It’s mocking time!
In a year where the 2017 NFL Draft is loaded with presumed impact talent, there might not be a better time to have more than your usual seven picks. Specifically if those extra picks are coming in rounds 1-4. These are the rounds where the guns are blazing and where there should be quite a few players who can help a team sooner than later. This isn’t to say every pick will be a hit, as that is never the case, however, a few more player might emerge from this draft than most.
Round one is going to be loaded, so loaded that there are not enough picks to feast on the talent available. There should be quite a few players available through the early to mid second round who are talented enough to go in the first. Watching how the first shapes out will be key to snagging yourself an extra first round caliber player or even your first if you don’t have a first round pick.
As is the case every year, I will hold off on trade predictions until the next revamped mock. Because as well all know, the Los Angeles Rams simply don’t know how to sit still on draft day...
Mock RD 1
|1/1||Browns||Myles Garrett||DE||Texas A&M|
|1/2||49ers||Marshon Lattimore||CB||Ohio St.|
|1/5||Titans||Malik Hooker||FS||Ohio St.|
|1/14||Eagles||Dalvin Cook||RB||Florida St.|
|1/18||Titans||Corey Davis||WR||Western Michigan|
|1/19||Bucs||Damarcus Walker||DE||Florida St.|
|1/23||Giants||Mitch Trubisky||QB||North Carolina|
|1/32||Saints||Curtis Samuel||WR/RB||Ohio St.|
|2/5||Zay Jones||WR||East Carolina|
|4/34||Gerald Everett||TE||South Alabama|
|5/5||Kyle Fuller||C||Virginia Tech|
The Rams are believed to be targeting offense heavy in the upcoming draft. Free agency might suggest that to be true as they are filling the areas of in dire need of depth thorough free agency. After signing Kayvon Webster, the Rams have also signed Nickell Robey-Coleman. Free safety no longer appears to be a dire immediate need as Lamarcus Joyner is believed to be moved from the slot to fill that role, one he knows from college. The Rams have also made moves in the box adding to both the defensive line and linebacker corps. On offense, the Rams added LT Andrew Whitworth which eliminates the need to address the tackle position. They also recently signed John Sullivan to fill what was indeed their biggest hole at center. The addition of WR Robert Woods is solid if unspectacular, but the team still lacks a true number one receiver.
Enter the draft...
The Rams come out the gate swinging and go get a receiver with the intention of putting plenty of talent around QB Jared Goff. The primary focus right now for the Rams is not allowing their young QB to fail. So Mr. Goff, say hello to the WR you will be to tied at the hip with for the next 10 years: East Carolina WR Zay Jones. The Rams have to address this position, and Jones could easily be a player that is nabbed in the first round. Having him available at this spot would be a blessing.
Next the Rams shock the world. Well, maybe not the world but a lot of people. The Rams continue to load up in hopes of creating an explosive super offense around Goff. Even with RB Todd Gurley in the house, the Rams add one of the top two or three most talented backs in the draft by adding Oklahoma RB Joe Mixon to the group. Jones will certainly help the pass game, but so will trying to create one of the most dangerous backfields the NFL has to offer. Add in the fact that Mixon will be ideal for the offense that new Rams Head Coach Sean McVay is believed to be installing. With Jones, Gurley, WRs Tavon Austin and Woods, plus ultra talented TE Tyler Higbee, teams will have a hard time figuring out where the Rams are going to attack from on a play-to-play basis.
As much as I am sure McVay would love to have a draft of nothing but offense and really attempt to load it up. It’s probably a bit more than just a fact that new Rams Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips wants in on this action. And he shall get just that with the addition of Northwestern LB Anthony Walker, Jr. The athletic MLB is an monster in run defense, but is also really good and comfortable in coverage. The Rams have had issues with taking away the seams for years, and this could be the start of an elimination.
No way the Rams were going to be done just like that. They come back with more additions to the offense. McVay actually enjoys using three TE sets, and as of now, there are only two players talented enough to be considered anything remotely close to threats at the position, and that is Higbee and Temarrick Hemingway. The Rams add UAB TE Gerald Everett as another addition to the pass game and a threat that can line up out wide, or as a wing.
They follow that with Sullivan’s successor. It’s hard to believe that Rams are done adding to the center position. Sullivan is 31-years old, and has been terribly beaten up the last two seasons. However, if the Rams can milk one decent season out of him, it will allow Baylor C Kyle Fuller — who is a very solid center in his own right — to sit back and learn from one of the best to do it in the last 10 years.
The Rams add one more piece to the offense before reverting back to the defensive side of the ball. Michigan WR Jehu Chesson gets to come in and compete for what should be a wide back half of the receiver depth chart. In this scenario, Jones, Woods, and Austin would make up the top three slots. After that, the next two or three slots will be filled through a battle including Chesson, Pharoh Cooper, Mike Thomas, Paul McRoberts, and yes even
Austin Pettis Nelson Spruce.
Finally the Rams cap off the draft with the future in mind. The team has not had a good track record of re-signing players in the secondary. CBs Trumaine Johnson and E.J. Gaines are both set to be free agents after the year. The Rame have added some depth this offseason to the corner position, but the safety position is bone dry behind the presumed starters of Maurice Alexander and Joyner. If history has shown us anything, at least one of these players will not be back. The Rams draft one of the more underrated players in this draft in Colorado FS Tedric Thompson in an attempt to prepare for what appears to be the inevitable future: the departure of at least one more safety.
The team closes out the draft taking a risk on one of the more talented defensive linemen in the draft. Oklahoma DT Charles Walker is a pressure machine from the interior, and plays the run at a decent level. However, he comes with health issues (multiple concussions) and some scouts have a problem with him quitting on his team, even though it was due to the numerous concussions, and him wanting to have a shot at the NFL. If he can prove to be healthy, than lining him up next to All-Pro DT Aaron Donald on passing downs in the future will be a sight to see.
Welcome to draft season everyone, it’s only just getting started. Stay tuned...