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2018 NFL Mock Draft has Los Angeles Rams’ needs in full view

CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso has his third mock of the season fluctuating between prospects and positions showing just how tough the Rams’ draft selection will be.

Ohio State CB Denzel Ward against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2016
Ohio State CB Denzel Ward against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in 2016
Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Ah mock draft season. Gotta keep your head on a swivel.

As I’m trying to get the TST Mock Draft Tracker updated to start mock draft season, I’m finding a couple of mocks that slipped through the cracks while our attention was, deservedly, on the Los Angeles Ramsplayoff run.

One set of mocks that did just that were a trio from CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso.

In his first mock just after Christmas, Trapasso had the Rams taking Louisville CB Jaire Alexander. It’s an interesting pick foremost as it’s a name we haven’t seen mocked to the Rams as yet (though obviously as I said above, mocks have been falling through the cracks this year). It’s also notable that Alexander was the second corner of three in Trapasso’s mock following Iowa CB Joshua Jackson and preceding San Diego St. CB Kameron Kelly.

Then a week ago, Trapasso updated his mock ahead of the playoffs. While the cornerback watch slimmed to two candidates in Jackson and Ohio St. CB Denzel Ward, he had the Rams going with a new position we hadn’t seen yet by taking Texas Longhorns OLB Malik Jefferson. Food for thought, indeed.

Yesterday, Trapasso put a new mock together that puts the Rams back on conventional grounds, as fresh as conventional might be right now.

You can likely guess where this is headed:

23. Los Angeles Rams: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State Buckeyes

With Trumaine Johnson and Nickell Robey-Coleman due to hit free agency, Los Angeles bolsters its secondary with a smaller but productive cornerback in Ward. He thrived in the spotlight in Columbus after the departures of Marshon Lattimore and Gareon Conley in 2017.

We saw Ward mocked to the Rams yesterday by Mocking the Draft’s Dan Kadar, so it’s not an unusual option.

As for the CB watch, it’s a new trio from Trapasso: Jackson at #18, Ward at #23 and Colorado CB Isaiah Oliver at #29, a name we’ve seen mocked to the Rams in the past.

The QB angle? Trapasso has five in his first round.

And with today’s mock from Rotoworld’s Josh Norris putting the Rams on alert to taking a successor for LT Andrew Whitworth in UCLA OT Kolton Miller, it’s probably worth tracking tackles now too. Like the quarterbacks, Trapasso has five in the first. Texas OT Connor Williams comes off first at #2 overall to the New York Giants. Oklahoma OT Orlando Brown comes two picks later. Notre Dame Fighting Irish OT Mike McGlinchey, Miller and Western Michigan OT Chukwuma Okorafor follow. Norris had the same five plus Mississippi St. OT Martinas Rankin in his first round.

Let the mock draft conventional wisdom begin!