Yes, the NFL has the looming conference championships and a Bowl De Super (that's French) just in front of us, but they're not ignoring the annual wellspring of franchise rebirth that is the draft.
Since yesterday, five experts at NFL.com have released their 1st round mock drafts: Gil Brandt, Josh Norris, Bucky Brooks, Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah.
Here's the breakdown of what they had the Rams doing in round 1 (click on the names to see their individual mocked 1st round):
|Brandt||Eddie Lacy (RB - Alabama)||Keenan Allen (WR - Cal)|
|Brooks||Eric Fisher (OT -C. Michigan)||Kenny Vaccaro (SS - Texas)|
|Davis||Chance Warmack (G - Alabama)||Keenan Allen (WR - Cal)|
|Jeremiah||Lane Johnson (OT - Oklahoma)||Kenny Vaccaro (SS - Texas)|
|Norris||Chance Warmack (G - Alabama)||D.J. Swearinger (SS - S. Carolina)|
A couple thoughts:
- Gil Brandt is experienced enough and has a history that is beyond my reproach, I'll say this though - should the Rams draft Eddie Lacy in the 1st round with either pick, I will find a way to cry, fart, vomit and throw something breakable at a wall all at the same time. Having drafted Isaiah Pead and found good results in the early season Daryl Richardson, I don't know how the front office would justify the Lacy pick. He's not even in my top three RBs; that would be Giovani Bernard (UNC), Joseph Randle (Oklahoma St.) and Andre Ellington (Clemson)...pending on the reconstruction of former South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore's knee. So no, please. Just no.
- I know it's relatively impossible to mock trades, so this isn't directed at these five. But I think the chances of the Rams moving picks (either up or down) have to be higher than 50%. That being said, one of the hinges for the Rams in this draft will be the quarterbacks. Specifically, the Rams' fortunes may well hinge on how many of those teams in the top 10 picks who need quarterbacks opt to select one. The more QBs taken, the more non-QBs left for the Rams to select from with those two picks if they stay there.
- Another hinge is going to be if there's a whackadoo pick, a Tyson Alualu, a Darrius Heyward-Bey. It happens more often than not, and it may end up helping the Rams more than anything else if, say, Ezekiel Ansah (DE - BYU) is selected 12th like in Brandt's mock. Think about this - two of those five mocks have Keenan Allen going 12th to the Dolphins. Two of the mocks have the Rams taking him at 22. Whackadoos help those teams behind the whackadoodlers. Pass that handy phrase along to your friends.
As for some verbiage, both Brooks and Norris offered their thoughts on their individual picks. Brooks had the Rams taking tackle Eric Fisher at 16th overall and said this:
Fisher is one of the hottest prospects in the draft based on his intriguing talent and potential. He displays the footwork and athleticism to develop into a franchise-caliber left tackle.
At 22, Brooks had Vaccaro:
The Rams' defense could use a versatile safety to handle the tight ends and slot receivers that thrive in the NFC West.
Norris' pairing opened with the ever-popular Warmack:
Another great fit, as Warmack will instantly improve the Rams' offensive line while learning alongside Harvey Dahl. There is a good chance Warmack ends up as the highest graded player in this draft.
He also went with a safety at 22, though in D.J. Swearinger, he went a route that few have to this point:
Some may consider Swearinger a second-day prospect and he might end up going a little lower in the top-50 range, but few safeties offer the same combination of physicality against the run and range in coverage.
If you just want a quick scan, NFL.com's mock hub has them all in one spot. What stood out to you among the five mocks? Any names throw you off? Does anybody actually want the Rams to take Eddie Lacy at 16th overall (please tell me the answer's no...)?