NFL Draft Talk: Mock Draft 2.0

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Seventeen more days until the draft. Excitement is growing, impatience is mounting, and we have no clue who the Texans are taking. It seems odd that the most talked about and coveted pick in the draft is pick number two, but it all depends on what happens at pick number one. That is what you call an oxymoron...

In our last meeting to talk draft we discussed the should. Today we will view "the want". As a reminder there will be three in total.

  1. What should happen (should- used to express expectation)
  2. What I want to happen (wanthave a desire to possess or do (something); wish for)
  3. What "probably" will happen (willused to express inevitability)

The want is my favorite because it is more desire and fantasy. I am a big kid at heart. Before getting to the draft let's preview the trades.

  1. STL trades pick 2 to ATL for picks 6, 37, 2015 2nd round
  2. Oakland trades pick 5 to Detroit for picks 10, 45, 189, 2015 3rd round
  3. STL trades pick 6 to Buffalo for picks 9, 41, and 149
  4. STL trades pick 13 to Dallas for picks 16 and 78
  5. Cleveland Trades pick 26 to Jacksonville for picks 36 and 45
  6. STL trades picks 153, 188, 226, and 241 tp ATL for pick 103 and 2015 6th round

Pick

Team

Player

Pos

College

1

Houston

Blake Bortles

QB

Central Florida

2

Atlanta

Jadeveon Clowney

DE

South Carolina

3

Jacksonville

Khalil Mack

OLB

Buffalo

4

Cleveland

Teddy Bridgewater

QB

Louisville

5

Detroit

Sammy Watkins

WR

Clemson

6

Buffalo

Greg Robinson

OT

Auburn

7

Tampa Bay

Mike Evans

WR

Texas A&M

8

Minneosta

CJ Mosley

LB

Alabama

9

St. Louis

Jake Matthews

OT

Texas A&M

10

Oakland

Derek Carr

QB

Fresno State

11

Tennessee

Justin Gilbert

CB

Oklahoma State

12

Giants

Aaron Donald

DT

Pittsburgh

13

Dallas

Hasean Clinton-Dix

FS

Alabama

14

Chicago

Kony Ealy

DE

Missouri

15

Pittsburgh

Darqueze Dennard

CB

Michigan State

16

St. Louis

Kelvin Benjamin

WR

Florida State

17

Baltimore

Calvin Pryor

FS

Louisville

18

Jets

Odell Beckham Jr

WR

LSU

19

Miami

Zack Martin

OT

Notre Dame

20

Arizona

Taylor Lewan

OT

Michigan

21

Green Bay

Eric Ebron

TE

North Carolina

22

Philadelphia

Brandin Cooks

WR

Oregon State

23

Kansas City

Marqise Lee

WR

USC

24

Cincinnati

Ryan Shazier

LB

Ohio State

25

San Diego

Anthony Barr

LB

UCLA

26

Jacksonville

Johnny Manziel

QB

Texas A&M

27

New Orleans

Devante Adams

WR

Fresno State

28

Carolina

Morgan Moses

OT

Virginia

29

New England

Jordan Matthews

WR

Vanderbilt

30

San Francisco

Bradley Roby

CB

Ohio State

31

Denver

David Yankey

OG

Stanford

32

Seattle

Louis Nix III

DT

Notre Dame

TRADE EXPLANATIONS

The Rams are going to jump on any offer thrown their way if Jadeveon Clowney is still available at No. 2. Teams are going to give up more for him, than arguably any other player. In this case the Rams play match maker and give Jadeveon Clowney what he wants (he is quoted saying he wants to be drafted by Atlanta). And Atlanta needs a pass rusher about as bad as anyone in the draft.

At No. 6, the team takes a risk and passes on Greg Robinson. Jake Matthews is still on the board and he happens to be the player that the Rams have shown the most interest in. The team looks at the board and sees that all of the drafts top tackles are still on the board and feel more comfortable moving down and collecting more picks.

With Justin Gilbert gone and Aaron Donald gone, once pick 13 rolls around, the team accepts an offer to move down. Fisher and Snead have continuously made the corner position a higher priority than the safety position. No reason to think the sense of urgency will change now. Besides, while the team has shown interest in all of the top safeties this year, they have shown much more interest in both Aaron Donald and Justin Gilbert.

Just when it seemed that the Rams and Falcons were all settled and finished doing business with one another -this year- they make one more move. The Rams finally move up instead of down and collects a pick for next year in the process. The move is to secure more depth and talent for the offensive line, and prepare for the future.

