With the Los Angeles Rams having agreed to a trade with the Kansas City Chiefs for CB Marcus Peters, they’ve identified a successor for outgoing CB Trumaine Johnson. While the big question will be how the Rams handle the off-field issues that created the trade’s possibility in the first place, there’s also the impact of the trade on the Rams’ 2018 NFL Draft outlook.
While the overwhelming majority of mock drafts to this point have had the Rams taking a cornerback with the #23 overall pick, that likelihood has drastically been lessened with the Peters trade. That’s the clear main takeaway from the new Monday mock from Mocking the Draft’s Dan Kadar.
USC QB Sam Darnold off the top. UCLA QB Josh Rosen drops all the way to #6 to the New York Jets in what might be their dream scenario. Might be the same description for Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield dropping to #15 to the Arizona Cardinals. Louisville QB Lamar Jackson, who is in fact not a wide receiver, heads to the Los Angeles Chargers at #17. And Wyoming QB Josh Allen heads to the Buffalo Bills at #21.
Cornering the cornerbacks
Well, it might be time to go ahead and cut this out. With the top roster need already addressed before we even got to the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, I don’t know what the third major storyline for mocks are right now from the Rams’ perspective. We’ll have to see how the mocks pivot after the trade and perhaps just wait until the combine’s over for the dust to settle on draft stock.
One factor I think that has been empowered even more by the Peters trade? The opportunity to trade down. Without a second-round pick due to the Sammy Watkins trade, there’s a pretty sizable gap from #23 to the #87 pick where the Rams will pick in the third round. While moving down always looks attractive for the sheer ability to add to the quantity of picks, this year’s draft certainly makes it more so to help close that 64-pick gap. The trade might make it even more plausible by eliminating the top roster need.
Looking at the draft a week ago, a hypothetical situation where a top cornerback dropped to 23 would have made it difficult to pass up adding said corner and trade down. That’s nearly the situation in Kadar’s mock today with Ohio St. CB Denzel Ward dropping to #22 just in front of the Rams. A week ago, that would have felt like a heartbreaking scenario to many fans. Today? Likely not so much.
So with a new outlook for the Rams at 23, Kadar has a new name in his mock:
23. Los Angeles Rams: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama Crimson Tide
The Rams are adding Marcus Peters, but that shouldn’t exclude the team from still drafting a cornerback in the first round. However, the Rams could save a lot of money by cutting Mark Barron and finding his replacement in the draft. Evans is a nice fit, unless the Rams try and trade back to recoup some draft capital lost in the Peters deal.
I’ve seen plenty of fans angling to improve the Rams’ run defense especially at the linebacking level. Evans would certainly play to those hopes. I guess we might need to keep an eye out as well for Ohio St. OL Billy Price who goes at #29 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. Given that we’ve seen Price mocked to the Rams prior to the Peters trade, those mocks perhaps gain additional legitimacy hereafter.
It’s mock draft season 2.0 for the Rams. With the combine coming starting tomorrow, things look entirely different thanks to the trade.