Hello, hello again!!! We back baby! Its mock draft time...
Everyone's favorite time of the year is here. Time for mock drafts and scouting reports. This years NFL Draft appears to be heavy on skill postions, and light in the trenches. As we all should know by now the top of the draft will be overhauled by QB-needy teams — and we have five legit guys that could all possibly be gone in the top 12 picks. This, of course, is great news for the teams below, as the five QB's aren't all top 12 talents. This means some of the best talent this draft has to offer will be pushed down.
As is the case every year, I will hold off on trade predictions until the next mock. Because as well all know the Los Angeles Rams simply do not know how to sit still under GM Les Snead on draft day...
All 32 Round One
All 32 Round One
|North Carolina St
Rams Rounds 2-7
Rams Rds 2-7
I am one of the ones that see the Browns going with Penn St. RB Saquon Barkley at number one overall. This is great news for the rest of the league – unless you need an RB – because this only pushes the QB carousal down a little more. The run on quarterbacks is going to happen, and outside of Barkley, the top prospects are going to all slide, as most of the top prospects are better than the quarterback prospects.
Speaking of the run though, I think there is a strong possibility that there will be six quarterbacks taken in the first round than most. Again, good news for the non-quarterback needy teams.
There is no dominant position in this draft in the first two rounds, so this may be one of the more balanced drafts we have seen in recent memory. This may result in more trades. While I will not do trades in the first mock, it can definitely be expected in the next two.
In the first, the Rams address the need at one of the EDGE rushing spots. They grab a guy that most likely would have been a top ten pick had he come out last year. But Harold Landry saw his stock plummet with an injury riddled senior season, and a drop in production. His range now sits between top 10-25.
The Rams come right back to rushing the passer with their next pick. This time they get one of – if not the absolute – most explosive players in the draft. Shaquem Griffin would complete a young and exciting pass rush rotation with lots of speed and different styles, including Landry, Griffin, Samson Ebukam, Matt Longacre, and Ejuan Price
Next, the Rams stick with defense. They have to rebuild the linebacker corps. Memphis LB Genard Avery is one of the most underrated players in the entire draft. He reminds me a lot of Seattle Seahawks MLB Bobby Wagner. A true sideline-to-sideline defender, with above average coverage skills.
The Rams line played really well for much of the year. But three of their five starters are up there in age. It's time to start grooming replacements. Michigan's Mason Cole played all over the line but will likely have his greatest success on the interior.
After losing S Cody Davis to free agency, the Rams are sorely lacking depth on the back end. Godwin Igwebuike might be the best tackler in the entire draft. He’s certainly the best open field tackler, which should allow him to be one of the better special teams players around. He's also a really solid and athletic safety.
Southern Miss RB Ito Smith is the most underrated running back in this draft. The dude can flat out ball. Some will point to his competition, but I reply to that with look at what he did to LSU. They couldn't stop him. If not for the game getting out of hand, he likely puts up 250 yards from scrimmage.
The Rams continue to build up the future of their line. Crabtree has some sleeper potential. He has the ability to play the left side, and played well for Mason Rudolph at Oklahoma St. Sitting behind Andrew Whitworth would pay huge dividends.
Sean Mannion is entering the final year of his rookie deal. He could very well re-sign and continue backing up start Jared Goff, or he may want to look elsewhere for a better opportunity to play and more money. Just look at the backup QB movement from this years off-season. Enter Kyle Lauletta.
Daurice Fountain provides the Rams with the ideal project. In some ways I want to hold off because he reminds me of Brian Quick, but for a late sixth round pick, Quick would have been a decent find. However, I think he has a little more to offer than Quick because he has some wiggle and power, whereas Quick just had power and straight speed.