Pick


Player


Pos


College


RD2-37


Jimmie Ward

FS

Northern Illinois

RD2-41


Lamarcus Joyner

CB

Florida State

RD2-44


Deone Bucannon

S

Washington State

RD3-75


Stanley Jean-Baptist

CB

Nebraska

RD3-78


AJ McCarron

QB

Alabama

RD4-103


Antonio Richardson

OT

Tennessee

RD4-110


Dri Archer

RB

Kent State

RD5-149


George Uko

DT

USC

RD6-214


Brandon Thomas

OG

Clemson

RD7-249


AC Leonard

TE

Tennessee State

RD7-250


Johnathon Brown

LB

Illinois

THE PICK EXPLANATION

The Rams first pick is actually quite simple. For the first time since Orlando Pace, the Rams bring in a young top of the line talent, that is very polished, to play on the offensive line. There have been numerous reports with quotes coming from highly respected analysts, scouts, and ex-scouts that believe that Jake Matthews can show some of his fathers versatility and play anywhere on the line. There is no player in this years draft that the Rams have shown more interest in than Matthews.

Kelvin Benjamin should come as quite a surprise to most. But the rest you should all know I have long been a fan of Benjamin. He has the most potential of any receiver in this draft. He had a high number of drops, but when watching film it is not because he has butter fingers. He tries to run too quickly. The drops are the negative of that habit, but the positive - you always have to find the silver lining - is that he understands the point is to get north and south in a hurry.

Jimmie Ward is a player that has the talent and production of a top 16 pick. But his size and level of competition has really held back his hype. Even with all the talent, production, and versatility that he has displayed, his best trait is his toughness. Toughness is a common trait for all three of these second round picks. Lamarcus Joyner and Deone Bucannon are entering the draft with the reputation of two of the toughest guys around. Joyner is not the ideal size but makes up for it with an explosive burst and leaping ability. He's a very physical player and plays with a motor that never dies. Bucannon - who happens to be ideal size - is very physical and covers a lot of ground. He hits like a truck, but also displayed the best and most consistent ball hawking skills of any safety in the class. He brings ideal depth and versatility, as well as the ability to step in at a moments notice in case of injury.

If the first two rounds were to fill the teams glaring holes - left guard, free safety, and corner- than the rest of the draft is all about depth and planning for the future. There should be heavy rotations developed across the board for all positions. Stanley Jean-Baptist would complete a cornerback depth chart that has everything you look for. Size and physicality in both Jean-Baptist and Trumaine Johnson. Speed and ball skills in Janoris Jenkins. A quick change of direction player that can blitz in Joyner. And the super athlete and depth player in Brandon McGee. A.J. McCarron will provide the Rams with one of, if not the, most pro ready quarterback in the draft. McCarron does not have a Joe Flacco or Matthew Stafford type of arm, but he is very accurate, smart, and has a good enough arm. McCarron has starter ability but just lacks the glamor and glare of other guys, similar to a Matt Hasselbeck.

Antonio Richardson brings more depth to the offensive line and can play either right tackle or guard. He is massive and physical just like Fisher likes them. Dri Archer is brought in simply to piss the NFC West off. He is a natural running back with exceptional vision, patience, and balance, but can also play some receiver. In other words, putting him and Tavon Austin on the field at the same time, would annoy the hell out of defensive coordinators. You wouldn't even have to come up with a clever play, just the threat alone would alleviate pressure from other players.

George Uko reminds me a lot of William Hayes. While Hayes is a natural defensive end with the ability to play defensive tackle, Uko is a natural DT - though slightly undersized - that can play DE. He shows consistent explosion and active hands in the trenches. Also, the argument can be made that there is no position the Rams have shown more interest in this offseason than the interior defensive line. It's going to be hard to see them leave the draft without taking one.

Brandon Thomas is a special selection. Thomas is a player that was being called a possible late first round pick, and a lock as a second. But a torn ACL during a pre-draft visit, has all but red-shirted him for his rookie season. His stock is sure to plummet. Which makes him an intriguing prospect. As a GM, you know the talent and production he can offer when healthy, but you will have to allow him to sit out the year and comeback next year fully healthy. This year Matthews can play LG, and next year he can kick out to LT if Jake Long starts to decline or does not comeback 100%. Thomas will then take over the LG position.

AC Leonard is an athletic tight end that is very strong and physical. He lacks ideal hit, but is built extremely well. He is also very fast. He is a poor man's Vernon Davis. He would probably be a second round pick if not for all his red flags. But the talent is undeniable and Jeff Fisher has a knack for getting guys to avoid trouble and play ball. Johnathon is a knucklehead like Leonard, and also like Leonard he is loaded with potential. He is not the most athletic guy around, and does not move anywhere near as well as his size and frame would indicate. He reminds me a lot of Vontaze Burfict.

The goal is to do everything possible to add depth at every position, and create competition to breed success. You have to love the depth in this years draft for every position. It seems like it's going to be hard to make the wrong pick. While no one can be sure every single player drafted will workout, the one thing that is for sure, is that most of the failures that come from this draft will not be from lack of talent.

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