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ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., posts three-round mock draft that beefs up D-line for Los Angeles Rams

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Perhaps not the biggest need for 2018, the Hair has the Rams adding to a position of strength.

Virginia DE Andrew Brown sacks Miami QB Brad Kaaya on Nov. 12, 2016
Virginia DE Andrew Brown sacks Miami QB Brad Kaaya on Nov. 12, 2016
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, it was ESPN’s Todd McShay offering a “Grade A” three-round NFL mock draft. Today, it’s Mel Kiper, Jr., with his three-round mock draft (behind the ESPN insider paywall) following the same guidelines.

In the McShay mock, I went over the path to #87 where the Los Angeles Rams will make their first pick. Kiper’s mock doesn’t differ all the much on the merits given the guidelines. Where he does differ from McShay is his pick for the Rams:

87. Los Angeles Rams: Andrew Brown, DL, Virginia Cavaliers

Les Snead dealt the Rams’ first-round pick for Brandin Cooks, and the second-round pick was also traded for a wide receiver. The Bills own it as a result of the preseason Sammy Watkins deal last year. So with only one pick here, I’m looking for the guy with the highest upside on the board. That prospect is Brown, a former five-star recruit who came on the last two seasons and had 23.5 tackles for loss. At 6-3, 296, he’d likely be a defensive end in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme.

It’s certainly a BPA pick as it stands. The Rams are hardly wanting for talent on their 3-4 defensive line with DL Aaron Donald, DL Ndamukong Suh and DL Michael Brockers. I guess you could potentially nod to Suh’s probable exit in free agency next year as a need that Brown could help fill, though I don’t know that he’s like-for-like in terms of role. Perhaps Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips won’t be asking for as much though.

Nonetheless, it’s a stark reminder of how unpredictable things will be leading up to the Rams’ first pick and how unpredictable it is to boot.

Thoughts on Brown? Using #87 on DL? BPA option given little need to apply draft to starters?