With the Rams back at .500, it's pretty easy to look forward and get excited about the rest of the season. But college football is also in full swing, and with the Rams once again restocking their draft chest with the Sam Bradford trade, it couldn't hurt to look a little further down the line.
Round 1: Michael Thomas (WR, Ohio St.)
Wait, who? Thomas isn't on the national radar yet, but he's going to explode once the draft process kicks into high gear. He's exactly the type of receiver Fisher likes - big, physical and tough. He has a great ability to go up and catch the ball and displays that aggressiveness the team will be looking for in a #1.
He's also a polished prospect who runs crisp routes and is a willing blocker in the run game. He's everything the Rams are looking for and everything fans were promised when the team drafted players like Brian Quick and signed Kenny Britt...except he's younger, cheaper, and better.
If you need more convincing, here he is putting the moves on Virginia Tech CB Kendall Fuller (who CBS has ranked as the 31st best prospect overall):
Round 2 (via PHI): Cody Whitehair (G, Kansas St.)
Whitehair is currently the left tackle for Kansas State, but most project him inside in the NFL.The most obvious recent comparison is Cowboys G and former Notre Dame product Zack Martin and there is some truth to that.
Like Martin, Whitehair looks to be a guard even going so far to suggest he'd prefer to be. Whitehair isn't the best athlete, but I think people give him too little credit for his work on the outside. He's a capable pass protector with smooth feet, a wide base, patience and awareness. In the run game, he displays solid fundamentals and has the ability to get to the second level. You won't see him lunge too often when he gets into space, either.
The biggest knock on him that I see is that he lacks that finishing move you look for in lineman. He isn't a road grader. He can also allow lineman to get in too close, giving him problems in the leverage battle. These are easily correctable issues.
With Rodger Saffold's future in doubt, the Rams would do well to continue the youth talent infusion on the offensive line. Whitehair is a great fit for the Rams left guard.
Round 2: Hunter Henry (TE, Arkansas)
The tight end class in the 2016 draft is pretty weak, but that doesn't mean it is devoid of talent. Henry is the best tight end in the class and is a great mismatch option in the passing game and a capable blocker.
Arkansas isn't the high-flying passing attack offense it once was and Henry has to be man-of-many-hats. As a blocker, he's quite impressive, driving and stonewalling defenders. I noticed one play (in 2014) against then #1 ranked Mississippi State where he drove the defensive tackle back nearly ten yards. If you're comparing him to Jared Cook in this regard, he's worlds ahead of where Cook is.
In the passing game, Arkansas would typically move him out wide to see if they could draw a mismatch. In the cases where they did, Henry flashed his large catch radius, physicality and route running chops. Henry is the type of tight end that will make contested catches for first downs, again and again.
It's hard to project this early any of the later rounds, so I'm stopping here. It's all offense, sure, but with plenty of cap space (and likely more with some proper trimming of the roster) the Rams shouldn't have any problem re-signing whomever they deem worth it.
Plus, the offense is currently ranked 31st in the league. That's not going to cut it.