There are less than three weeks to go before the 2013 NFL Draft kicks off. We know more about the prospects and potential matches with teams than we did a month ago, but trying to predict those draft picks isn't any easier. With players from the middle of the first to the middle of the second round not separated by much, this is going to be one of those drafts where the focus is on getting the player the team wants versus waiting to see who fate delivers. That's something you see more and more of in the mock drafts this year.
R1, No. 16 - Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas
The Rams need to address safety early, and with the Cowboys and the Bengals picking behind them, this is the best spot to do it. Kenny Vaccaro is a flawed prospect in some ways, but his athleticism is such that he could be an immediate weapon is used properly.
I'm not sure about the Rams and Vaccaro. This is a deep group of safeties, and it's also one where each player looks a little different. Teams will want the safety that best fits their defense. There's not much talk about the Rams and Vaccaro, outside of mock drafts. For my money, Cyprein might be the better safety pick for St. Louis.
Notable in this mock draft is Chance Warmack falling to No. 18. I wouldn't be any more surprised to see him fall that far than I would to see him picked in the top 10. He is a guard, a very good one, but still a guard.
R1, No. 22 - D.J. Fluker, RT, Alabama
I know the Rams have been pegged for a wide receiver with one of their first-round picks in nearly every mock draft, but D.J. Fluker would help round out the rebuild of St. Louis' offensive line. Plus, day two should be filled with capable wide receivers.
On the one hand, I like this pick. On the other hand, this is a case where the Rams might be better suited to trade up a few spots for Warmack or Cooper and look for quality tackle depth later in the draft. And what about a receiver? Keenan Allen is still on the board in this scenario.
R2, No. 46 - Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
The Rams missed out on wide receivers in the first round but still wind up with a wide receiver with a high ceiling in Justin Hunter.
The good news about a torn ACL, which he suffered in 2011, is that it does take away his size. The bad news is that he doesn't seem to play as big as he did before that injury. Oh, and his speed hasn't been the same either. Without that incident, Hunter might be the top receiver in this draft. Can he regain that form? This scouting report from Mocking the Draft compares him to Kenny Britt, a player Jeff Fisher knows well ... albeit, Britt without the endless rap sheet.
R3, No. 76 - Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson
Ellington is a smaller back with the speed to do most of his damage on the outside. He's actually a lot like Isaiah Pead, but a little better about picking his spots. He probably wouldn't be my choice if the Rams really are looking for a running back on the first or second day of the draft.