2014 NFL mock draft: Rams go deep in three-round projection

Elsa

The Super Bowl is over, and the St. Louis Rams can get on with the offseason.

I suspect there are still some people waiting for a train to get out of New Jersey. But the Super Bowl is, technically, over. The rest of us, mercifully far away from MetLife and winning football teams, can now, officially, start thinking about the 2014 NFL Draft.

Dan Kadar at Mocking the Draft released a third-round mock draft on Monday morning... the perfect remedy for your Super Bowl hangovers. Let's see what he had on tap for the St. Louis Rams with his projections.

Round 1

2. St. Louis Rams (via Washington Redskins) - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

As has been written several times already, the Rams are again in a beneficial spot with the No. 2 overall pick. Unless the team comes out and says Sam Bradford isn't the quarterback of the future, look for St. Louis to move this pick. Notably, it could be up for auction to a team targeting Jadeveon Clowney. Since I'm not doing trades in this mock draft, the Rams could be deciding between Matthews and Sammy Watkins. Matthews gets the nod this time because of he's a top-level talent able to play the left or right side of the line. He's a plug him in for a decade and forget about him kind of talent.

13. St. Louis Rams - HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

Clinton-Dix is the draft's best safety, by a fair margin. He's rarely out of position and can do anything a safety is asked. Safety is one of the Rams' biggest areas of need this offseason, so why not get the best one in the draft? Another player who should be a combine star, teams may be lucky if Clinton-Dix even slips to the teens.

This is sort of the standard practice for mock drafts and the Rams, at least the ones without any trading going on in them. The key here is what to do with that second pick if they don't trade it. A blue chip guy like Matthews makes for the most obvious choice. I'd say get a quarterback, but that doesn't seem to be thinking inside Rams Park. Another option is Jadeveon Clowney. People panic about what to do with a guy like that given who the Rams already have on the roster, but on Sunday, we were once again reminded that you can never have enough defensive talent.

Round 2

44. St. Louis Rams - Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers

If the Rams pass on a wide receiver in the first round, it may be wise for them to take a big, high-upside target in the second round. Because of the quarterback play at Rutgers the past few seasons, Coleman didn't develop into the type of player many expected. But when he's on, he's comparable in talent to Mike Evans of Texas A&M.

Les Snead likes to say the Rams are content with the receivers they do have. Many of the rest of us feel differently. What the Rams do have at receiver is speed, and that's very important (even if it confuses the hell out of Brian Schottenheimer). What they don't have is a big man, someone to move the chains, grab a jump ball and stretch the field from time to time with a long stride. Maybe someday that will be Brian Quick, but it's time to start hedging, and building up the depth chart.

Round 3

75. St. Louis Rams - Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU

The Rams already have a good defense, but Ferguson could work his way into the defensive tackle rotation.

We've mentioned this already, in this post and usually about four times a day, but the Rams are pretty stacked on the defensive line ... at least for the starters. Another tackle to put behind Michael Brockers and Kendall Langford, and eventually take over for the later, would upgrade the depth chart and give Gregg Williams a ton of flexibility with his packages and players.

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