If last week's game didn't get you thinking about just how bad the St. Louis Rams need a wide receiver next year, then you're either hopelessly naive or your last name is Schottenheimer.
With talk that Vincent Jackson could get the franchise tag from San Diego, the 2011 NFL Draft is probably the Rams best and preferred route for infusing the roster with talent at that position. Trolling the internets this morning I came across this mock draft from Sporting News. Yes, the Ram make a surprise pick in this mock, drafting Miami WR Leonard Hankerson with the 21st overall pick. More on that in a minute. What else is noticeable about that mock is that it looks like draft pundits are starting to shake up their wide receiver rankings.
The Miami senior made the 2010 All-ACC First Team for a season in which he broke the school's record for touchdowns in a single season with 12, a record held previously by [insert crack joke here] Michael Irvin. At 6'3" 208 lbs he has the size teams like, but there's nothing but question marks about his NFL future and where he'll go in the draft.
Prior to Miami's game against West Virginia, Mocking the Draft noted that Hankerson is considered anywhere from a second to fourth round pick.
3k put Hankerson in the ninth spot on his big board back in November.
Consistency seems to be the biggest knock on Hankerson, but he's had a very strong senior season, hence his appearance in the first round of the above mock draft. Last year, the NFL Draft Advisory Committee pegged him somewhere between the 4th and 7th round, helping him make the decision to stay in college for another year, where he'll also get a degree. I suspect there will be a spirited debate about Hankerson's draft status in the months ahead.
Now about the conventional wisdom breakdown. Check out this mock draft from CBS Sports that puts Justin Blackmon and Ryan Broyles above Julio Jones. Take that for what it's worth since you'll notice that mock draft has no team winning the NFC West, making the mistake of basing the draft order purely on records. Whoops.