Between the trade for CB Marcus Peters and the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine ramping up, I’ve missed a couple of mock drafts. Normally, that wouldn’t be a huge cause for concern, but in the wake of the trade we’ve seen a new normal developing for the Los Angeles Rams: the lack of any real consensus of what we’ll do with the 23rd overall pick.
So here are five mocks, by date, as of late for some speculation.
CBS Sports - Chris Trapasso
Check out the QBs in this doozy! Four of the top five.
As for the Rams:
23. Los Angeles Rams: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio St.
Even with Marcus Peters soon to be in the mix, the Rams look to continue to fortify their secondary with Ward, a smaller cover man with the twitchiness to lock down the slot.
What’s going to be interesting is to see how the cornerback market evolves in free agency and what that means for the Rams if, say, Ward falls to 23. If CB Trumaine Johnson exits but the Rams hold on to CB Nickell Robey-Coleman and don’t sign another CB, would Ward be a good grab? Hard to think not. While the roster need clearly isn’t as heavy, there’s a BPA argument to be made with Ward. Could you make it for other CB prospects? Does the CB2 need weigh heavily enough for first-round options?
Random mock observation for this one as Trapasso has three first-round running backs: Penn St. RB Saquon Barkley (San Francisco 49ers at #10), LSU RB Derrius Guice (Detroit Lions at #20) and USC RB Ronald Jones (Philadelphia Eagles at #32). This RB class is great, but first-round running backs are, as they have been for years, an unwise investment. So go for it, other teams!
CBS Sports - Will Brinson
Brinson’s mock starts with a monster trade as the Cleveland Browns send the #1, #4, #33 and #35 picks to the Indianapolis Colts for QB Andrew Luck. Wow.
Other than that, it’s a pretty conventional mock all around, including for the Rams:
23. Los Angeles Rams: Billy Price, G/C, Ohio St.
The Rams offensive line was vastly improved last year, but John Sullivan is set to be a free agent and they need to build for down the road anyway.
We saw Price mocked to the Rams by Albert Breer at MMQB prior to the Peters trade. A lot of people responded in the comments and on social that they didn’t like the pick. I wonder if that’s changed in light of the trade.
NFL Network - Chad Reuter
Reuter’s got a four-round heater on tap. The first round is dominated by five QBs in the first eight picks with the Arizona Cardinals moving up to #8 to nab Louisville QB Lamar Jackson.
For the Rams, he’s got a new name from a familiar school:
23. Los Angeles Rams: James Daniels, C, Iowa
Rams center John Sullivan is due to become a free agent, and Daniels’ athleticism has caught the eye of scouts.
Going to be very interesting to see if this is the position that comes up to challenge the cornerback consensus post-combine especially given Rams Head Coach Sean McVay’s comments about interior offensive linemen after his press availability yesterday.
And due to the trades for WR Sammy Watkins and Peters, the Rams only have one other pick in a four-round mock. Without a second or fourth-round pick, the only other selection is at #87 where Reuter mocks:
87. Los Angeles Rams: Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech
I wonder if this is a suggestion that the Rams might not re-sign S Lamarcus Joyner from Reuter’s perspective. Because if they do and Joyner is in the first year of a new contract with John Johnson heading into his second year, a safety in the third round at #87, the Rams’ only other pick than their first-round selection in the first 159 picks, is going to be a hard sell.
NFL Network - Peter Schrager
Schrager’s not much of a draft analyst, but whatever. Content is king.
23. Los Angeles Rams: James Daniels, C, Iowa
A Kirk Ferentz-coached center who can also play guard -- he’s the smart, versatile lineman Sean McVay covets.
This one’s interesting because Schrager has Price going a pick earlier to the Buffalo Bills. For reference, Reuter didn’t have Price coming off until #49 to the New York Jets.
Worth noting that Schrager has the Cards trading up to #4 to get Wyoming QB Josh Allen.
CBS Sports - Pete Prisco
A pretty conventional mock. A pretty (formerly) conventional pick!
23. Los Angeles Rams: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Yes, they traded for Marcus Peters, but he might be a two-year rental and you can never have enough corners.
So of the five mocks, two still have a cornerback. We’re still in the afterglow of the news of the trade, so I suppose we’ll need to let things settle and wrap up the combine before setting a new baseline.
But it’s clear that the Peters pick has at least affected the mocks compared to previously.
Whether or not it affects the Rams’ first-round pick will be determined in less than two months at the 2018 NFL Draft.