St. Louis Rams: Full 7-Round NFL Mock Draft Predictions
With Jeff Fisher calling the shots in St. Louis, the Rams can now concentrate on the NFL Draft. They hold the No. 2 overall pick, and many experts believe the Rams can get a package of picks in return for letting some lucky team select Robert Griffin III with that pick.
I believe that scenario will play out, with Cleveland having the ammunition to buy the No. 2 pick.
I don't think the Rams are going to get the bounty several experts are calling for, but I do think they will make the trade, because ultimately they will still wind up with the player they want by trading back two spots.
Here is how I think this is all going to play out.
First Round Pick (No. 4 Overall): Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Blackmon immediately becomes the Rams' best receiver and Sam Bradford's new best friend.
The Rams have to add talent on offense if Bradford is even going to have a chance to be an elite QB, and Blackmon is easily the best receiver in the draft.
First Round (No. 25 Overall): Zach Brown, OLB, North Carolina
Jeff Fisher is a good defensive coach.
The Rams defense has some talented young players, but, unfortunately, not many of them play outside linebacker.
It's going to take Fisher about three seconds to realize that he needs to add talent to that linebacking corps, and Zach Brown fits the bill. Brown will start from Day 1 in a Rams' uniform.
Second Round: Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
Again, Fisher is a defensive minded coach, and he is going to take one look at these defensive tackles in St. Louis and want to throw up.
Fisher has coached some great defensive lineman, most notably Albert Haynesworth. Cox is big, strong and fast. He could be a disruptive force in the middle of the Rams' D Line, adding another weapon to line up next to Robert Quinn and Chris Long.
If Mike Adams (OT, Ohio State) is still on the board (highly unlikely), then I expect the Rams to take him instead.
Since I project that Adams will be gone, expect them to go with a defensive tackle instead.
Third Round: Nate Potter, OT, Boise State
The Rams are going to take an offensive tackle somewhere in the early part of this draft, simply because good tackles are almost impossible to find on the free agent market and the Rams have to do something about Jason Smith, the guard who has been masquerading as a tackle.
If the Rams don't get Mike Adams from Ohio State in the second round, then Potter will be the pick here.
If the Rams do land Adams in Round 2, then look for them to go with a defensive tackle in the third round.
Fourth Round: Kendal Reyes, DT, UCONN
I expect the Rams to go with a defensive player here. I think the pick will be either a lineman or a defensive back.
Since the Rams have a lot of talented, young corners getting healthy next year, I think they will go with another defensive tackle. Kendal Reyes is a big, strong, athletic kid that will add depth and talent to the Rams' D Line.
Fred Robbins is just not an effective player anymore, and the Rams have to get some talented youngsters to help the worst rushing defense in the NFL.
Sixth Round: Asa Jackson, CB, Cal Poly
The Rams will get Jerome Murphy, Bradley Fletcher and Ron Bartell back next season.
All three of those corners are good players and of starting-caliber in the NFL, and Justin King is an adequate dime corner.
So why would the Rams add another defensive back?
Because Murphy hasn't been able to stay healthy, and the Rams don't want to ever be in the position of counting on aging veterans like Al Harris again.
Asa Jackson runs a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash and has elite athletic ability. I could see him making the Rams' roster as a fifth defensive back or even as a special teams ace.
Seventh Round: Chris Rainey, RB, Florida
Chris Rainey is undersized, but he is explosive.
At 5'8 and 175 pounds, he runs a 4.36 in the 40-yard dash and can cut on a dime.
With these late-round picks, the Rams need to try to add guys who can help out on special teams, as well as maybe adding some depth. The Rams haven't added quality depth at the running back position in years.
I think Rainey could be a steal for the Rams, and he could fulfill a similar role to what Darren Sproles or Dexter McCluster does for their respective teams.
I think the Rams will pick up Cleveland's two first rounders in 2012, as well as a second and third round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
I don't think the Browns will make any deal where they mortgage this year's draft for Griffin, because the Browns are in a similar position to the Rams—they needs lots of players.
I would make that trade if I were the Rams because they would still end up with Blackmon, they could add a starting linebacker in the first round and they could still stockpile picks, even if it is in next year's draft.
The Rams would walk away from this draft with a starting receiver, a starting outside linebacker, a starting defensive tackle and a starting offensive tackle.
They also would have added depth to the defensive line, as well as adding two promising athletes for depth or special teams.
I think this would be a great draft for the Rams.