The NFL Draft season calendar begins today in Mobile, AL, with more than 100 prospects in town for the 2013 Senior Bowl.
The North roster, as well as the South roster, are available as Excel spreadsheets. Check out this preview from Mocking the Draft that lists a top 15 big board of players in action, and then let's take a look at some of the notable names on both sides for Rams fans:
Mike Glennon - QB, North Carolina St.
Ryan Nassib - QB, Syracuse
With the Rams' first pick in the 1st round coming at #16, the Rams will be without the opportunity to draft 15 prospects. One of the factors that will help the Rams the most is having prospects that aren't on their board hear their names called in the first half of the round. That being the case, any quarterback that is drafted in the first 15 (or really first 21) selections helps the Rams. If these guys can boost their stock throughout draft season, it might leave some bigger names available for Les Snead and Jeff Fisher. Think about it like this - in 2011, four quarterbacks went in the top 12 picks: Cam Newton, Jake Locker, Blaine Gabbert & Christian Ponder. The Rams had Robert Quinn fall to them at 14. A repeat of those fortunes would be...fortunate.
Markus Wheaton - WR, Oregon St.
With Danny Amendola's contract status still unresolved, Wheaton's an obvious candidate to step into his role should the Rams bring him to St. Louis. Wheaton had a banner year in Corvallis, topping 1,200 yards and posting 11 touchdowns, flashing a great slot receiver skill set along the way
Ryan Otten - TE, San Jose St.
The talk behind acquiring a more dynamic receiver at tight end has been gaining steam. Otten's one of the better receiving options in this draft.
Kyle Long - OL, Oregon
Ricky Wagner - OT, Wisconsin
Eric Fisher - OT, Central Michigan
It's probably fair to say that any offensive lineman is going to be in play for the Rams leading up to April. This trio, though, could be big risers throughout draft season. I mentioned the whackadoo pick factor when NFL.com dropped a quintet of mock drafts last week. I could see any of these three being that pick that has jaws dropping as it's called.
Phillip Thomas - FS, Fresno St.
T.J. Mcdonald - FS, USC
ALL OF TEH FREE SAFETEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZ (that's top notch analysis, if I do say so myself)
Tyler Wilson - QB, Arkansas
Landry Jones - QB, Oklahoma
See the above notes on QBs. Then, cross your fingers. Tape your crossed fingers. Do not remove tape until April 27th.
Terrance Williams - WR, Baylor
One of the more dynamic deep threats in the draft, Williams stepped up his game in the wake left by Robert Griffin III's and Kendall Wright's departures. Nearly 100 receptions, more than 1,800 yards and 12 touchdowns? Yeah, that's a heck of a season. Any WR who catches 17 passes for 314 yards in a single game is going to get some serious scrutiny...and yes, that Baylor-West Virginia game made defensive coordinators nauseous.
Oday Aboushi - OT, Virginia
D.J. Fluker - OT, Alabama
Lane Johnson - OT, Oklahoma
Dallas Thomas - OT, Tennessee
Yeah, this draft is deep at tackle.
One of the big factors at play here as well is the opportunity to see some small school guys compete with and against the top options. Aaron Mellette (WR - Elon), Brandon Williams (DT - Missouri Southern), Garrett Gilkey (OT - Chadron State), J.C. Tretter (OT - Cornell), and a trio of defensive backs on the Southern team (Robert Alford: Southeastern Louisiana, B.W. Webb: William & Mary & J.J. Wilcox: Georgia Southern) all have a huge stage this week to make the case that they belong in draft discussions across the league.
What names are you interested in tracking this week? Any measurables coming out in the last few hours that have really surprised you (like say D.J. Fluker's 87" wingspan topping all others)?