With four games left in the NFL season, it is officially time to look towards the 2016 NFL Draft (Editor's note: it is always officially time to). Even though the season is still underway, it makes sense to take a time out of watching the NFL and worrying how the St. Louis Rams (who currently have the 10th pick of the draft) will lose.
Matt Miller from Bleacher Report released his three round mock draft, and has some early names to track. The early picks of the top nine ahead of the Rams look like:
|1||Cleveland Browns||Paxton Lynch||QB||Memphis|
|2||Tennessee Titans||Laremy Tunsil||OT||Ole Miss|
|3||San Diego Chargers||Ronnie Stanley||OT||Notre Dame|
|4||Jacksonville Jaguars||Robert Nkemdiche||DT||Ole Miss|
|5||Baltimore Ravens||Vernon Hargreaves III||CB||Florida|
|6||New Orleans Saints||Jaylon Smith||OLB||Notre Dame|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Jared Goff||QB||California|
|8||Dallas Cowboys||Joey Bosa||DE||Ohio St.|
|9||Detroit Lions||Jalen Ramsey||CB||Florida St.|
Miller has the Rams using their first-round pick to select:
Laquon Treadwell (WR, Ole Miss)
The St. Louis Rams need a quarterback, but picking at No. 10 overall in the draft, they're not going to find a franchise passer in this class. I wouldn't rule out the Rams as a team willing to trade down, but the need to grab a marquee wide receiver with size is big. Treadwell is the ideal player for them in this scenario.
Treadwell is like a leaner Alshon Jeffery. He attacks the ball when it's thrown to him and has the strength to beat press coverage and separate from defenders with box-out ability. With a huge question mark at quarterback, one thing head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead can do is add a playmaking wide receiver, and that's exactly what Treadwell is.
This would be the ideal pick if Treadwell is available. The Rams need a receiver that can at least be solid and Treadwell looks like his floor is a solid receiver and his ceiling is a number one receiver. This season Treadwell has 76 receptions, 1082 yards, with 8 touchdowns. Treadwell will be the Brian Quick that the Rams always envisioned he would be. What makes his stats pop out is the fact that he's doing this in the SEC, which means he is facing good defenses and is playing with a Rams caliber quarterback.
The Rams sorely needs playmakers on the offensive side of the ball, to help players like Tavon Austin and Todd Gurley. Treadwell would instantly become the Rams best receiver.
Heading into the second round, the Rams will hold two picks: their own, and that from the Eagles. With Philadelphia sitting on five wins, it could leave the Rams with two picks in the top half of the second round.
As it is, here's Miller's mock for the first of the Rams' two second-rounders:
Carson Wentz (QB, North Dakota St.)
Wentz is an interesting prospect. He is from a smaller conference and he is one of those players that probably should not start early because of it. Another reason why Wentz should sit for a while is because he injured his wrist and did not finish the season, but he will play in the Senior Bowl. He only threw four turnovers, but threw 16 touchdowns and ran four scores in.
Wentz has the mobility, the size, and arm strength to potentially be a starting quarterback in the NFL. It is hard to tell with players from lower divisions, will the Rams want to take a chance on him after drafting Mannion last season in the third round? Only time will tell, but the Rams need to find an answer to their quarterback woes, unless they want to become the NFC version of the Cleveland Browns.
With their second pick on Day 2, the Rams take:
Jonathan Bullard (DE, Florida)
The Rams draft an edge rusher from Florida. Bullard is a talented pass rusher that has attacked offenses from the edge and also as an inside rusher. He is the type of player that the Rams covet on the defensive line, usually the Rams make their defensive line players move around, Bullard is used to that already.
The Rams could lose Eugene Sims and Willam Hayes in the offense, also if the Rams wanted to cut bait with Chris Long that is an option as well. Bullard would be a great addition to the defensive line, especially when the Rams could lose key contributors.
And with the third-round pick, the Rams go with:
Kentrell Brothers (OLB, Missouri)
This pick is the first one that I could see, but I do not think Brothers would be a good selection for the Rams. In theory the Rams would use him to replace Mark Barron, however the Rams have Maurice Alexander or even Lamarcus Joyner to fill that role. If the Rams are going to draft a linebacker it would make sense if the pick was an middle linebacker, a situational backer like Brothers would make sense on day three.
Those are my thoughts on the three players. What are your early thoughts on this draft?