Mel Kiper, he of coiffurist perfection and draftnik experience, released his newest 1st round mock today (Insider subscription required). It represents an interesting scenario - A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Von Miller, Marcell Dareus, Prince Amukamara and Robert Quinn are all gone by 14.
Going off the poll from dbcouver's first post in his "You're the GM" series, Mark Ingram and Aldon Smith were tied for the favorite choice from the community. One name that wasn't even listed among the possibilities was Illinois DT Corey Liuget.
Liuget's an interesting pick here over both Ingram and Smith as well as DEs Adrian Clayborn, Cameron Jordan and Ryan Kerrigan, and OLB Akeem Ayers. Kiper notes:
A relentless player who plays powerfully and locates the ball extremely well against both the rush and the pass, Liuget fills a need spot for the Rams. If Jones still was on the board, I suspect St. Louis would target the receiver, but if he isn't and the Rams stay here, an interior lineman like Liuget offers much greater value than a reach on a wideout. I also can see the Rams going for an outside linebacker at this spot. Liuget has drawn more buzz from NFL folks, causing many to take a closer look. The reviews are very good.
Mike Sando, ESPN's NFC West guru, follows up:
Alabama's Jones, the player Kiper projected to St. Louis in his previous mock, was off the board this time. The Rams know they need to find additional weapons for Sam Bradford. That does not mean they need to gamble on a first-round receiver if the value doesn't seem right. Adding young talent to the defensive line would make sense because the Rams cannot count on veterans Fred Robbins and James Hall to continue producing at a high level for years to come. The team needs to prepare for life without them at some point in the future. Adding a starting interior defensive lineman to the rotation could help extend Robbins' career while taking pressure off the linebackers and creating more favorable matchups for Chris Long on the outside.
While I agree on not reaching for a WR, you have to wonder if DT makes more sense than DE in this scenario. With Aldon Smith available, I'm not on board. Are you?