Over at Mocking the Draft, the SBN NFL site managing editors have been conducting a mock draft for their respective teams. It took about a month, but we finally got around to yours truly mocking for the Los Angeles Rams with the 37th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
I have to admit a degree of distress as the mock developed. Many of the prospects I’m hoping to be available for the Rams went off one by one as my colleagues made their picks. From the 26th pick on as Kenny Arthur from Field Gulls had the Seattle Seahawks taking Utah OT Garett Bolles, my board for the Rams began to thin noticeably.
So with a thinned out board, I made a bit of a BPA play:
Washington CB Kevin King
McAtee’s Analysis: This mock hasn’t gotten to the Rams as fortuitously as many others have. Many of the easy best-player-available options here are gone, from Utah offensive tackle Garrett Bolles to the Seattle Seahawks at No. 26 on down.
So while I think (and maybe hope) that one of those options falls to the Rams as they make their first pick of the 2017 NFL draft, I think the prudent decision for this mock is to go with Washington cornerback Kevin King. He offers the unusual size for a cornerback at 6’3, which the Rams may need. The only cornerback the Rams have in the top rotation that is taller than 6’0 is Trumaine Johnson, who is on a franchise tag for the second season in a row indicating a hesitancy (either on the Rams’ part or Tru’s ... or both) to complete a long-term deal that now reportedly has him on the trading block. So beyond 2017, the Rams are understaffed with sizable corners who can attack the high point. With new Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips set to remake the Rams’ secondary, King would be a logical starting point.
Kadar’s Analysis: When I was putting together this week's mock draft, I found the pick for Los Angeles to be extremely difficult. Before settling on wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, I had Ohio State offensive lineman Pat Elflein penciled in. Looking back, it should have been a cornerback. In other words, Joe was right above and I was probably wrong. If you go through the history of Wade Phillips' defenses, he always has really good cornerbacks. Really, the only good cornerback on the Rams' roster is Johnson, so finding a good player in the secondary has to happen this draft. That's particularly true with the No. 37 pick and the top offensive linemen gone. To get King, then, is a coup. After injuries hit cornerbacks Sidney Jones and Fabian Moreau this offseason, King's draft stock has been boosted.
I figured Kadar would approve of a BPA pick here. The value for King at 37 is certainly a plus. I was keen on Alabama OLB Tim Williams as well with East Carolina WR Zay Jones not far behind King and Williams.