Final mock of the year and it gets interesting for the Rams. They refuse to sit still, and they end up with the play-maker they have so sorely lacked on the outside since WR Torry Holt left 10 years ago. Oh yes, things get very interesting.
|1/1||Browns||Mitch Trubisky||QB||North Carolina|
|1/3||Bears||Myles Garrett||DE||Texas A&M|
|1/6||Jets||Marshon Lattimore||CB||Ohio St.|
|1/7||Chargers||Malik Hooker||FS||Ohio St.|
|1/8||Panthers||Dalvin Cook||RB||Florida St.|
|1/11||Saints||Gareon Conely||CB||Ohio St.|
|1/16||Ravens||Evan Engram||TE/WR||Ole Miss|
|1/22||Dolphins||Forrest Lamp||OG||Western Kentucky|
|1/24||Rams||Corey Davis||WR||Western Michigan|
|1/25||Texans||DeShone Kizer||QB||Notre Dame|
|1/32||Saints||Zay Jones||WR||East Carolina|
Rams Rds 2-7
|3/20||Tyler Orlosky||C||West Virginia|
|5/24||Lorenzo Jerome||S||Saint Francis|
|6/22||Dylan Cole||LB||Missouri State|
|7/16||De'Angelo Henderson||RB||Coastal Carolina|
THE TRADE SHAKEDOWN:
- Before we dive in remember, trading into the back end of the first round is not as scary as people make it seem. A huge reason for the fear is when someone hears trade up in the first, the first thought is the value of the top 10 picks, but when you get to the bottom 12, the value drops significantly. You don’t always have to give up a future first round pick. Since 2012 there has been five trades — the Vikings, 49ers, and Bucs — back into the first round. None have cost more than four picks, and none have cost a future first round pick. The average compensation has been a second and a fourth, with a third pick of some sort, though twice it only cost two picks. The biggest jump came in 2013 when the Vikings — who happen to be responsible for trading back into the first round three of the five times since 2012 — came up 23 spots from the 20th pick of the second round to pick 29 in the first to select WR Cordarrlle Patterson. A trade up is not crazy, and will not require a team to mortgage their future. All that’s needed is the right player to be there.
- Rams trade with Oakland Raiders — The Rams see an opportunity to go up into the first round and get QB Jared Goff his go to target for the next 10 years. They’ll trade four picks in this scenario to move up, giving up picks 37 (rd 2), 141 (rd 4), 149 (rd 5), and a 2018 third round pick. In return the Rams will receive from the Raiders picks 24 (rd 1) and 168 (rd 5).
- Rams trade with Tampa Bay Buccaneers — As usual the Rams can’t sit still, and very rarely pass up on an opportunity to add more picks than what they have. In this scenario, the Bucs come calling for the opportunity to draft CB Chidobe Awuzie and offer the Rams picks 84 (rd 3) and 125 (rd 4), for pick 69 (rd 3) from the Rams.
- Western Michigan WR Corey Davis might be the best receiver in this draft. So it makes sense that a team that has lacked a game changing receiver for much of the last 10 years, would be willing to move up and take a chance on him. The risk in this pick is that his slide is due to a severe ankle injury that cost him all of his pre-draft participation as well his his small school label. Without being able to workout or even run until an expected month of May or June, his stock takes a huge hit. But Davis is arguably the most pro ready player in the entire draft, as he was a four year starter that run only pro routes and concepts. He also lined up regularly at all three receiver positions. He’s a crisp route runner, and an explosive athlete, even though he won’t be able to test and prove it. His film suggest this to be fact. The Rams finally get their guy, and Goff is the happiest man alive.
- It’s been talked about time and time again, the Rams have to find a center. Free agent signee C John Sullivan is not the answer — and as mentioned before — even if he has a bounce back year, he’s 32 and doesn’t have much left to offer. West Virginia C Tyler Orlosky solves this problem. He’s a smart player that may be able to come in and turn Sullivan into insurance.
