It's a long way until April in New York City. That's the site of the 2012 NFL Draft. However, Rams' fans need something to look forward to after another tough season.
With the Indianapolis Colts securing the No. 1 overall choice, it appears the Andrew Luck debate in St. Louis is all for not. Luck is destined to be a Colt, especially with the firing of the Polians in the front office. They're starting over and Luck is their new guy.
St. Louis has tons of needs besides quarterback. Sam Bradford was Rookie of the Year in 2010 and deserves some time with the new coach before critics can truly evaluate him. The early rounds of this draft will be focused somewhere else.
Many of the lower round choices in this mock are subject to change. There are still draft workouts and interviews to be done. The slotting of choices after Round 1 are always subject to trades and waiver claims. Even with that in mind here's a preliminary full seven-round mock draft for the St. Louis Rams.
Did you see the Fiesta Bowl? Did you see Justin Blackmon?
After Blackmon's sensational performance on a huge stage, it is increasingly obvious who the Rams should take with the No. 2 pick the draft.
Blackmon has the all the physical tools a team could ask for. He's tall (6'5"), big (215 pounds) and can flat out run away from defenders. He has elite ball skills and would immediately become the "go to" receiver for Sam Bradford.
It's a relief Rams' fans. The No. 2 pick doesn't need any controversy or debate. Take Blackmon and be done with it.
After taking Blackmon with the second pick in Round 1, the Rams should target a solid offensive lineman in Round 2.
Every year in the NFL Draft, four or more offensive lineman go in Round 1. It's that valuable of a position in the current NFL. With that in mind, one must ignore the top names on the offensive tackle board; there are still great players available at that position and especially at guard.
At tackle, Mike Adams of Ohio State is a possibility. So is Levy Adcock of Oklahoma State.
Let's take a hopeful view and have the Rams luck out and grab one of the top guards in the draft in David DeCastro out of Stanford. He's good enough that it would be worth the Rams attempting to trade back into Round 1 to get him if he's still there around pick No. 25.
The coaching choice probably dictates what type of lineman is chosen here.
The choice in Round 3 is a cornerback: Brandon Boykin out of Georgia.
Boykin is a interesting prospect. He has the potential to climb draft boards due to his elite speed. The problem for Boykin is his height (he's only 5'10"). However, the Rams need a shutdown, speedy corner and Boykin fits the bill. He had a tremendous Outback Bowl against Michigan State and his speed would be a great compliment to the emerging talents of safety Darian Stewart.
Any mock draft past Round 1 is a total guess. This one is no different. From here on out the reliability of these picks gets less and less. These are good players in my opinion hidden behind the first and second-round talents.
In the fourth round, expect the Rams to stay on the defensive side of the ball. The pick here is strong safety Ray Armstrong out of Miami. Armstrong probably won't fall this far, but if he did he'd be a steal for the Rams.
His huge 6'4" 215-pound frame combined with his ferocious tackling ability would be a welcome addition to the St. Louis defense.
The Rams decide to focus again on defense and go with Mike Martin out of Michigan.
Martin is undersized at 6'2", but had a solid senior season at Michigan. Martin is a hardworking tackle in a 4-3 scheme. If the Rams shift to a 3-4, Marting is not a good fit at NT due to his size.
In the sixth and seventh rounds, teams take the best available players. If Galippo out of Southern Cal is still around, his athleticism and background from a great school would be worth the pick. He's also versatile, starting at both inside and outside backer in college.
His nagging back problems might slide him down in the draft.
It will be interesting to see where Demps ends up in the draft. He could go in the first four rounds because of his world-class track speed. The problem for Demps is his 5'7" 190-pound frame.
Make no mistake though, he would instantly be the fastest St. Louis Ram. Demps is currently a valuable member of the Florida track team. His NFL future is probably in the return game where St. Louis needs help.