And yes, the top 14 is worth covering this time with a couple names we haven't seen in the mix often:
|1||Tennessee Titans||Laremy Tunsil||OT||Ole Miss|
|2||Cleveland Browns||Carson Wentz||QB||North Dakota St.|
|3||San Diego Chargers||Ronnie Stanley||OT||Notre Dame|
|4||Dallas Cowboys||Myles Jack||OLB||UCLA|
|5||Jacksonville Jaguars||Jalen Ramsey||CB||Florida St.|
|6||Baltimore Ravens||Joey Bosa||DE||Ohio St.|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Jared Goff||QB||California|
|8||Miami Dolphins||Vernon Hargreaves III||CB||Florida|
|9||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Noah Spence||DE/O||Eastern Kentucky|
|10||New York Giants||DeForest Buckner||DE||Oregon|
|11||Chicago Bears||Darron Lee||OLB||Ohio St.|
|12||New Orleans Saints||Michael Thomas||WR||Ohio St.|
|13||Philadelphia Eagles||Paxton Lynch||QB||Memphis|
|14||Oakland Raiders||Taylor Decker||OT||Ohio St.|
A couple things:
- We've got all three QBs and top WR off the board...but Miller has Thomas as the top WR, not Laquon Treadwell.
- Speaking of Thomas, he's one of four OSU prospects in this 14 (not counting former Buckeye Spence) and that doesn't include CB Eli Apple, RB Ezekiel Elliott or WR Braxton Miller...
- It's one of the heaviest offensive top 14s we've seen with half of them on the offensive side of the ball.
Laquon Treadwell (WR, Ole Miss)
The Rams need big playmakers on offense, and without a quarterback here worthy of pick No. 15, it's easy to look at Laquon Treadwell and see the type of physical, in-your-face receiver who can spark an offense that's starting to come together well with Todd Gurley in the backfield.
Treadwell has fallen slightly down my board (No. 22 overall) over concerns about being able to separate from defenses (be it with speed or power) at the next level. But betting on him to be able to overpower cornerbacks in an Alshon Jeffery or Kelvin Benjamin-like way is something the Rams could do.
If they hit on Treadwell, it makes the job at quarterback that much easier since they would have a receiver ready to dominate on 50-50 balls down the sideline.
I can understand why there are other prospects you can advocate for, but it's tough to really justify being anti-Treadwell ESPECIALLY if you agree with Miller's eval that the Rams could rely on him at an Alshon Jeffery/Kelvin Benjamin level.
As for the Rams' second round duo at #43 and 45, last time Miller had the Rams going with Michigan St. QB Connor Cook and Miami CB Artie Burns. Here, he sticks with one of them and flips to the other side with the other:
Connor Cook (QB, Michigan St.)
Ryan Kelly (C, Alabama)
Look, the Rams had the 32nd-ranked offense in the entire NFL in yardage. Clearly, you've got to put some new names on the depth chart. But you can't expect to throw a ton of rookies into the mix and have it work in the first half of the season with any regularity (see: the 2015 St. Louis Rams' offensive line). This has nothing to do with Miller's mock decisions and more to do with the Rams' offensive ineptitude. They've cornered themselves into a position where the only way out has to require some level of desperation because talent isn't cutting it.
They spent a first-round pick on a running back who was incredible who deservingly won rookie of the year and they still finished with the league's worst offense. Think about how overwhelmingly bad that is on all fronts.
That's what the Rams are facing this offseason.
Talent wasn't the problem in 2015. And even if they hit a home run or two as they did in Aaron Donald and Todd Gurley individually, the collective product was bad overall and horrible at times.
An offensive run early in the 2016 NFL Draft may be the only way out and it still might not be enough.