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NFL Draft: St. Louis Rams Mock Draft Contest

Kiper as Fisher

UPDATE: We'll be holding this Contest open beyond the 4pm deadline, so continue to post your picks!

The Barons of sports media have made their pronouncements. While each try to sell their visions of how the NFL Draft will transpire, I decided to treat you all to my own version of what could be. My Mock draft will be oh so Mock-able. You see, I'm not like Mike Mayock, who seems to know player potential as well as anyone, but comes up shy in the team needs category. Then there is "The Hair" himself - Mel Kiper. He's made a very good living out of being wrong on Draft Day. He's a combination of P.T. Barnum and Donald Trump (hair reference). I wonder if he knows that his in-studio cast are laughing when Mel stares straight into the TV camera and swears: "Vernon Gholston is going to be a star in the NFL..." He's serious too. You don't see the mighty and immovable hairdo twitch, or a smile form more than a smirk. I wonder if he ever did the Farm Report? "My money's on Pork Bellies. I'm tellin' you - you don't take the Pork Bellies here, you'll be wishin' you did..."

...Then there's Todd McShay, the Costello to Kiper's Abbott. Add in guys like Skip Bayless, ( a buddy of mine named Brick Top worships the guy) Jason Cole, Michael Silver, Peter King and the SI hoards... All try and build that better "Draft" mouse trap with their words. All re-state the Barons party line: "It is we that know!"

News Flash: They don't know and neither do you or I...

Fans try to glean the needs of their favored team based on watching them intently through loving eyes. Draft pundits, like the ones I mentioned, base their prognostications on bits of information from team sources. I mean, teams would NEVER mislead a reporter, would they? (laughter break)
My draft is based on information I've learned from what I feel are the true sources of Draft knowledge: Fan Sites. Don't laugh, more often than not you'll find far more thorough player analysis on sites like Mocking the Draft and (These are only two of about 30+ I reference, so don't get your knickers in a twist), than you will from SI, Sporting News, or PFT. ESPN team and division blogs aren't bad though.

When it comes to the St. Louis Rams, there is no better source than Turf Show Times. This year, head cheese, er... uh... I mean the Big Kahuna himself - Ryan Van Bibber - has guided the site to present options for Draft day in far more depth than ever before. Joe McAtte(3k), is one of the most knowledgeable college player evaluators you will ever know. The writing staff is filled with smart guys who study college prospects - Except for me that is, and I don't hide this fact.

I also have a tendency to stretch the possible when it comes to the draft. You see - I make trades in my little world...

The St. Louis Rams have three picks in the first two rounds of the 2012 NFL Draft: One in the first round - #6, and two in the second round -#33 and #39. They have the second pick in the third round, so it's value, while not high, is worthy of mention. The Rams traded away their fifth round pick to Denver, but they have a forth, sixth and two seventh round picks - all high picks in each round.

Based on Mock drafts by 10 sites I visited before writing this article, here is the consensus of the Top 5 picks for April 26th, 2012 NFL Draft:

The Indianapolis Colts - Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford

Washington Redskins - Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor

Minnesota Vikings - Matt Kalil, OT, USC

Cleveland Browns - Trent Richardson, RB, Alabama

Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Morris Claiborne, CB, LSU

Here's where my tendency toward fiction seems to bite me in the ass. Based on the Top 5 I just mentioned, Justin Blackmon is sitting there waiting to be picked by a wide receiver starved Rams team. But the urge to play with what looks like destiny overwhelms me. I look to trade down if I can find true value. There are still a couple teams with two picks in the first round: Cincinnati and New England. I fix my laser like vision on these two unsuspecting NFL foes.

The Bengals are an obvious target. They hold the #17 and #21 picks in the first round. The big stumbling block is their owner, who is kind of nutty. Personally, if I were in their shoes after how well they did in the 2011 season, I'd be looking to find that next piece to vault them over perennial AFC North powerhouses Baltimore and Pittsburgh. A.J. Green had a stellar rookie season at wide receiver, and Andy Dalton could use one more real weapon that doesn't mail pot to himself. Could Blackmon be the guy that sends them to the AFC North promised land? They have other needs at outside linebacker, running back, offensive guard, and in the defensive secondary, but could they make due with what they have for a chance at creating an offense that would send chills down the spines of their opponents?

Next up is the New England Patriots. Their picks are far less valuable, sitting at #27 and #31. The Rams next pick is only two picks further down the line at #33, and trying to make a deal with Bill Belichick is just shy of making a deal with the devil himself for many fans. The "Great Bill von Hoody" would really have to want a player to make a move that could cost him at least his two first and two second round picks (#48 and #62) in 2012, and quite possibly another first or second round pick in 2013.

Here's the thing about fiction: The wilder the plot, the more fun it is to write. So grasping my Rosary firmly, after taking a bath in holy water, I shake hands with the devil! I make the trade for New England's two first round picks, and two second round picks in 2012 and a first round pick in 2013.

The Rams now have the following picks in 2012:

Reebok St. Louis Rams Steven Jackson Replica White Jersey -
First round - #27 and #31
Second round - #33, #39, #48, #62
Third round: #65
Fourth round: #96
Fifth round: N/A
Sixth round: #171
Seventh round: #209, #252

Now read this carefully:

Now here is where I ask you to do the actual Rams Mock draft for me! You have a boatload of picks, and as a reference for who was picked before the #27 pick in the Draft, I want you to use WalterFootball. com.

Anyone taking a player above their #27 pick will be disqualified. You need to stay within the realm of reality for each round after the #27 pick. I will be asking one of our resident College Football gurus to pick the winner, so the closer you stay to a player's true draft day value, the better chance you have of winning. Lots of you will make similar choices, so the tiebreaker will be your choice for the Patriots' new #6 pick. Who do they take and why? Take your time.

The prize? How about a replica jersey for the player the Rams (or your favorite team if available) actually choose in the first round on April 26th, 2012? Sorry, I couldn't find a photo of the new Nike replica jerseys, so here's a pic of the old ones)

Here are a few MUST follow rules. Failure to do so gets you the big "You're outta here" and your entry will be void:

*** ONE entry person, no multiple entries allowed.
*** Contest ends at 4pm Central time, April 7th, 2012***** This may change, so continue to enter till the comment section is closed.
*** All players chosen MUST be entered in the 2012 Draft. No picking Deacon Jones guys!
*** Write "Entry" in the subject line (this makes it soooo much easier on the judges)
*** You must have players representing all 7 rounds, plus the Patriots pick at #6
*** All picks are to be listed on SEPARATE lines in the comment body with the round of the pick preceding the player's name, position and school
***If there is a tie after the Patriots' pick, a number will be assigned to each winner, and a random number generator will decide the outcome.
*** This contest is open to all SBN NFL sites, but if you win (other than TST winner), the burden of proving who you are falls to you. You will need to have the Head writer for your SBN site send me an e-mail from the SBN site telling me who you are. Sorry, but I had quite a few guys swindle me out of prizes last season.
*** By entering this contest, you agree that the judge's decision is final

OK, got all this down? Remember, you have lots of time to make your picks. This will be won on how much you know about the draft, not how fast you can type players names. Stay inside a players stated relative value, taking players who can't possibly be there at your next pick is a mistake you'll regret. Look at other team needs who are picking before you.

Ready, set...GO!