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2018 NFL Mock Draft: How The 2018 Landscape Is Shaping Up For LA Rams A Year Out

The 2017 NFL Draft is in the books. The road to the 2018 NFL Draft is on!

Florida St. S Derwin James
Florida St. S Derwin James
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Goodbye, 2017 NFL Draft...



Hello, 2018 NFL Draft!

We’re got a pair of mock drafts out that, oddly, put the Los Angeles Rams on a singular path beyond the 2017 season.

Dan Kadar, Mocking the Draft:

#4.) Florida St. S Derwin James

This draft has shown the value of safeties, and James’ talent is off the charts. As a freshman in 201, he had 91 tackles, 9.5 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, and five pass breakups. His talent level is extremely high.

James is a beast at the back of the Seminoles’ defense. FSU is in the space to compete for the playoffs in 2017 and James is a large reason why. In terms of his NFL prospects, that knee injury in 2016 looms large. If that passes the medical checks, he’s on track to be a fine top-10 pick.

In terms of the opportunity costs, there are a couple options that I gravitate towards a bit more heavily than James. Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick (#5 overall), Alabama WR Calvin Ridley (#15), Texas OLB Malik Jefferson (#26) and Clemson OT Mitch Hyatt (#30) chief among them.

The dynamic will be interesting as well. Next year will offer Rams Head Coach Sean McVay his first opportunity to bring in a first-round talent. There will be more pressure to deliver results (read: wins) in the Rams’ final season in the Coliseum. And it will (save for an unforeseen diversion...) be QB Jared Goff‘s third professional season, a fair end of the leash provided to him as a #1 overall draft pick. While the 2018 likely revolves around improving the team, 2019 might be a referendum on Goff above all else.

In terms of non-Rams news from Kadar’s mock, it’s worth pointing out that the two LA-area college QBs, USC QB Sam Darnold and UCLA QB Josh Rosen, go 1-2. Should the 2017 season angle out that way, those two are going to be in line for a ton of positive press. Depending on how Goff and Los Angeles Chargers QB Philip Rivers play, you could see a situation where the NFL QBs are less revered than their younger counterparts.

Luke Easterling, Draft Wire:

#4.) Florida St. S Derwin James

Another athletic playmaker in the secondary coming out of Tallahassee, James has a chance to be even better than Jalen Ramsey.

Well that’s...interesting. Same slot, same pick. Different mock!

Easterling has Darnold at #2 with LSU OLB Arden Key the first overall pick. Perhaps more surprisingly, he has a running back at #3 overall (gasp!): Penn St. RB Saquon Barkley. Easterling actually has three runninig backs in his first: Barkley, LSU RB Derrius Guice (#9) and Alabama RB Bo Scarbrough (#25).

It’s early, but there’s plenty to consider.

How does Goff fare in Year 2? If his 2017 is anything close to his 2016, does QB become a legit option at any point in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Does WR lead the way as a need, or does the middle-out corps of young talents float the group collectively above the fray?

What in the world is up with the O-line in eight months?

How much talent does Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips need to craft his top-10 defense?

Mock draft season is over. Welcome back, mock draft season!