With the Los Angeles Rams' blockbuster trade with the Tennessee Titans to acquire the #1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, months of mock drafts and speculation were immediately thrown out the window.
The emotional back and forth over strengthening the offense versus bolstering the defense through the Rams' three Day 2 picks was obliterated as was the medium-term option of using the 2017 NFL Draft to upgrade a hypothetical roster 12 months from now. Following the 2016 season, the list of outgoing free agents the Rams are to deal with include WR Tavon Austin, OLB Alec Ogletree, DT Michael Brockers, S T.J. McDonald and more. Planning for that should be as much a function of the Rams' current plans as it will be after Super LI in early 2017.
It's with that in mind that we now look at the 2016 NFL Draft, and the mocks in the next week, thanks to a new seven-round mock from CBS Sports' Dane Brugler and how it preps the battlefield for the Rams.
Clearly, the main order of business is the apparent ongoing decision between North Dakota St. QB Carson Wentz and Cal QB Jared Goff. Brugler's pick?
Jared Goff (QB, Cal)
The Rams sold the farm to get their quarterback. The only question remaining: who is their quarterback? Goff is the best passer in this class and he makes the most sense with this pick.
To be fair, I don't think the Goff v. Wentz decision is as monumental as many are making it out to be. I've suggested the Rams' "weren't a QB away" from last year, and they certainly haven't overhauled the offense in the interim. I don't see how anyone can argue the Rams were the 32nd ranked offense solely because of the play of their quarterbacks...there are a hell of a lot of other factors involved and all of them were bad too. Keeping those other bad factors in place and just adding Goff or Wentz? Welp. We'll see.
As we know, the Rams have to sit tight for the next 108 picks thereafter barring any other moves.
So with the Rams final four picks, Brugler has them taking:
Ronald Blair (DE, Appalachian St.)
Maurice Canady (CB, Virginia Cavaliers)
Jordan Payton (WR, UCLA Bruins)
Austin Blythe (C, Iowa Hawkeyes)
I'm not sure anyone can get upset at any class in these four picks. It's a BPA crapshot even though Brugler hits some needs for the Rams. I personally like Blythe as a sixth-round option, but the key is to get any of these guys to stick. The value lost here isn't all that great. You're not missing out on a bunch of top quality prospects with a whiff here like Isaiah Pead or Brian Quick.
So this is where we are. A QB plus four. Will we get anything lasting out of it besides a QB to resurrect some long-term hopes? Are there any specific late-round guys you're hoping for?
How do we mock from here?