoops! Let's get that caveat out of the way. Now, that said, here's a very early prediction about what the Rams could do with two picks next year from Dan Kadar, the editor of SB Nation's Mocking the Draft.
Oh, and a note about the Rams' spots in the draft order, it's based on the offseason power rankings, so as to eliminate the guess work.
15. St. Louis Rams: Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State
Shelley Smith is entering the final year of his contract and Jackson is currently the highest rated guard in next year's draft.
The Rams might very well end up needing more help on the offensive line. Rodger Saffold is scheduled to be a free agent, and might opt to find a left tackle job. Jake Long will only be in the second year of his free agent deal, but his injury history means the Rams need to have replacements ready to go.
21. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins): Charles Sims, RB, Houston
Despite loving the choice of Zac Stacy and no running backs being picked in the first round this year, I like this fit. Sims is a strong runner who can break big runs. He doesn't get a lot of attention, but only because he doesn't play for a BCS school.
Like the rest of you, I'm excited to see what the offense does this year. As successful as I think it will be, you can always use another playmaker. If the current running back foursome doesn't hold up their end of the bargain, the Rams will have to find a blue chip guy for that role.
The 2014 NFL Draft will be different for the Rams, at least it looks that way at this point in time. Jeff Fisher's roster had some pretty major needs at the end of the 2012 season: wide receiver, offensive linemen, safeties, outside linebacker. All of those positions have been addressed. With the exception of safety, all of those positions were addressed with a splash too, either a first day draft pick or a big free agent move. That sets up the potential for a draft like the 49ers and Seahawks have been enjoying: finding quality depth and the next generation of starters to replace incumbents.