I know this is ridiculously early and this may be obnoxious to many of you but when I get fixated on a topic it is best for me to simply write out my thoughts and get them out so that I may move on. The 2013 season is going to be a very exciting time for everyone, as the Rams have the potential to make a lot of noise and push for some playoff success this year. With that said, there is never a shortage of elite prospects in college and several have really caught my eye. Many prospects do, though when I find several that I feel would fit seamlessly on the Rams roster and then I find a way to fit said prospects in a potential draft I become obsessive and create posts such as this.
To start, I will give a general projected draft position for the Rams. I project the Rams will show great improvement in the upcoming 2013 season, though they are stuck in one of the toughest divisions in football. A great young team such as the Rams could very well fall at or slightly above .500. I think the Redskins will be in a similar spot as the Rams this year, netting two top-20 picks in the first round. The 2012 and 2013 drafts have been impressive and significant, but I feel that the 2014 draft will be the one that can take us to the top of the league.
In creating this draft I tried to find the positions that will need addressing in the near future and matching them with the players I am most excited about. (I also attempted to rationalize my thoughts by convincing myself of certain Fisher trends ie. waiting on O-line)
Through the offensive additions made this year, it is hard to find a dire need on that front. WR and RB need time to determine who will stick and who won't. The offensive line seems to be solid (though Saffold will likely be departing) and I feel strongly that Fisher will continue to rely on building his line through FA and later round picks. QB also seems set at this juncture.
The defense will soon be missing Dunbar, Langford?, and Finnegan will be one year older. I also feel that the safety spot opposite McDonald may be serviceable, but will certainly not be set in stone.
With these thoughts in mind, these are the players I would target.
1a. CJ Mosley OLB
Dunbar's contract expires after this year and what better way to replace him than adding the top player eligible in this draft not named Clowney. Mosley has elite athleticism, sound instincts, great coverage ability, and he appears to be a leader on the field. Though it is encouraging that Mosley plays in such an elite conference (and for such an elite program) where his abilities can be tested and shown, it also will likely contribute to very high draft stock throughout the process. I can only hope that he slips immediately before the draft because people see him as a fit as an OLB in a 4-3 and thus his perceived value takes a hit. I cannot contain the excitement that comes with picturing Mosley, Laurinaitis, and Ogletree playing together. (I have been high on Mosley for a long time and he is the main reason I released this draft at this time. I fear the longer I wait, the higher he will jump up most boards and the Rams will not be able to get him barring a massive trade up, which I am against)
1b. Anthony Johnson DT
'The Freak' as dubbed by his LSU teammates would be a tremendous fit beside Michael Brockers for the foreseeable future. He has tremendous size and athleticism that would make him a nightmare to defend with the Rams current defensive line. He appears to be a strong all around defender that has more natural pass rushing ability than Brockers, which would make him an adequate compliment. (I don't know a ton about Johnson, though the more I watch him and learn about him, the more I love his fit on this Rams team)
2. Craig Loston S
Loston is another talented athlete that has shown flashes indicating that he could be a real force in the future. He was a top recruit out of hs and this could be a big year in determining his value in the NFL. I believe he will take the next step (with Johnson) and help guide the LSU defense to another strong year. (Loston's name has been popping up a lot in researching future draft prospects so I decided to look into him today. I came away very impressed. I feel the Rams could definitely use an impact safety prospect and though Haha and Reynolds come up often I have not been overly impressed with either of them. I feel that Loston is the best of that bunch and he seems to be held in lower esteem at this point)
3. Tre Boston DB
Boston has the ability to play both safety and cornerback, and seems to be a playmaker no matter where he is aligned. The Rams can never have too many athletes that can play in the secondary and Boston would add another strong player to an already intimidating secondary. He could also help to fill in for a potentially aging Finnegan at this point. (I know little of Boston though I am from NC and I remember his name from the recruiting process. His stats indicate he has been successful thus far and his versatility jumps out as a positive to me)
4. Seantrel Richardson OL
Richardson has tremendous size and athleticism that combine to form a player with immense unrealized potential. He seems to have had several problems at Miami so far but if he can show some of the flashes that made him the number one recruit in hs and a starter as a freshman in college, then a fourth round pick would be well worth the risk. Saffold could be walking after this year and the ability to bring in his potential replacement with a fourth round pick would be extraordinary, although risky. (I know very very little of Richardson, except for the fact that he was the top recruit out of hs nationally, which is no small feat. A player that is still quite young and was recently seen to have such potential jumps out to me as a potential steal. Obviously the bust potential is there as well, but I will be keeping a watchful eye on the U this year, if only to see Richardson play)
5. OG- depth is needed badly at guard
6. QB- a late flyer on a QB is never a bad move
7. OL- depth along the offensive line is needed with an aging, injury prone group
Also, is it just me or do we have several compensatory picks heading our way thanks to Jackson, Amendola, Gibson, and especially Dahl?