I tried. I really did. But as time goes by, I just can't help myself. I suspect Jeff Fisher will feel the same way. Don't let his stat total for 2013 fool you. Clowney is an absolute monster, a physical specimen who was near unstoppable in college. Do I fault him for being exposing the NCAA for what it is? Not in the slightest. He would have been a top five pick two years ago.
The thing about Clowney is that he is a nearly complete player. Against Tennessee, he destroyed Antonio Richardson- going back again and again to an incredibly dangerous swim move that completely neutralized the left tackle. Playing against UNC, South Carolina lined him up all over the place and even when double or triple teamed he still was able to flush the QB out of the pocket.
Tape aside, he's still the best player in the draft. His first step is nearly unstoppable. His closing speed is insane. His strength is off-the-charts, making him a nightmare as a run defender. You can line him up inside, on either end and even standing up in coverage due to his speed. Wherever he is, the only way to defend against him is to run the play to the other side.
You can argue another player would be a better fit, but not value. You just can't pass on him. He's that good.
I think this pick depends greatly on what happens to the Rams in March. Who do they keep? Who do they dump? Who do they add? The top of the draft is pretty concrete - you know who is worth #2 and who isn't. But in the muddled middle? Things get interesting.
So I'm rolling with Martin here. Is it a bold pick? For sure. The Rams could probably trade down and still get him, but since I'm averse to doing trades in mock drafts, I'll just stand pat and pick him here. Even if the Rams keep Rodger Saffold, they still need help on the line. Martin would be a great pick here as he not only could fill in as a backup tackle, but could probably start as a guard from day one.
The thing I like about him is that he's an all around good player. He's not a great athlete (watch his tape and how he looks like a locomotive off the rails when he gets out of his stance), but he mirrors defenders well, displays good technique in terms of knee bend and use of hands and is strong enough to be an anchor in the ground game.
I feel sick to my stomach not drafting one of the top three receivers. They all have their merits, and you'd see no complaints here if the Rams went that way. But I'm trying to go with talent as opposed to need (but still not going bat-shit insane with drafting) and with so many second tier receivers available, I'm going with Matthews.
You have to be impressed with his production. Playing in the SEC, he's had three great years and it looks like he's well primed to make an impact right away in the NFL. He has good hands, a big frame and large catching radius, is polished and is a credible red-zone weapon for the Rams (a place they seemingly have been stalling for years).
The biggest problem? Speed. He just isn't that fast. But considering the fact that the Rams have Tavon Austin, Jared Cook and Chris Givens, I'd be okay with them looking for a different kind of weapon on offense.
Local corner does good? That's probably what the headlines would say, at least. While Desir doesn't have the top conference pedigree of most of the other corners in the draft, he's got all the measurables you're looking for. He's relatively tall (cue Richard Sherman comparisons here) and is also fast, clocking in at the mid 4.4x range on his forty.
While that may work for workout warrior aficionado's, that's not what I want to highlight. Desir is a ballhawk - he's intercepted the ball 25 times during his college career. In addition to that, he also looks fluid and technically sound. Against better talent in the senior bowl, he impressed coaches and is flying up the charts because of it.
Oh, and he can probably play safety too. That's not a need, is it?