We've got a double dose of the usual January mockery today courtesy of Mocking the Draft consigliere Matthew Fairburn with two rounds to pore over. Making it more interesting is that Fairburn threw some trades in his mock, adding volatility and a hint of realism to the standard mock gumbo we tend to digest.
Let's get it in.
Of course as soon as I mention that Matt's mock has trade settings turned to "on", you know the Rams are involved in that switch; he's got us shopping the #2 pick to Atlanta to grab Jadeveon Clowney. That would push the Rams down to 6th overall in a haul that's likely to be much lighter than the 2012 draft deal with Washington but still capable of hauling in some additional capital. Matt only notes that the Falcons give up their second round pick to St. Louis in the mock, but I'd guess it would take more than that for the Falcons to jump up to second overall.
So after Clowney and a glut of quarterbacks open up the draft, the Rams at six take:
6.) Sammy Watkins, Clemson WR
St. Louis is able to trade back and still land one of the top prospects in the 2014 class. If the Rams are planning to stick with Sam Bradford at quarterback, surrounding him with weapons has to be a priority. While the team drafted Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey a year ago, neither has the skill set that Sammy Watkins does. Bradford wouldn't have many more excuses for those like this if he had Austin and Watkins to throw to.
Y'all will probably see me say this 1,000 times before May, but WR is a must for the Rams this offseason.
As is the case with mockery, I'm always interested to see who's off the board before the Rams' next pick. This time around, Auburn OT Greg Robinson, Alabama S Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, Oklahoma St. CB Justin Gilbert, Alabama LB C.J. Mosley and UCLA G Xavier Su'a-Filo are all potential targets unavailable to the Rams at 13. Pickin time:
13.) Calvin Pryor, Louisville S
St. Louis has built one of the best front sevens in football, but the back end of the defense still needs work. Enter Calvin Pryor. Safeties could be pushed up draft boards this spring because of how many teams have a need at the position. Pryor finished the season strong and is our No. 2 safety at the moment.
This is a pick I could see gaining steam in the months ahead, especially if Pryor's combine show is a positive one.
With the Falcons trade, the Rams pick up the fifth pick in the second round:
37.) Antonio Richardson, Tennessee OT
The Rams get this pick as part of the earlier hypothetical trade that landed Clowney in Atlanta. After ignoring the offensive line with its two first-round picks, St. Louis could take a look at a handful of quality offensive tackles still available at this spot.
This is becoming a very need-based draft, so I'm starting to get a bit uncomfortable here. Nevertheless, Tiny's a big frame whose game fits the Rams' 2013 offense well and showed the chops to hold up as a quality left tackle in the SEC. I'd be tempted to go after Virginia OT Morgan Moses ahead of Richardson, but there's a case to be made here.
This would leave only six picks between second round call-ins, so for the Rams at 44 it's:
44.) Will Sutton, Arizona St. DT
The Rams have a chance to add a ton of talent in this version of the 2014 NFL Draft. With four top-44 picks, St. Louis adds four impact players. Will Sutton didn't play quite as well during his senior season after adding weight, but the Rams might be willing to take a chance on him here. They could use depth at defensive tackle next to Michael Brockers.
Sutton didn't match his 2012 production this season, but it was a tall task from the go with as much focus as he got from opposing offensive lines. This would definitely be a good upside buy to support the interior line with some talented depth to go with the plus crop of ends the Rams have on the roster.
If nothing else, we're graduating from monoround mocks into multirounders. Life is good.