Dueling 2012 NFL mock drafts from ESPN's in-house experts hit the web on Wednesday. After Mel Kiper's mock draft, Todd McShay's looked much the same, at least for the St. Louis Rams.
Let's take a look.
Again, buzz kill. No trades. And the pick is ...
Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
With the Rams intent on trading down, this projection is made with the assumption they will pick somewhere between No. 4 and No. 8 overall. Blackmon is the top receiver on the board and would give QB Sam Bradford the kind if perimeter weapon he needs. St. Louis could also opt for help in the secondary with LSU CB Morris Claiborne, and there are even rumblings Alabama RB Trent Richardson could be in play as a complement to Bradford.
Hmm, Richardson is an intriguing prospect for the Rams. As with Blackmon, I doubt they pick him over Morris Claiborne. I would hope not anyway, but you never know.
A more interesting debate is whether or not to take Richardson over Blackmon. Richardson is certainly a better overall talent, but running backs, useful ones, can be found later in the draft. Blackmon, however, does not seem to stand head and shoulders above other receivers in the draft, and the Rams might be better served to find someone with a higher ceiling than Blackmon.