It’s understandable as to why. Without a single selection in the first 36 picks of the draft and with just one in the first 68, the Rams are going to be forced to let the draft come to them with a vitally important pick. Coming off of a season in which they put up the worst offense in the NFL and firing their head coach leading into an offseason in which they have hired a new, first-time head coach who happens to be the youngest head coach in NFL history...the magnitude of the Rams’ first pick in the draft can’t be overstated.
But a new mock draft from Dan Kadar at Mocking the Draft forces a bit of a perspective shift. What if the Rams aren’t cornered in their selection? What if the teams at the end of the first round go against what has been the growing conventional wisdom and the Rams have a full cornucopia of favorable options presented to them?
Kadar sets the table at #25. Both Clemson QB Deshaun Watson and UNC QB Mitch Trubisky are generally currently considered to go in the first round. With the 25th pick though, Kadar has the Houston Texans taking Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes. A QB this late in the first round would, quite obviously, change everything, whether it’s Mahomes or Notre Dame QB DeShone Kizer, popularly thought of as the two occupying the next tier under Watson & Trubisky.
The rest of the first round offers numerous prospects we’ve seen in the second round of several mocks. Washington CB Kevin King. Vanderbilt OLB Zach Cunningham. Wisconsin LB T.J. Watt. Missouri DE/OLB Charles Harris. LSU CB Tre’Davious White. I’ve seen a ton of mocks that offer all of those prospects after the first. I’ve seen more than one in which some of those names don’t even make the second round. Kadar wedges them all into the first.
The early second round even develops well for the Rams, with Kizer, Youngstown State DE Derek Rivers and Alabama OL Cam Robinson all helping to keep the Rams’ board intact.
So with the 37th overall pick, Kadar has the Rams taking:
USC Trojans WR JuJu Smith-Schuster
If Lamp were here, he’d be the pick, but with no other centers worth a top-40 pick, the Rams could grab a wide receiver for Jared Goff.
It’s certainly a sensible pick, but sweet salami would it set off the BPA stans.
Consider who’s available. Florida Gators CB Teez Tabor. East Carolina Pirates WR Zay Jones. USC CB Adoree’ Jackson. Washington CB Sidney Jones. Indiana Hoosiers G Dan Feeney. Alabama OLB Tim Williams. Connecticut Huskies CB Obu Melifonwu. Washington S Budda Baker. Florida LB Jarrad Davis. MICHIGAN Wolverines S JABRILL PEPPERS!!!
And then remember the Rams won’t pick again until #69, 32 picks later. The consequence here is just huge. The opportunity costs are almost overwhelming.
It’s not a “bad” pick from Kadar. It is one that frames the importance of the Rams’ first selection in the 2017 NFL Draft appropriately, though.
Less than three weeks to the first overall pick, that framing is everything to consider as new Rams Head Coach Sean McVay and General Manager Les Snead prepare to build the post-Jeff Fisher Rams.