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NFL Draft 2017: Rams 4-Round Mock

Hello again, dear friends. It’s time to mock

NFL: Combine Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a mock draft (typically I start in January, because the Rams were coached by Jeff Fisher and that’s just the world we live in). This year, things are a little different. The team has new coaches, a new defensive scheme, and some actual hope (if no expectations) heading into 2017.

Free agency isn’t quite done, but the main thing to remember is that the Rams have too many blank spots on the roster to fix in one year. It’s not possible. So while this mock draft only goes into round four, you’ll notice that there’s no secondary whatsoever (corner or safety). There’s only one offensive lineman.

The reality is that the Rams just don’t have enough picks this year. But that makes it easier on me, more exciting in the comments and more painful for @SeattleRams on Facebook. Let’s go.

It seems to me Engram is forgotten behind the hype of O.J. Howard (and now, David Njoku). Both are excellent prospects and I would draft either of them if they were available. Sadly, they’re not.

What Engram brings to the table is elite speed in a big frame. He ran a 4.42 at the combine, which isn’t easy to do when you’re 6’3” and 234 lbs. Engram’s also an accomplished route runner and he can cause fits for anyone who is assigned to him. The most impressive thing about Engram I see is that he’s remarkably elusive and shifty for such a big receiver. He’s quick enough in space to make defensive backs miss with his moves, which is extremely rare for a tight end. He’s not an accomplished blocker, but that makes sense given how he was typically played off the line in college.

Ole Miss mostly used him standing up, but Engram’s monster mismatch ability would give McBae the closest thing to Jordan Reed he can get.

Why He Should Be Drafted:

Not only does he fake out the corner with his route (and head move), but he stiff arms the safety and has the speed to take it 70 yards to the house.

PLAN B: Chris Godwin, WR

Elflein was a monster in the middle of Ohio State’s line. He’s not for his - and I quote - ‘outrageous’ work ethic. It’s clear watching Elflein that he wants to pancake anyone and everyone who is in his path. Passion is not an issue.

Elflein has a wrestling backround and uses it when blocking. He rarely lets anyone slip by him and is an impressive drive blocker due to his powerful lower frame. As both a pass protector and run blocker, his first strike is extremely powerful and his main goal is to knock any defenders on their ass. He will always, always, play to the whistle.

He’s experienced on the move, but his lack of elite athleticism will limit him to mostly straight line attacks. That’s not necessarily a negative, more of an observation. Elflein is a team captain and is extremely well liked by his team.

Why He Should Be Drafted:

His tremendous work ethic, drive and passion for the game is well noted by everyone who knows him. He was a leader in college and plays angry and fierce - exactly what the Rams lack on the offensive line.

PLAN B: Tyler Orlovsky - C

I think Smith-Schuster will go a little later than most think. He’s dealt with some inconsistency (He had seven games in 2016 with less than 70 yards and his biggest games mostly came at the hands of lightweight programs like Arizona, ASU and Utah State) and lacks the top-gear teams covet in a WR1. He’s also dealt with some injuries - but to his credit and toughness has shown a remarkable ability to play through them.

With that being said, there is a lot to like about JuJu. He’s able to make some truly remarkable catches and is a very physical receiver. He’s quite capable of tracking the ball and working zone coverage and shows excellent awareness on the football field. He’s also a willing and aggressive blocker.

Smith-Schuster is also another player who has shown passion for the game and is aggressive on the field. He’s also already been linked to the Rams, so that connection has been made.

Why He Should Be Drafted:

Smith-Schuster displays elite awareness, hands and his aggressive play is indicative of a WR1. However, his inconsistency, injury history and lack of speed will drop him down some boards.

PLAN B: Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M

Ben Gedeon isn’t likely a familiar name. He lacks what most teams covet at linebacker: size, speed and athleticism.

With that being said, the Rams have a wasteland at inside linebacker. While Gedeon likely won’t be able to become a starter, he has the instincts and football intelligence to lead a defense and his best traits are clogging holes and identifying plays, which the Rams missed dearly when James Laurinaitis departed at the end of 2015.

He’s also displayed some coverage ability, but his lack of speed limits him to strictly zone. Gedeon would fit best as a special teams ace where his instincts and aggressiveness would be on display. If a team could mask his athletic limitations in their scheme, Gedeon could crack the starting line-up.

Why He Should Be Drafted:

As soon as he sees the guard pull, Gedeon course corrects and makes the stop at the line of scrimmage. Those instincts could help him break into the base defense, but they’ll also help him on special teams. The Rams lack of depth at linebacker is a fixable problem in this draft.

PLAN B: Kendell Beckwith, LB