Mock drafts are always fun, but it's incredibly difficult predicting teams picks accurately. You're going to hit on some and miss some. Predicting trades is another animal. The possibilities are endless with trades, whether you're moving up or down.
If the Los Angeles Rams have shown the world anything on draft weekend, it’s not only are they willing to move around, but also they're fully intending to move around.
|1/1||Browns||Myles Garrett||DE||Texas A&M|
|1/5||Titans||Malik Hooker||FS||Ohio St.|
|1/6||Jets||Mitch Trubisky||QB||North Carolina|
|1/7||Chargers||Marshon Lattimore||CB||Ohio St.|
|1/8||Panthers||Corey Davis||WR||Western Michigan|
|1/14||Eagles||Dalvin Cook||RB||Florida St.|
|1/25||Texans||Deshone Kizer||QB||Notre Dame|
|1/28||Cowboys||Zay Jones||WR||East Carolina|
|1/31||Falcons||Damarcus Walker||DE||Florida St.|
|1/32||Saints||Curtis Samuel||WR/RB||Ohio St.|
Rams Rd 2-7
|3/14||Marlon Mack||RB||South Florida|
|5/15||Lorenzo Jerome||S||Saint Francis|
THE TRADE SHAKEDOWN:
- Rams trade with Baltimore Ravens — The Rams trade with the Ravens in an effort to stockpile more picks in the middle rounds where the expectation is that there will be plenty of talent to choose from. The Rams pick up an extra third-round pick as well as the Ravens’ fifth-round pick after trading down to the 15th selection in the second round. The Ravens move up in the second round to #37 overall, but also receive the Rams’ fifth-round pick. This trade takes place as Missouri DE/OLB Charles Harris is still on the board — and pass rusher being a major need for the Ravens and the next three teams picking after the Rams — when the Rams second round pick rolls around, and he is by far the best pass rusher remaining to this point. With the San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, and Carolina Panthers all picking directly following the Rams pick, there is a zero percent chance he slips any further after slipping out of a crowded first round.
- Rams trade with Cleveland Browns — The Rams initiate this trade after deciding to move up to go get a center who happens to be quite a bit underrated. The Rams move up back into the fifth round for the 38th pick — a compensatory pick — from the Browns, for Kentucky C Jon Toth. They give up their final two picks in #206 and #234 overall.
- The Rams get the ball rolling with the selection of Oklahoma WR Dede Westbrook. Westbrook has the deep speed and ball skills to really flourish as a deep threat. His entire skill set is eerily similar to that of Tampa Bay Buccaneers WR Desean Jackson. Both players lack body mass but are tough and fast and display game speed that appears to be the fastest on the field every week. Westbrook is one of the most explosive players in this years draft and can force teams to loosen up the box.
- Northwestern ILB Anthony Walker would be an immediate boost to the linebacker corps. It is hard to envision the Rams losing starting MLB Alec Ogletree, but the same could be said about their entire secondary two years ago. Even if, Ogletree is re-signed, Mark Barron is not a good fit for the system. After this season, he could be easier to move on from and would actually save the Rams $7 million (money needed for signing DT Aaron Donald and Ogletree). Walker is an above-average coverage linebacker and a dynamite run defender that plays sideline-to-sideline. He can play in any system due to his skill set and striking ability. He’s a terribly underrated player in this year’s draft.
- HC Sean McVay and GM Les Snead have both talked about surrounding QB Jared Goff with plenty of talent. Having an really explosive backfield not only helps Goff but also creates an extra dynamic. South Florida RB Marlon Mack is one of the better third-down backs in this year’s draft. He’s the kind of change-of-pace back to RB Todd Gurley that McVay’s offense needs. He can even line up out wide, which would actually allow he and Gurley to be on the field at the same time in certain packages.
- The defense has to begin to rebuild it’s talent upfront. Just a few years ago, this unit was viewed as the best and deepest in the NFL. It’s time to start working to get back to that title, and Villanova DE Tanoh Knassagnon would be a good start. He’s a freak at 6’7” and 289 lbs. that can play in any system due to his size, strength and quickness. He has the ability to play anywhere from the 0-7 technique on the line. However, he’s very raw, and is a massive piece of clay. He’s like a bigger version of Detroit Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah when he was entering the league.
- The Rams have to continue to add to the their depth and talent in the secondary. As it stands right now, DBs Trumaine Johnson, E.J. Gaines, Lamarcus Joyner, Maurice Alexander and Cody Davis are all headed towards free agency after the season. That’s four starters and a special teams ace (one of the best in the NFL). Houston CB Howard Wilson is a good man corner. He needs to fine tune some of his technique to be more consistent, but he has great ball skills and decent physicality at the snap. He’s a player DC Wade Phillips would love to get his hands on.
- The Rams continue to add to their secondary. Picking up St. Francis S Lorenzo Jerome here would be both amazing insurance and a value pick. As previously mentioned, the Rams have to add depth and talent to their secondary. They haven’t exactly shown the greatest ability to keep the unit together. Jerome is a dynamite playmaker with exceptional ball skills and tackling ability. He was one of my favorite sleepers back in September, but quickly began to develop some major buzz after the season. He was the best player on the field for either defense in the East-West Shrine Game, and that didn’t change when he was a late invite to the Senior Bowl after his performance in the Shrine. However, after running a 4.7 40-yard dash at the combine and only improving to a 4.6 at this pro day, that buzz died down. However, the skill is still there.
- As mentioned in the last mock, new Rams C John Sullivan has not been healthy in years. Before the last couple of seasons with health issues, he was one of the best centers in the league for about five years straight. But now on the wrong side of 30-years old with injury issues piled up, he was more of a “we have to get someone” signing than a top-tier signing like fellow free agent addition LT Andrew Whitworth. Even if he plays well, he’ll be 32-years old when the season starts and doesn’t have many years remaining. Enter Jon Toth. Toth is one of the more underrated centers in this year’s draft. He could use work on his technique as a pass blocker, but he can really get after guys in the run game, something this team has not had on the interior in years.
- McVay and Snead will cap off the draft with more weaponry for the player that holds the keys to this team and their futures. Goff should love the addition of USC WR Darreus Rogers. He’s a hard working kid with what might be the best hands in the draft. He’s a true possession receiver that will move the chains. In other words, he’s the security blanket that Goff so badly needs. If Rogers was at least a halfway decent athlete, he’d likely be a third-round pick. At 6’1”, 216 lbs., Rogers ran a 4.85 40-yard dash — some had him as low as 4.91 — and only was able to muster out a 29” vertical leap. He’s simply not a good athlete. He is an already above average route runner though with exceptional hands and runs like a RB post catch, meaning he gets physical.
There we have it. Mock number two is in the books.
Stay tuned for mock three, as it will also have trades for the Rams and maybe even some craziness mixed into those trades. Because we all know, this team can’t go a draft without doing something to leave the world in shock that they made that move. Surely they can get it right this time though, right?!
Keep hope alive...