Winning is a powerful thing. Prior to this week's win, every 2012 NFL Mock Draft had the St. Louis Rams in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes. Granted, there are still nine games left to play, but if this week's upset win over the New Orleans Saints is any indication, the Rams are out of the mix for the top pick in the draft. The 2012 NFL Mock Drafts are already starting to reflect this new conventional wisdom.
A mock from our friends over at NFL Mocks has the Rams picking sixth. And who do they pick with the sixth pick?
The answer revealed and a couple more curveballs after the jump.
Different pick, familiar name in this mock draft...
Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina
Here's their take on the pick.
Blackmon has the more impressive college resume, but that doesn't make it automatic that he'll be the better N.F.L player. What kind of weakness to Jeffery have to his game? He has the lateral quickness and route running ability that will translate to the N.F.L. He has unbelievable size, good hands, and is a plus blocker to boot. His numbers are down this year because the Gamecocks are pathetic at the quarterback position, but he's still a top 10 talent, just like he was entering the season.
The Jeffery vs. Justin Blackmon debate should be this year's version of the Julio Jones vs. A.J. Green debate, different players, different skill sets, different roles in the NFL.
For the Rams, there's already been some talk that if they opt to keep Brandon Lloyd, they don't need to worry about wide receivers in the first round. Maybe. Lloyd is a good addition, and based on early returns, I hope they lock him up for a couple years beyond this one. Still, if the last few years of watching the Rams has taught us anything, you can never have enough talent at the offensive skill positions. If Blackmon or Jeffery are on the board when the Rams do their picking, they have to be in the conversation.
I was a little surprised to see Clemson DT Brandon Thompson picked so high, but he's the best in a weak DT class this year.
Alabama running back Trent Richardson gets picked in the top here, and I can't argue with that. Taking running backs in the first round is so passe to some, but RIchardson is the exception that proves the rule, in my feeble mind anyway. Let me ask you this, do think the Rams made a mistake taking Steven Jackson in the first round? Richarson reminds me of Jackson, and he looks like a better player, to me, than his former teammate Mark Ingram. Talent is talent. Since Ingram was very, very high on the Rams draft board this year, I would expect Richardson to be in the conversation in 2012.
Stanford OT Jonathan Martin gets picked 10th here. I think that's a little low. In fact, I expect a Martin vs. Matt Kalil debate.
Michael Floyd's draft position is going to be a huge debate between now and April.