The talk of the St. Louis Rams trading down from the #2 overall pick this May isn't a smokescreen. What's more, if team GM Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher handle things right, trading down to include another pick in the 2nd round could where they'll hit the jackpot.
We've all heard draft-niks calling the 2014 draft class one of the deepest in years. Position players abound, with play makers o'plenty. The Sammy Watkins-s and Jadeveon Clowney-s get the ink, as do the four or five quarterbacks being mention as first round possibilities. Yet, when I study the less sexy position players who could be on the Rams' radar, most will be found in round two. Which lends me to wonder if this could be a first round re-do of what they did in 2013? They grabbed high profile Tavon Austin, and filled a need at outside linebacker with Alec Ogletree in the first round. But they didn't have a second rounder in 2013 due to the trade up to get Austin. This year, I think they'll be in a different position. In a variety of draft day scenarios, the Rams trade the #2 pick. Fans will be hoping for another RGIII-esk draft pick hoard, which includes at least a 2015 first rounder. I'm thinking along a different line; one that has Snead and Fisher moving all-in for this draft.
It begins with what happens - not just with their #2 pick, but at #13 in the first round too. Both pick positions could yield additional second round selections. What's more, key team needs like guard, center, corner back and safety can be found after the first round haze clears. Let's say - for the sake of argument - the Rams trade down with both of their first round selections. In this fictitious turn, they acquire two additional pick in the second round.
I don't see tackle as a big concern, with guard a more pressing need; even with the Rodger Saffold re-signing. Two guards in the second round? Crazy? Batty as hell, am I? OK, you may have a point, but the chance to take both Stanford's David Yankey AND Mississippi State's Gabe Jackson interests me. Both should be there through the top 2/3 of the second round. This would leave being able to take a safety like Florida State's Terrance Brooks, Stanford's Ed Reynolds, or even USC's Dion Bailey - if the Rams want to reach just a tad. Remember now, these pick come AFTER St. Louis nabs a couple of play makers in the first round. Snead will hopefully take a center prospect in rounds 3 or 4 too.
In one draft, they fill voids in position depth on the offensive line, fix issues at safety, and still add a Watkins-Evans at wide receiver, AND possibly a top outside linebacker like Khalil Mack or Anthony Barr.
No matter how I Mock the Rams in 2014, I can't seem to find myself edging very far away from taking a guard at some point. UCLA's Xavier Su'a-Filo would be my ideal choice, but I simply don't think he'll make it into round two. Plus - for those who haven't had the pleasure of glimpsing just how screwed up my draft-day thinking truly is - the idea of double picking a position is something which drives my Mock Draft friends crazy. Two guards in the second round should send dbcouver into apoplexy. It will make Brandon Bate spew his nightly Tofu 'n fish dish across the table at his wife too, which should earn me two phone calls: One from Brandon, and the other, a profanity riddled, Pilates tinged, lashing from his wonderful, understanding, kind, and beautiful wife. (If I kiss up a bit now, my phone won't melt when she starts screaming at me! )
So what say you Rams fans? If Snead and Fisher were to double-pick a single position, which one would you like to see them address?