The 2016 NFL Draft is less than a month away, and which player teams will pick when on the clock is anyone’s guess at this point. Mock Draft season is in full swing, with NFL analysts from every outlet providing their best guess as to where players will land. Here’s [nearly] a couple dozen mock drafts for the Los Angeles Rams...
SB Nation Writer’s Mock (Joe McAtee) - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson
The Rams were pressed into emergency makeover mode on the offensive line last year due to overdrafting running backs and cornerbacks for years prior. That didn’t stop them from drafting Todd Gurley a year ago. I don’t see why it would stop them from taking a cornerback this time around. And in all honesty, it’s not a horrible pick. Alexander fits a bit of a need while providing long-term talent growth if Trumaine Johnson doesn’t sign a long-term deal following his franchise tag in 2016 or if the other CBs on the roster don’t step up. I also thought about Alabama ILB Reggie Ragland here to replace newly signed New Orleans Saints MLB James Laurinaitis or Baylor DT Andrew Billings as a potential Michael Brockers replacement.
In the end, I’ve got them going with Alexander as an immediate top talent to put into the secondary with the rest of the draft offering the opportunity to patch up a patchwork offense.
SB Nation (Dan Kadar) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal
TRADE - Excuse me for not buying into the Case Keenum hype the Rams are pushing this offseason. With two second-round picks and the 15th overall selection, Los Angeles has the ammunition to move up and land a quarterback like Wentz. The idea of getting the quarterback of the future in the team's first year back in LA while being on Hard Knocks is such a storybook thing.
Pro Football Focus (Some Monson) - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Corey Coleman is the top receiver in this class, and provides them with a lot of what they were presumably hoping for from Tavon Austin. Coleman is a fantastic deep threat but has the quickness and burst in his routes to separate on any route. Baylor’s offense means he was targeted just 12 times last season on routes that weren’t either slants, screens, hitches or go routes, but there is nothing in his game to suggest he won’t pick up a full route tree and succeed running it.
Fox Sports (Peter Schrager) - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State
The Rams lost out in the Janoris Jenkins sweepstakes, and it was actually pretty close. Now they've got Trumaine Johnson on what looks like a one-year deal at the moment and a defensive backfield that lost Rodney McLeod, too. One of the best young defensive back corps in the league is now a bit vulnerable. Apple is a rangy, 6-foot-1 cornerback who can get after it. Yes, Paxton Lynch is on the board, and I've got the Rams taking a cornerback.
Sports Illustrated (Chris Burke) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Lynch to the Rams has become a popular mock pick, and if it came true, I know it would make his L.A.-based agent Leigh Steinberg a very, very happy man. In reality, this is more of a projection than some of my other picks, because I don’t think the Rams are to the point in their scouting where they know enough about Lynch to know if he’s their guy. But that research is ongoing, and he makes for an intriguing possibility. Lynch with the Rams could represent the future while he takes something of a redshirt season watching Case Keenum and Nick Foles play in 2016.
NFL.com (Chad Reuter) - Reggie Ragland, MLB, Alabama
Letting James Laurinaitis go means there's a big hole in the middle of the Rams' defense. Ragland's just the guy to fill it.
NFL.com (Daniel Jeremiah) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal
In this scenario, the Rams would run the card up to the desk in Chicago.
NFL.com (Ike Taylor) - Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama
You need a rock down the pipeline. Kelly’s that guy.
CBS Sports (Rob Rang) - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
With rookie Pro Bowl running back Todd Gurley and the playmaking Tavon Austin on offense and the NFL's most ferocious defensive line, the Rams are only an improving passing game away from competing in the NFC West. Treadwell may lack the elite speed to warrant a top 10 pick, but he possesses the size, aggression and toughness to compete against the star cornerbacks of this division.
CBS Sports (Dane Brugler) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
As the Rams move out west, they need a fresh face at quarterback who can be groomed as the starter. Lynch is very young in quarterback years, but all the skills are there for him to develop into a winner in the NFL.
CBS Sports (Pete Prisco) - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
At some point, if they are going to upgrade the passing game, they need to get a threat down the field. This is a player who reminds me of Dez Bryant.
CBS Sports (Will Brinson) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal
As noted before, the Rams are in a prime position to make a move in this draft up to snag a quarterback they want. Rebooting in Los Angeles with a new quarterback who just spent the year lighting it up for California and getting to promote him on Hard Knocks? Not the worst thing in the world.
CBS Sports (Jared Dubin) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
This might be a little high for Lynch, but quarterbacks tend to go higher than expected and the Rams still need a real quarterback.
DraftTek (Austin Smith) - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
With four weeks until the draft, players are starting to fall into place. It would be a miracle if the Rams could get their hands on Carson Wentz or Jared Goff without selling the farm, (or mansion, seeing as how there are no farms in L.A.), but with both gone, I would venture to say that Treadwell is the player still available that can have the biggest impact on this team. I wouldn't dismiss the idea of considering a defensive back if Treadwell is gone as well, but the Rams' wish list starts with QB and WR, and it looks like they may get what they want.
Ourlads - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
Real Football Network (Pat Kirwan) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Lynch isn’t ready to play and won’t be at any point during the 2016 season. Fans say they don’t want players for the future, but the truth is the Rams aren’t ready for a Super Bowl run. So why not draft a QB with a cannon for an arm and give him a year to develop while the new stadium is being built?
DenverBroncos.com (Andrew Mason) - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
You don't want to make too much of 40-yard dash times. However, running a 4.67 40 at your Pro Day is a concern, and the Rams usually lean on the speed numbers in making their choices at this position.
NJ.com (Keith Srakocic) - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame
Many NFL scouts have soured on Ronnie Stanley after the Notre Dame produced elected not to lift at the NFL Scouting Combine last month. The Rams badly need to reinforce an offensive line that failed to keep either quarterback Case Keenum or Nick Foles upright in 2015.
Pro Football Weekly (Kevin Fishbain) - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor
Time for the Rams to hit on a receiver in the first round.
Pro Football Weekly (Nate Atkins) - Jared Goff, QB, Cal
Well, don't the Rams get lucky with Goff, who falls into an Aaron Rodgers-like hole in the draft.
FanSpeak (Steve Shoup) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Rams top priority is adding a QB this offseason, and unless they get a young one in free agency they will likely look to draft one in the 1st round. Lynch is a bit more raw, but there is some real upside here and he could fit well with the Rams run centric game plan.
CBS Dallas (Kevin Turner) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Case Keenum is the starting QB this year for the Rams. Need I say more.
DraftCountdown (Scott Wright) - Paxton Lynch, QB, Memphis
Memphis QB Paxton Lynch is going to be an extremely enticing option for teams that are in what I like to call quarterback purgatory. No team better exemplifies that term than the now Los Angeles Rams, who seemingly have all the rest of the pieces in place to contend but just can’t seem to get it right at the games most important position. You don’t often find signal callers with the type of talent and upside that Lynch offers beyond the Top 10 overall. Lynch is still a bit rough around the edges but no more so than Blake Bortles, who was the third overall pick a couple of years ago. Lynch checks in at an imposing 6-6 5/8 and 244 pounds, which has led to some lazy comparisons to Joe Flacco. Lynch certainly isn’t the second coming of Michael Vick but he is surprisingly athletic and elusive and not merely a statuesque pocket passer. Lynch spins a great ball with an effortless delivery, has more than enough arm strength to make all of the throws and displays excellent touch down the field. Lynch will require a small degree of patience but has the potential to be the most valuable of commodities - a true franchise quarterback. If Lynch is available at this point the Rams should thank the football gods for their good fortune and sprint to the podium.