Now that Senior Bowl practices are over, seniors are hoping to continue to increase their draft stock and make their dreams of being in the National Football League come true. While a great game at the Senior Bowl won't change a lot, you never know what momentum can do for a player heading up to the most unpredictable part of the season.
The St. Louis Rams aren't strangers to drafting players in the Senior Bowl; Last year, T.J. McDonald was drafted after competing in the game, as well as the entire 2012 trio of 2nd round draft picks (Isaiah Pead, Brian Quick, and Janoris Jenkins).
So here's a list of players who the Rams could be interested in, and if you want to know more about what happened at the Senior Bowl practices, Dan Kadar at Mocking The Draft has you covered. The quotes in this article are also from his Senior Bowl practice roundup, so give it a glimpse.
The Rams lack young talent on the offensive line. Drafting Richardson - since right now both guard positions are up in the air - shouldn't be ruled out one in the draft. Richardson had a pretty bad week in practice in Mobile, so a solid game wouldn't hurt. A bad game, following a tough week of practices, usually doesn't bode as a sign a player's draft position will be going up.
While watching the game below, it looks like he should be able to start his rookie year. However, he looks like more of a pass blocker than run blocker. He has the size and talent a good offensive line coach could help and mentor, but he has to block better at the second level.
Here's Kadar on Cyril.
Baylor's Cyril Richardson had as bad of a week as you've read about. For a 343-pound player, he got pushed around too much by opposing linemen. Richardson's issue is his stance. He's too narrow off the snap, negating any power advantage he may have. If he can fix that, and drop some weight, he should be fine.
Do the Rams need a defensive tackle? No, but would you put it past head coach Jeff Fisher to draft one? It wouldn't surprise me that the team wants to add more talent on the defensive line, since the Rams seem more likely to add at that position than wide receiver or offensive line early.
Donald might be undersized, but he's real good at pressuring the quarterback. He's fast and he has a couple of moves to get to the quarterback. The Rams rotate their defensive line enough to benefit from a player of Donald's caliber, and in a year or two they could count on him to be a starter.
Here's what Kadar had to say about Donald.
Each and every North team practice in Mobile, Donald turned the Senior Bowl into the Aaron Donald Bowl. He's a player where you throw any size issues out the window. The Geno Atkins comparisons are real because Donald likes to use his quickness to get under offensive linemen, turn them and split the gap. Where he goes in the draft should start with the Chicago Bears and the No. 14 pick.
The Rams definitely need a safety. It's easily their biggest weakness on the defensive side of the ball. Ward has played great this week at the Senior Bowl and he's been trending up.
Sounds like Ward has been good at coverage this week and his run defense isn't horrible. The Rams really need a player at safety besides T.J. McDonald, and if they miss out on the top two safeties in the draft, Ward would be a great consolation prize.
Here is Kadar on Ward
A practice setting isn't the best place for a safety to look good, especially when the Senior Bowl rules require a single high safety during the game. But Ward still managed to stick out compared to the other safeties this week. He's a smooth athlete and can man up against receivers. It wouldn't be a surprise if some teams look at Ward as a corner back.
With the Rams having problems at guard, along with Jake Long 's injury history, wouldn't it be smart to have a backup plan? Last season the backup plan was Rodger Saffold, but with him being able to test free agency, there's no promise that he'll be returning to the Rams next season.
Martin played tackle during his college career, but his best position is probably guard. Sometimes he struggles at run blocking, but his pass blocking is good and his technique is solid. If Saffold isn't re-signed, then Martin in the late first round would be a good move. He would be a solid starter year one.
The overarching opinion about Martin is that, at worst, he's a good offensive tackle in the NFL. The other end of that scale is that he's an All-Pro guard. Martin was used all week as the North team's left tackle, partly because of the players in attendance. Even at tackle Martin looked good driving defenders into the ground. If there's a discussion about which Senior Bowl participant gets taken first in the draft, Martin should be a part of it.
Those are the players I think that the Rams would be interested in. What about you? There is a lot of talent at the Senior Bowl, so who would you like the Rams to draft?