So, I finally gave in and decided to put together a mock draft. All of the free agent talk and pro days have finally gotten to me. I honestly haven't looked at the myriad mocks out there yet, other than a few of the mocks here on TST. I definitely haven't seen any of the recent stuff from Kiper, McShay, Walter, etc.
Since I believe the Rams are going to get at least some interest for the #2 pick, I wanted to do a mock with a realistic trade scenario in it. I don't like making up trades in my mocks however, because it just seems hokey to map out a trade that you created entirely on your own. So, I used the first pick website solely because it offers trade scenarios. I know, I know, some of them are just ridiculous! But I went with what seemed realistic (as far as who a team would consider a trade up for that was available at my spot) and limited myself to 2 trades total. In retrospect I think the draft turned out pretty realistic as far as where and when the players were chosen, and by which team. I will list the entire 1st round to show how it played out. I'm not going to list the entire draft however.
The first time I tried a draft the Texans traded out of #1 and the Bills moved to #1 and selected Mike Evans. Needless to say I reset that draft immediately. The next one started realistically enough with Blake Bortles going to Houston at #1, so I went with it. Surprisingly, there weren't any other trades made in the 1st round other than the two I made. I'm sure there will be more action than that in May.
Entire 1st Round:
#1 - Texans - Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
#2 - Browns (from Rams) - Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
#3 - Jaguars - Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
#4 - Bills (from Rams) - Jadaveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
#5 - Raiders - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
#6 - Falcons - Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
#7 - Buccaneers - Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
#8 - Vikings - Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri
#9 - Rams (from Bills) - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
#10 - Lions - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma St
#11 - Titans - Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
#12 - Giants - Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
#13 - Rams - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
#14 - Bears - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan St
#15 - Steelers - Zack Martin, OT, Notre Dame
#16 - Cowboys - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama
#17 - Ravens - CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama
#18 - Jets - Marquise Lee, WR, USC
#19 - Dolphins - Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia
#20 - Cardinals - Anthony Barr, LB, UCLA
#21 - Packers - Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
#22 - Eagles - Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio St
#23 - Chiefs - Odell Beckham Jr, WR, LSU
#24 - Bengals - Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
#25 - Chargers - Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
#26 - Rams (from Browns) - Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA
#27 - Saints - Dee Ford, OLB, Auburn
#28 - Panthers - Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon St
#29 - Patriots - Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
#30 - 49ers - Jason Verrett, CB, TCU
#31 - Broncos - Ra'Shede Hageman, DT, Minnesota
#32 - Seahawks - Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
Before I list my picks for the Rams in their entirety, I'll explain the two trades I made:
At pick #2, the Browns offered pick #4 and #26 to move up. I accepted, and thus gained another 1st round pick in this draft. With Bortles off the board, the Browns jumped to get Bridgewater in this simulation. Realistic enough.
At pick #4, The Bills offered pick #9 and #41, plus their 2015 first round pick, to move up. I accepted, and thus gained another 2nd round pick in this draft and another 1st round pick in the 2015 draft. The Bills jumped to get Clowney, which seems unlikely, but it's not out of the realm of possibility if they see him as a superstar, especially when you consider they have to play Tom Brady twice a year, have a defensive minded coach, Mario Williams is being paid way to much for his production, etc. You never really know...
OK, now on to my picks:
Rd 1, pick #9 - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn. He fell to me in this simulation, so I had to take him. He'll play LG or RT to begin with, but he'll be coached up to take over for the dwindling Jake Long at LT by 2015.
Rd 1, pick #13 - Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh. The best DT in the draft, and by far the best interior pass rusher in the draft. The Rams are thin at DT, which is not a good thing in the NFC West, and Donald provides youth, rotational depth, and a pass rush presence for the interior of a stellar D-line.
Rd 1, pick #26 - Xavier Su'a-Filo, OG, UCLA. Enough of these piece-meal O-lines composed of aging, over-priced free agents and waiver-wire cast-offs. Su'a-Filo is a plug and play OG that can solidify the position for the next 10 years.
Rd 2, pick #41 - Jimmie Ward, S, N Illinois. A better tackler and stronger in run support than Dix, and shows better man coverage skills than Pryor, Ward is just the versatile type of S the Rams need.
Rd 2, pick #44 - Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt. Yes, I know Rock, I passed on Watkins. But Matthews is vastly underrated. He's big, a great route-runner, has really good hands, a purported strong/borderline psychotic work ethic, and showed consistent production against top flight competition. He can bring something to the Rams WR corps it doesn't currently have (insert ability to get open/catch the ball joke here).
Rd 3, pick #75 - Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington. I think he's the top all-purpose RB in the draft. Has great vision, burst, agility, and power. Perfect compliment to Stacy and Cunningham and will be the back Pead was supposed to become.
Rd 4, pick #106 - Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton. Yes, I just double-dipped at DT. Like I mentioned earlier, the Rams play in a tough division that calls for depth along the interior D-line - a division controlled by 2 teams with elite/very good O-lines, mobile QB's, and run-first mentalities. Hell, even the Cardinals have significantly upgraded their O-line these past 2 off-seasons. Reid is another youngster the Rams can throw into the mix to bolster their pass rush from the interior and provide rotational relief for Langford and Brockers.
Rd 5, pick #141 - Antone Exum, CB, Virginia Tech. Versatile DB that has experience at FS and can be used in multiple ways. He's a capable press corner and has enough range to cover the deep half. He would bring some versatility to the secondary that I'm sure Gregg Williams would enjoy.
Rd 6, pick #172 - Richard Rogers, TE, California. Kendricks might not be back in 2015. This kid is huge at 6'4" and 255 lbs. (he played at 275 prior to 2013) and is raw and inexperienced but has a lot of upside. He's not going to stretch the defense deep (that's what Cook is for right?) but he's got good initial quickness off the line. Willing blocker and big target that can be developed.
Rd 7, pick #203 - Jon Halapio, OG, Florida. I've seen him projected anywhere from a 5th round pick to UDFA. He was still available here, so I grabbed him. Shows a lot of strength and has a mean streak. Not real athletic. Will be better run-blocker than pass-blocker, but could develop into an above average pass protector with proper coaching. Depth along the O-line is never a bad thing.
Rd 7, pick #218 - Andrew Jackson, LB, Western Kentucky. A star in the Sun Belt, he was a tackling machine in his college career. Built like a brick sh*thouse at 6' and 255 lbs., he's both a big-hitter and a solid tackler (two things that oddly don't go hand in hand as much as you'd think). Stout dude that can hold his ground and shed blockers. Not great in space but takes good angles and knows how to play the position. Looking for depth behind JL.
As I'm sure some of you have noticed, I didn't take a QB. I don't think a mid to late round pick is really worth it at this point. I'd rather have a veteran back-up. If Sam falters this year I'll use my 2 1st rounders next year to move up and get my QB of the future then.
Thanks for reading and I'm curious to see what you guys think about this draft scenario.