The Rams have a conundrum.
Actually, they have many conundrii. They're in line for one of the most valuable draft picks in the 2014 NFL Draft....perhaps even the #1 overall pick. Their own record leaves them somewhere in the middle of the order. That being said, they've got a lot to figure out.
Coming off of two consecutive drafts that saw the Rams sliding down and up and back down and then up a little bit and then shimmy to the side via trade after trade after trade, it shouldn't surprise anyone if the Rams continue that trend with some trade activity in the spring. For the purposes of the mocking of drafts, let's put that on the side for now.
Most mocks at this point lead off with some combination of the trio of Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney and Texas A&M LT Jake Matthews. At the beginning of the month, Dan over at Mocking the Draft threw a curveball in the rotation sticking Fresno St. QB Derek Carr at #2 to the Jaguars. In that mock, the Ramskins pick was Matthews at #3, followed up with Texas Tech TE Jace Amaro at 15. Van had the recap, and suffice to say there was plenty to comb through.
Fast forward to today, and who does he have us now a spot up from both prior selections?
#2 - Texas A&M LT Jake Matthews
The St. Louis Rams may have been kicking themselves a year ago for trading away a chance to draft Robert Griffin III. But with all that has gone on in Washington over the last few months, St. Louis has to be feeling pretty good about itself. After all, it now holds the No. 2 overall pick in the draft and Griffin has been shut down for the season.
Figuring out what the Rams will do with this pick is tough. Have the tackles been good enough to warrant passing on Jake Matthews? Are they confident they can keep all of their talented defensive linemen long term? Even if they are, does that justify passing on Jadeveon Clowney? Even a quarterback isn't out of the question. A lot of the team's biggest needs don't fit this pick, so despite Joe Barksdale's decent play this season, Matthews is the pick. He's easily the best tackle in this class and would solidify both tackle spots for the Rams moving forward.
This should be Washington's pick, but they ruined Christmas.
This shouldn't be a surprise; Dan seems locked in here for the time being. For your consideration, here are the following non-quarterbacks between picks 2 and 14: Clowney, Alabama LT Cyrus Kouandjio, Clemson WR Sammy Watkins, Alabama LB C.J. Mosley, Auburn OT Greg Robinson, Buffalo OLB Khalil Mack, Minnesota DT Ra'Shede Hageman and UCLA OLB Anthony Barr. Take those into account, because Kadar's next one is:
#14 - TCU CB Jason Verrett
The Cortland Finnegan experiment has been a disaster in St. Louis. The Rams will likely find a way to get out of that contract in the offseason, and more depth at cornerback will be needed. It's tough to say whether the Rams will look for a long, press cover corner or sacrifice some size for quicks and ball skills. For now, Jason Verrett is the top corner on the board and can do a bit of everything for the Rams' secondary.
It's a fair case to be made. I might disagree with Verrett as opposed to other corners (looking at you, Oregon's Ifo Ekpre-Olomu...), but it's not out of bounds.
The Rams have two games remaining to close out their 2013 season. They have a bit more than four months of games to play before the 2014 season begins.