The Rams were - as expected - a much better team in 2012, in large part as a result of the [then] new regime and their ability to identify talent . By and large, it appeared that NFL writers and draft pundits felt as though the Rams 2012 draft deserved ‘A,’ and on the low end, ‘B’ grades. The results of this past April’s draft, and the contributions that it provided for the team this year, cannot be understated.
I’ve been invited into the War Room while Fisher and Snead watch the kickoff of the Catalina Wine Mixer Moscato Bowl. Here’s what I’ll do before they come back. I should mention that I locked the doors…
1.16 - Eric Fisher, OT, Central Michigan
I take Fisher here, only because I see it plausible that the Saints - who pick at 15 - are in dire need of O-line help, and they could potentially snag Chance Warmack…they do in this scenario. Here’s the scouting report for Fisher via NFL Draft Scout:
2012 AP ALL-AMERICAN THIRD TEAM: OT - A 2012 First Team All-MAC honoree, Fisher was a mainstay up front for CMU this season, starting all 12 games at left tackle. He anchored a line that helped the Chippewa offense average 6.2 yards per play, second best in the MAC, produce nearly 400 yards of offense per game, and score 30 or more points in the season’s final six games. CMU also ranked fourth in the conference in sacks allowed (14). A three-year starter and two-time winner of CMU’s Offensive Upfront Player of the Year Award, Fisher is widely considered to the top senior left tackle in the nation and is projected to be an early round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.
1.22 - Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia
Surprise, surprise. I’ve probably made it pretty clear that I’m a fan of Austin’s. There could potentially be concerns about his size, but if the Rams are looking for a play-making WR, I think they need to look no further. The Rams finished the season dead last in starting field position in 2012 [23.8 yard line]. What’s NFL Draft Scout saying?
12/29/12 - Tavon Austin: Perhaps the most exciting player in college football, Austin averaged 230 all-purpose yards per game, second to Antonio Anderson of Western Kentucky. A Biletnikoff Award finalist, he was second in the nation in receptions per game at 9.17 on 110 catches, but he had a couple of games where he did not play receiver. In fact, his greatest game of the year came when he rushed for 344 yards, the third-best single-game total this year, against Oklahoma. He is also one of the nation's best return men.
2.16 - Eric Reid, S, LSU
I’m not sure what you want me to say. When they told me I was on the clock, a single tear dropped my eye and I yelled ‘Eric Reid.’ Buh bye, Crai…..
2012 AP ALL-AMERICAN SECOND TEAM: ...Reid ranked third on the team with 81 tackles to go along with a pair of interceptions and six pass breakups. As a team, LSU ranked No. 8 in the nation in total defense, allowing just 296.2 yards per game, and the Tigers were second in the SEC and No. 8 in the nation in interceptions with 18.