First off, this is my first post on this site but I have been reading for years. The Turf Show Times fan community and coverage is second to none and always give me my fix of Rams news. Keep up the great work everyone!
It is mock draft season so, as Rams fans we know that as we get closer to the actual draft, a lot of nonsense starts to pile up as teams "leak" information in a last second attempt to alter and affect other teams' draft strategies. Over the past two weeks we have seen mock drafts that have the Rams selecting everyone one of the top 20 prospects with either the 2nd or 13th pick. With that said, there are some interesting facts that I am noticing as I monitor Rams draft coverage.
Over the previous two drafts, it is indisputable that the Fisher-Snead regime really does a great job of performing their due diligence on draft prospects. If you look back, one of the tell tale signs of their first round draft selections has been the amount of of time they spend investigating individual prospects. Of course, we have no idea of what the conversations sound like behind closed doors, but one way of quantifying the team's interest is by draft visits. Two years ago, the Rams had 3 visits with Michael Brockers prior to selecting him 16th overall. Last year the team have 4 visits with Tavon Austin (3 of which Steadman Bailey was also present), and 3 visits with Alec Ogletree. According to the team's filled scouting visits, the 2014 top prospects the Rams have visited most with include:
- Khalil Mack - 5 Visits
- Jake Matthews - 4 Visits
- Greg Robinson - 3 Visits
- Aaron Donald - 3 Visits
- Justin Gilbert - 3 Visits
- Jason Vernett - 3 Visits
I am sure that everyone is bound to have an opinion on this possibility. Personally, I would not be thrilled with this selection. Unless Greg Williams has plans to use significantly more 3 LB sets or the team plans on parting ways with James Laurenaitis (an unlikely scenario), it simply isn't preferable to select a situational player so high (ie. Dion Jordan - Miami, Barkevious Mingo - Cleveland).
The goal of this post is to initiate a conversation on this potential scenario. Trading down is obviously the preferable solution in a draft so deep, however this possibility is becoming increasingly improbable (according to Adam Schefter and reports that the Falcons have interest in trading up with the Texans for Clowney).