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ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr., Todd McShay offer differing visions for Los Angeles Rams in new mock

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With less than a month to the 2019 NFL Draft, there remains very little certainty for the Rams and the 31st overall pick.

Clemson Tigers Dexter Lawrence celebrates as Clemson wins the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship over the Alabama Crimson Tide, Jan. 9, 2017.
Clemson Tigers Dexter Lawrence celebrates as Clemson wins the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship over the Alabama Crimson Tide, Jan. 9, 2017.
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

As of today, the SB Nation mock draft database has measured out two favorite candidates for the Los Angeles Rams with the 31st overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft: N.C. State Wolfpack C Garrett Bradbury and Clemson Tigers DT Dexter Lawrence:

And a new dual first-round mock from ESPN’s Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay (ESPN+ subscription required) is only going to entrench that conventional wisdom even deeper.

The dual mock’s value really comes in how they get through the first round moreso than their picks for the Rams. The two have identical mocks through seven picks, so the divergence at #8 and beyond is what offers some insight into what establishment mocks are looking at.

So the writeups aren’t the most profound, but Kiper has the Rams going offense:

#31.) N.C. State Wolfpack C Garrett Bradbury

I thought about cornerback here, but Bradbury could replace John Sullivan in the middle of the offensive line.

While McShay goes with the defensive line:

#31.) Clemson Tigers DT Dexter Lawrence

A 342-pound run-stopper with 5.05 speed ought to replace Ndamukong Suh nicely alongside Aaron Donald.

Put aside the silliness of assigning any value of a 5.05 40-yard dash for a defensive tackle (because it’s extremely silly). The two picks are sensible and hit on value. I’ve got nothing to argue with save for a preference to trade down, but if the Rams are absolutely sold on these guys and they feel certain that a trade down a half dozen or more slots would put them beyond the range to get their guy, you gotta do what you gotta do.

For now though, the CW is calcifying in the form of Bradbury and Lawrence leading the way as the likeliest options for the Rams later this month.