So I did.
I used FanSpeak’s awesome mock draft tool selecting a composite big board and FanSpeak’s teams needs in order to simulate other teams’ drafts.
Here’s what I went with.
87. Los Angeles Rams: Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan
Tough calls here. I thought about LSU WR D.J. Chark and Michigan C Mason Cole and Florida St. DL Derrick Nnadi and even a trio of running backs: Oregon RB Royce Freeman, San Diego St. RB Rashaad Penny and North Carolina St. RB Nyheim Hines. Ultimately though, it came down to Chuk and USC EDGE Uchenna Nwosu. Tough call, but I like the idea of taking a project right now with LT Andrew Whitworth and RT Rob Havenstein already holding down the starting slots allowing the staff to work up Okorafor beyond 2018.
As I’ve mentioned recently, what the Rams absolutely shouldn’t do is force the linebacker need here. The Rams have to wait until #87 for their first pick which is their only selection in the top 110. The level of difficulty in finding capable starting talent is difficult enough even if you’re picking early and looking at various needs. Restricting your scope to just one or two positions and limiting your draft capital makes that even more difficult. On top of that, the Rams’ applicable level of need as things stand isn’t that high given the state of the roster in general (read: it’s good).
So the real challenge here is just to grab a guy that can develop into a legitimate contributor two to three years down the line and eliminate a roster need in 2020 moreso than doing as much this year. And for me, Okorafor’s a fine prospect to help do just that.
On to the fourth:
111. Los Angeles Rams: Duke Ejiofor, EDGE, Wake Forest
Look! A BPA pick that still fits need! The best of both worlds!
At this point, it’s just entirely subjective as an outsider. I have no clue how the Rams are building their board and what BPA would even look like, but I can ride with Ejiofor here over some of the other candidates and there are tons.
I could have gone with some speedier talent to backup RB Todd Gurley. I looked at the backup QB market, but wasn’t thrilled with the assumed value here (emphasis on assumed). Plenty of cornerback, linebacking, and offensive and defensive line talent that tempted me too. But that’s really how it is from here on out.
The Rams hold two late fourth-round selections in the compensatory pick range:
135. Los Angeles Rams: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida St.
136. Los Angeles Rams: Tegray Scales, LB, Indiana
McFadden’s a bigger cornerback with a game similar to former Ram Trumaine Johnson’s. I could see Rams Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips and Cornerbacks Coach Aubrey Pleasant cleaning up his game and turning him into a core contributor as the Rams are forced to make contractual decisions about CB Aqib Talib and CB Marcus Peters after the 2019 season.
And Scales is the kind of guy it’s impossible not to like. He doesn’t have the build or the physical skills that jump out on tape or test well, but damn does dude make plays. Much like his teammate WR Simmie Cobbs Jr. or Memphis WR Anthony Miller, the instincts and technique are what carries him and gets strong production. It’s just a thin threshold for these guys between the Cooper Kupps who can suffice at this level and the guys who get flushed out physically despite their discipline and hard work.
Sixth round madness!
176. Los Angeles Rams: Will Clapp, C, LSU
183. Los Angeles Rams: Jaleel Scott, WR, New Mexico State Aggies
194. Los Angeles Rams: Poona Ford, DL, Texas Longhorns
195. Los Angeles Rams: Ralph Webb, RB, Vanderbilt Commodores
Clapp’s got versatility having played both guard spots and center in Baton Rouge. Not sure what his best position is at this level, but he’s the kind of guy you bring in and figure that out over the summer.
Scott’s got a HUGE frame that would make him an immediate red zone option. Fair question as to what he can do at this level between the red zones given his limited athleticism and speed.
Ford’s a power gap guy in the mold of a Michael Brockers. Just looking for talent here.
And Webb is going to get the obvious Zac Stacy comps given his Vanderbilt background and flat skill set. He doesn’t do anything exceptionally well and yet there aren’t huge issues with any of his game and he commits himself to every run. You can do much worse for a rotational back.
We’re less than 24 hours away from the 2018 NFL Draft. And while the Rams won’t be (or likely won’t be...you can’t count anything completely out with Rams General Manager Les Snead pulling the strings) involved in the proceedings tonight, come tomorrow we’ll be in the thick of it.
So drop your mocks in the comments below. Let’s talk up who we want to see slide out of the first tonight.
The draft is here.