Well, we're onto the conference championships for the NFL Playoffs. Meanwhile, for the 28 other teams, we're barreling ahead toward the combine in late February and the 2016 NFL Draft two months later.
So with that in mind, here's a mock from Pro Football Focus I missed from last week.
Top 14 up first:
|San Diego Chargers
|San Francisco 49ers
|Vernon Hargreaves III
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers
|New York Giants
|New Orleans Saints
It's a relatively unorthodox top 14. Good for PFF. There's nothing I hate more than all of us acting as if there is any certainty to the draft three months out. Nothing is in concrete right now.
So for the Rams?
Jonathan Bullard (DE, Florida)
With Chris Long possibly out of the mix and William Hayes a free agent, the Rams’ deep defensive line could suddenly look thin. Enter Bullard who posted the top grade against the run among interior defensive linemen at +50.5 while improving as a pass rusher this season to +7.7. He can play early-down defensive end while kicking inside as a pass rusher in sub packages, adding versatility to any defensive front.
I'm a bit of the mind as I was a year ago. There are plenty of candidates on the defensive side that would fit a Best Player Available approach, which I'm likely to call the Todd Gurley approach in 2016. There's just something very uncomfortable about taking a defensive player with your first round pick following the season in which you finish 32nd in yards. I'm all for playing the long game and building the capabilities of your team from the inside out...but the Rams have been doing that for four years aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand 32nd.
That's not hyperbole. Hyperbole's impossible when you're last. So I just don't know how much impact another defensive player would have when the Rams have leaned on the defensive line to prop up the defense in the last few years only to see no improvement on the bottom line.
I guess the question is, would the Rams really benefit from an Aaron Donald 2.0?