2014 NFL mock draft: Will the Rams find the players they need?

Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Draft can go in a lot of different directions for the St. Louis Rams. Here's one potential direction we'd like to consider.

Alright, I said earlier that I'd offer my picks for the St. Louis Rams based on this week's mock draft from SB Nation. So here it goes ...

First, a little qualification. I based this on the trade with the Falcons in that mock draft, moving from No. 2 to No. 6 and picking up Atlanta's second-round pick, No. 37, in the process. That gives the Rams four picks in the first 44, not too shabby. I also tried to stick with who was available with those picks in this mock (in no small part because I don't want to go through and do an entire two-round mock draft ... there's only so much time in the day).

6. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

This is the hardest pick to make, for me anyway. I'm not so taken with the idea of drafting Greg Robinson or one of the other top three tackles here. One thing the Rams have done well is coach up their offensive line guys. They have Jake Long under contract for three more seasons; they can afford to find a tackle prospect in the second round and groom him for the left side while Long's still here.

On the other hand, didn't the Rams draft a receiver in the top 10 last year ... and doesn't it seem like they've draft a bunch of them already? Well, yes, it does. But that doesn't change the fact that they need the help. Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey can be part of a multi-faceted offense; they still need a big man to catch contested balls and use his body to create separation. Evans does that ... and more. He's the second-best receiver in a draft deep with receivers. Maybe Brian Quick will develop, but the Rams don't have the luxury to keep waiting on players while the rest of the NFC West passes them by.

13. Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

I almost went with Calvin Pryor here, but this pick's just a little high to use on any safety not named Ha Ha. Plus, I think if the Rams are justified spending big in free agency this year, it's for a safety. Jairus Byrd would be nice, but even if they settle for Malcolm Jenkins, one of Greg Williams' former players, it'd be an upgrade.

I'm not especially crazy about drafting a cornerback here, but Dennard's one of the best players on the board at this point, he's the best corner in the class according to some. The original pick, in the mock from SB Nation, was Justin Verrett, not a bad pick either. I love how aggressive he is.

37. Morgan Moses, OT, Virginia

Moses spent most of his career on the right side, but he showed the kind of potential as a pass blocker on the left side last year to be exactly what the Rams are looking for in Jake Long's heir. This is a good year for tackles. Waiting until the early part of the second round, especially in this scenario, gives the Rams exactly what they're looking for in a tackle right now.

44. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois

Here come the angry comments! Listen, the Rams need a young QB with some upside, and I like what Garoppolo does to beat pressure with is quick release and decision making skills. Waiting until the later rounds for QB is just too risky. It's hard to find a starter there, much less one who can push Sam Bradford this year and be ready to play if Bradford struggles.

And if Bradford doesn't struggle, if he really does finally actually live up to his potential, so much better for the Rams. They have a talented backup at a cut-rate rookie price who can slide in for an injured starter and maybe even be trade bait down the road.

Okay, that's my Rams mock .. for now. I suspect I'll probably change my mind a few more times between now and May 8 (like maybe keeping that second pick and taking a QB ... let's take that one up later though).

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