Now into the second week of free agency, the 2019 NFL landscape looks quite different than it did at the beginning of March.
While the Los Angeles Rams haven’t been terribly active in just signing S Eric Weddle and re-signing EDGE Dante Fowler Jr., we did move on from five starters in LG Rodger Saffold III, S Lamarcus Joyner, DL Ndamukong Suh, C John Sullivan and ILB Mark Barron. So even from our perch, things look substantially different as we look toward the 2019 NFL Draft next month.
It’s that change in perspective that is motivating today’s Monday mock from Mocking the Draft’s Dan Kadar.
Things have changed completely for many teams like the Oakland Raiders, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns and New York Giants...albeit with those changes being completely different. So this week’s mock, while operating on the same prospect pool, has to take into account the new-look teams from across the NFL.
The first note has to be Kadar’s pick at #4 to the Raiders in Mississippi St. Bulldogs EDGE Montez Sweat following the news that doctors discovered Sweat had a previously undisclosed heart condition at the combine. The news doesn’t necessarily portend a drop in his draft stock. Former Rams EDGE Robert Quinn had a benign brain tumor that didn’t affect his availability or proficiency. On the other hand, Raiders DT Maurice Hurst was expected to be a first-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft before he was diagnosed with a heart condition that pulled him out of the combine a year ago that led to him dropping into the fifth round. So who knows.
Kadar doesn’t have any trades in his top 10. That’s not something to gripe with for a mock, but I’m not sure that’s what’s going to go down in Nashville.
Iowa Hawkeyes tight end watch: T.J. Hockenson at #8 to the Detroit Lions and Noah Fant at #12 to the Green Bay Packers.
Edge watch: Sweat at 4, Florida State Seminoles EDGE Brian Burns at #13 to the Miami Dolphins, Clemson Tigers DE Clelin Ferrell to the Carolina Panthers at #16, Michigan Wolverines EDGE Rashan Gary at #17 to the Giants, and Florida Gators EDGE Jachai Polite to the Kansas City Chiefs at #29. Worth keeping in mind who has a roster gap at edge rusher as free agency chugs along and we go from FA mode into draft mode.
Onto the Rams.
#31.) N.C. State Wolfpack OL Garrett Bradbury
Offseason needs: Linebacker, guard, backup quarterback, cornerback
The Rams brought back pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. for another season, and managed to snag safety Eric Weddle on a two-year deal. Los Angeles might not do much more, unless a contract or two gets restructured. Bradbury is a player who could push for the starting center spot or take over for Saffold at guard.
No issues from me. Bradbury is one of the best interior prospects in the draft if not the best even though Kadar has Boston College Eagles G Chris Lindstrom going a pick earlier. Sullivan and Saffold are gone and LT Andrew Whitworth is on his last ride in 2019, so ensuring a decent transition on the O-line to protect QB Jared Goff and open things up in the running game might be the most crucial personnel issue for the Rams post-2018.
What say you, Rams fans? Okay with another OL pick after leading our 2018 class with two of them last year? Did the Rams’ early free agent activity (or lack thereof) change your thoughts on the draft?