The closer we get to the 2018 NFL Draft, the more mock drafts we’re going to see. This time around, Matt Miller of Bleacher Report has a full seven-round mock. Let’s take a look at who he has mocked to the Los Angeles Rams and offer up some analysis overall.
Diving right into the first round...
23. Los Angeles Rams CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
This pick has become so common in my mock drafts that I initially typed “Isaiah Oliver, Los Angeles Rams” instead of “Colorado” here. It’s a fit both in terms of value and need as the Rams look to plug holes to stay on top of the NFC West after the team’s sudden rise in 2017.
Oliver doesn’t get the hype of Denzel Ward or Josh Jackson, but he’ll be a solid starting cornerback in the pros. He has the length and speed teams want and played the ball physically in the air. He uses his length well in challenging the ball and can reroute receivers with both leverage and size. That’s perfect for the Rams if Trumaine Johnson leaves in free agency or even if he stays given the team’s lack of size on the depth chart.
Drafting an offensive tackle would also be a smart move if the Rams like the value here. Andrew Whitworth was a star this season, but he’s 36 years old, and there is no successor on the roster.
I think this is a great selection for multiple reasons. First, like Miller said, Oliver fits the exact build that Trumaine Johnson offers making him an ideal replacement if Johnson does walk in free agency. Not only that, but Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips’ scheme depends on heavy pressure with cornerbacks who can hold up in press-man coverage. Oliver offers a lengthy body with good closing speed and size. Here was a breakdown I had earlier in the offseason on Oliver (twitter thread):
Colorado CB Isaiah Oliver vs many peoples favourite WR in Michael Gallup. Impressive ability to keep up with him and close in on the ball. PDF. pic.twitter.com/IaTpUWVGMc— Sosa (@SosaKre) January 11, 2018
The Rams don’t have a pick in the second round as a result of the trade for WR Sammy Watkins. That zooms us all the way from 23 to 87:
87. Los Angeles Rams OG Alex Cappa, Humboldt
Cappa was not a very well known player, though things really seemed to change after a terrific week at the Senior Bowl. Cappa lined up all over the place, though mostly at LT, and did a marvelous job during practices. He had no issue stonewalling oncoming defenders, and routinely finished with nastiness and aggression.
Alex Cappa at the Senior Bowl. Safe to say the NFL Network guys approve. pic.twitter.com/L5PicEYY6Z— Danny Penza (@penzatopaper) January 23, 2018
120. Los Angeles Rams S DeShon Elliott, Texas
Now is where things become interesting. A Safety? Maybe. With Lamarcus Joyner slated to be a free agent come March 14, the Rams could have a potential hole at S next to impressive rookie John Johnson. Elliott would be an interesting option, as he’s shown the ability to track the ball with five interceptions last season. For my money, the Rams would be best re-signing Joyner and using this resource elsewhere.
151. Los Angeles Rams EDGE Duke Ejiofor, Wake Forest
This may be my favorite pick of the draft. I’m not sure what the chances are of Ejiofor getting to this spot, but if it’s at all possible it would be a major grand slam for the Rams. Ejiofor had 6.5 sacks this season though he totaled 10.5 sacks in 2016. I also had a twitter thread on Ejiofor earlier this offseason:
I really think Duke Ejiofor is super underrated. Some of the most active hands I've seen so far from the pass rushers.— Sosa (@SosaKre) January 10, 2018
- slap/swim combo pic.twitter.com/iFu0AYoqho
Ejiofor offers some major capability as a edge rusher. He has some of the most advanced hand usage in this draft class and comes in as a player who could make an immediate impact rushing off the edge.
180. Los Angeles Rams (from Detroit) CB Taron Johnson, Weber State
181. Los Angeles Rams (from Buffalo) RB Bo Scarbrough, Alabama
184. Los Angeles Rams LB Micah Kiser, Virginia
The sixth round of the draft is more or less a dart throw, though I agree with the positions that Miller hit on here. This offers more help in the secondary, an RB who can help spell Gurley, and a potential piece at ILB with some special teams contribution ability. Though I may have went with different prospects, the positions are spot on.
The Rams don’t have a seventh-round pick right now having traded theirs to Washington for TE Derek Carrier.
What do you think about this haul, Rams fans?