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2011 mock draft: Jones back in play for the Rams?

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Alabama WR Julio Jones is back in play for the St. Louis Rams in one mock draft.
Alabama WR Julio Jones is back in play for the St. Louis Rams in one mock draft.

The latest and greatest SBNation mock draft is out, and there's a familiar face sitting at #14 for the St. Louis Rams. Following his extraordinary workout at the Combine, with a fractured foot, drafting Alabama WR Julio Jones is the absolute best case scenario for the Rams' first round pick. And that's exactly who the SBN writers have the Rams drafting. 

Here's the analysis:

Most consider this Jones' worst-case-scenario landing point, and with good reason: Sam Bradford needs more weapons. I'm just not sure it's as huge a need for the Rams as perceived; Mark Clayton and Donnie Avery return to full health next season, after all.

Some thoughts on the logic here and a look at what's changed since last week's mock draft...after the jump.

It looks like the "Rams receivers are fine" meme is starting to take hold of the internets. And, there's a viable case to be made there. Here at TST, we know better. Avery's recovery has gone well, but will he still have his speed after major knee surgery? It's also been reported that Avery has bulked up through rehab. He did the same thing last season. That could help with the injury risk, but additional weight could change Avery's game. Danario Alexander is loaded with talent...and long list of knee surgeries, five of them. Mark Clayton had something special going with Sam Bradford last year. Can they pick up where they left off? Anyone else remember Laurent Robinson's impressive, but short debut in 2009...and then his 2010? 

Last week, SBN had the Rams taking Missouri DE Aldon Smith, who has dropped all the way to #20 in this version. Washington drafted Jones last time. This time, Mike Shanahan is going with DE J.J. Watt, a pick that makes sense given how desperate Washington is for help along their defensive line in Haslett's new 3-4. 

The appearance of Cal DE Cameron Jordan at #11 is the one player in the top 13 picks that wasn't there last time around. It's really difficult to get a read on the top ten picks in this year's draft. Auburn QB Cam Newton is a big reason for that, and conventional wisdom is now merging around the idea that he could go first overall. 

I was a little shocked to see Miami DT Allen Bailey in the first round of this mock. Bailey's stock has been in free fall since the Senior Bowl. Athletically gifted, he just can't seem to put it together with his technique. 

Out of the first round is UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers. His disappointing Combine performance will dog him until the season starts and he can put the chatter to rest.