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If Only the St. Louis Rams Had Listened to Mel Kiper Jr. Over the Past Five Years...

If the St. Louis Rams had listened to ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., here’s what their draft haul might've looked like over the past five years...

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Mel Kiper Jr., who’s been providing NFL Draft analysis for ESPN since 1984, is the most notable name in the mock draft biz.  And with varying degrees of success, he prognosticates where college players might their new homes in the NFL.

The St. Louis Rams, along with the Patriots and Browns, have had the most first round draft picks [7] of all NFL teams over the past five years.  The Rams-Redskins trade in 2012 that afforded the Rams the opportunity to double dip over the last few seasons has kept Kiper on his toes.

But he would’ve gone a completely different direction with his picks.  In fact, none of the seven players drafted by the Rams were Kiper’s choice...[h/t Jimmy Kempski]

Rams Choice
Kipers Choice
Sam Bradford
Ndamukong Suh
Robert Quinn
Julio Jones
Michael Brockers
Justin Blackmon
Tavon Austin
Kenny Vaccaro
Alec Ogletree
D.J. Fluker
Greg Robinson
Jake Matthews
Aaron Donald
Mike Evans

Finding the Next Big Wide Receiver

The Rams and Kiper clearly don't see eye-to-eye on the team’s need to find themselves a legitimate deep threat wide receiver.  Kiper saw fit to address this on three separate occasions over the past five years, snagging Julio Jones, Justin Blackmon, and most recently, Mike Evans.  The Rams apparently find it a much less dire need.  They’ve landed only one wideout; having traded up for Tavon Austin in 2013.

The problem with Kiper’s picks, however, is that the Rams wouldn’t have been able to land a single one of these wideouts unless they traded up.  In 2011, Julio went 6th overall, Blackmon went 5th in 2012, and Mike Evans went 7th last season.

I can’t imagine any fan - maybe with the exception of Blackmon - wouldn’t want either of these three guys donning horns in 2015.  Fans wanted the Rams to draft him though.  I remember.  I was right there with you.

Quid Pro Quo

Many of the Rams’ choices are staples along the defensive front.  Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn have already played Pro Bowl caliber seasons.  Michael Brockers has played admirably - and stayed healthy - in his first three seasons in the league.

The Rams would only have a first rounder in Ndamukong Suh if they were listening to Kiper Jr.  That’s not to say the Rams couldn’t have landed solid contributors in free agency or the later rounds of the draft.  But you’d be hard-pressed to find a Rams’ fan that would part ways with Quinn or Donald; even if it were for Julio Jones and Mike Evans.

Suh has been to four Pro Bowls since 2010.  Sam Bradford has been know.

What, No Quarterback?

If Sam Bradford isn’t taken with the first overall pick in 2010, then who’s the Rams’ quarterback?  That’s a good question.  And it’s probably an question many fans would’ve liked to have entertained a few seasons ago; some in 2010.

Assuming the Rams went the Kiper-route in the first, and wanted to use their 2nd rounder on a signal caller, here are a few names - other than Bradford - who could’ve been under center in St. Louis [includes 3rd round QB’s available]...

This assumes the Rams draft a QB. Obviously, they could’ve targeted one in free agency.

The 2015 Draft

Jeff Fisher has said another quarterback - who isn’t currently playing for the Rams - will be challenging Bradford for the starting job in 2015.  We don’t know, at this point, whether that’ll be a rookie they’ve selected in the draft, or a free agent [yikes!].

Barring the unforeseen, the Rams don’t appear to be in a position to land one of the draft’s top quarterbacks.  And many mock drafts will have the Rams selecting an offensive lineman to protect Bradford or his successor.  Kiper’s is no different...

Will this be the first year, in six, where Kiper gets it right?  If history tells us anything, the answer is no.