- Next the Rams add to the tightend room. I personally am a huge fan of TE Tyler Higbee, and I really like Temarrick Hemingway. However, two things cause this pick. One, HC Sean McVay loves the three tightend set. And the other reason is neither Higbee or Hemingway is that great of a blocker. Ashland TE Adam Shaheen is a stud blocker, but also a helluva receiver. at 6’7” 277 lbs, he’s a far better athlete than one would expect and can really turn the speed on in the open field. The Rams would have one of the biggest tightend groups in the NFL and instantly would be a threat to any team once in the redzone.
- I can’t say this enough, the Rams have to believe that walking away from the draft with a corner and safety at some point would be a good idea. Their entire starting secondary is headed towards free agency after the 2017 season including one backup. Houston CB Howard Wilson excels in the very scheme that DC Wade Phillips likes, and that’s press man. Wilson is a ball hawk, but having a year to work on being more consistent fundamentally will help him a lot. It will also give the Rams some breathing room come this time next year, as it is unlikely all of the secondary is resigned.
- As mentioned above, the secondary has to be addressed. Saint Francis FS Lorenzo Jerome will certainly assist in putting ease in the minds of Rams fans, should one or both safeties walk next off-season. He’s a 4.6 40 safety, but if we’re being honest, that’s pretty close to average for a starting safety these days. There’s at least 14 2017 projected starting safeties that ran a 4.58 or slower. Jerome is a good tackler and arguably the best play-maker in this draft. This slot should be considered a steal.
- The Rams have to replenish their depth along the defensive line. Tennessee-Chattanooga DE Keionta Davis is a nice addition. He is sort of flying under the radar at the moment. He could be one of those draft week players with a big jump on boards and go two rounds earlier, but as of now he’s not receiving as much hype. That is through no fault of his own. It’s simply a really deep draft. Davis has the size speed and athleticism to play both a five tech and seven wide. He looks like a future starter, and the Rams need to fill the hole at their other defensive end position.
- Missouri State LB Dylan Cole was one of the biggest combine snubs I have seen in years. At 6’1” 240 lbs the kid is shredded. Just pure muscle. He not only looks the part, but he is the part. A true athlete, Cole put up numbers at his pro day that would have blew the competition away at the combine. He ran a 4.52 and 4.54 in the 40. He also had 32 reps on the bench, and had jumps on the vert of 39”, broad 10’5”, and killed the agility drills with a 6.82 three cone drill and a 4.19 short shuttle. For comparison sake, Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones ran a three cone drill of 6.66 and 20 yard shuttle of 4.25. He was also ridiculously productive in his career with 457 total tackles, 21 pbu, 10 forced turnovers. I was shocked he didn’t get invited, but it might help him fall to this slot.
- The Rams close out he draft with yes, another RB. Coastal Carolina RB De’Angelo Henderson is former Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew reincarnated. At 5’7” he’s not that tall, but that doesn’t mean he’s small. Weighing 208 lbs at that size, his frame is comparable to a back that is 6’ 235. He is a 4.48 40 RB that translates his speed to the field. He’s a real stat sheet stuffer that was ultra productive in college. He runs with great vision, patience, balance, burst, power, and elusiveness. But most impressively, he’s a damn good receiver out of the backfield. While his 4600 yards and 58 touchdowns rushing are extremely impressive, his 97 receptions for 921 yards and six touchdowns should make mouths water. He’s a real draft sleeper, and can be good depth early on, but might have a bright future as something more.
There you have it, three mocks, three really different outcomes, and all taking different paths with the Rams first pick. One common thing among the three is they all focus on getting Goff more help. It's McVay’s primary concern as well as GM Les Snead. Both jobs hang in the balance. Snead is already on thin ice being from the previous regime, whereas McVay was brought in specifically with the hope he can fix the offense, and develop Goff. Step one in that process has to be building around him.