Sometimes, drafts come easy for teams. Need a QB and you're sitting in the top three picks? You've got it easy. Waiting for a pass rusher to drop in your lap and it happens? Good for you. Have a cookie.
Other times, and such is the case for the majority of teams, draft selections are hard. It's shaping up to be a difficult decision for the Rams next year especially if one thing happens: the Rams win more games.
The Rams got bailed out in the 2014 NFL Draft by Washington who floated them the #2 overall pick as the final payoff from the RGIII trade. Had the Rams only held the 13th pick, things would have been much more difficult.
That may well be the scenario come April 30.
In a recent mock draft from B/R's Matt Miller, he's got the Rams drafting eighth overall.
Look at the seven players selected ahead of the Rams' pick:
|Oakland Raiders||Amari Cooper||WR||Alabama|
|Jacksonville Jaguars||Randy Gregory||DE||Nebraska|
|New York Jets||Marcus Mariota||QB||Oregon|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Jameis Winston||QB||Florida St.|
|Tennessee Titans||Vic Beasley||OLB||Clemson|
|Atlanta Falcons||Shane Ray||OLB||Missouri|
|Washington Redskins||Leonard Williams||DE||USC|
The two major QBs go at 3 & 4. There's a WR off the board at the top. The other four are pass rushers. So the question of who gets taken out of the way requires some Rams wins to put the space between the likely first-picking Raiders and the Rams. I expect them to come. The other problem is if some of those teams who take a pass rusher here turn toward offensive talents instead. There's plenty of wide receiving options and offensive linemen to look at in the early/mid-1st, and you would think they'd be in the mix for the Rams. Nonetheless, Miller had the Rams going with...
Brett Hundley - QB, UCLA
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley hasn't had a great season. His offensive line is bad (really bad), his wide receivers drop too many passes and he's been banged up. But the team that falls for Hundley isn't drafting him for his numbers, but instead for his upside and what its coaches can get out of him.
Hundley—like Blake Bortles, EJ Manuel, Ryan Tannehill and other projects at the position—has a high "boom-or-bust" rate, but if you hit on him he can be very good. And the St. Louis Rams have few options outside of drafting the athletic, smart Hundley and coaching him up. Brian Schottenheimer isn't the right coach to do that, but a new offensive coordinator might be the smallest of changes in St. Louis this offseason.
Fans won't get excited about the prospect of a quarterback who needs work, but Hundley has the skills loved by NFL scouts and general managers because of his potential. With UCLA failing to properly develop him or build an offense around him, Hundley's best football is ahead of him.
The real key for Hundley is that second sentence in the first paragraph. Things around him have gotten worse than 2013, and he's still playing well and leading #22 UCLA to a strong 6-2 record. Rams fans might want to tune into ESPN late Saturday night to catch the Bruins going up against #12 Arizona.
In any case, Miller's got a 2nd round in which he has the Rams going for Florida St. CB Ronald Darby (no relation to former Ram Kenneth), an absolute speed freak who's got solid cover skills (though Tye Hill still haunts my dreams...). Darby is pure athletic fuel having played six positions in high school including running back...and kicker.
As a pair, they're exciting enough. I just wonder if the Rams are going to win their way past Winston and Mariota...or if they'll be so intrigued that they mortgage future draft capital to put one of them in horns.