2012 NFL Draft: If the St. Louis Rams Stay at the No. 2 Spot

Trijohn TranContributor IIIMarch 2, 2012

Morris Claiborne
Morris ClaiborneJoe Murphy/Getty Images

The St. Louis Rams will probably trade down from the No. 2 pick in the upcoming NFL draft. They have already let it be known that they are willing and ready to reap the benefits of doing so.

But what if the Rams stay put and don't trade down?

As far-fetched as it may seem, giving up the abundant bounty of first- and later-round picks and possible players, let us examine the various possibilities open to the Rams if they decide to stay put in the second spot.

The top-five overall picks in any year's draft class should be surefire franchise players. That holds true where Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin, Matt Kalil, Morris Claiborne and Trent Richardson are concerned. And of the five, only Kalil would fill an obvious and pressing need for the Rams.

If the Rams were to stay at No. 2, Kalil would be the best option and the way to go. The USC tackle has franchise player and 10-year starter written all over him. He would keep Sam Bradford off the ground and provide top-notch protection for a long time. 

Kalil is excellent in both run-blocking and pass protection. He has the size and dimensions of a prototypical left tackle. And he would be drafted in a slot where the value of the pick and talent of the prospect correspond perfectly. 

Claiborne and Richardson would also be options for the Rams at No. 2. While either player would be a nice addition to the team, drafting him so high would be an ill-advised maneuver. 

Steven Jackson still has some good years left in which he can carry the running game. It wouldn't be too early to start looking at potential replacements, but running back is not a team need that requires top-five talent. Although Jackson and Richardson would make a very formidable backfield.

Also, there are players such as Isaiah Pead out of Cincinnati and Temple's Bernard Pierce who can be had in later rounds but still are talented enough to contribute immediately. 

On the other hand, despite poor overall defensive performance, the St. Louis secondary still ranked seventh in the league for pass defense. And that was with numerous injuries to the starters and second- and third-string players on the field constantly.

The Rams have a respectable and physical secondary when healthy. This area is not a need because any deficiencies in the pass defense last season were a result of injuries and backups playing against opposing starters, rather than a lack of talent.

Claiborne is a consistent lockdown corner who has poor tackling skills (similar to a guy named Deion Sanders), but he is not an option for St. Louis. I would be all for adding a player of Claiborne's caliber, but there are more important areas that need to be taken care of before just adding talent.

One of those obvious areas of need is at wide receiver. Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon has been the most discussed candidate for St. Louis. But he would not, nor should he be an option for the second pick.

The OSU wideout is definitely worthy of being a top-10 choice. But he is not a real top-three player. I would take Julio Jones or A.J. Green before Blackmon, and even then maybe not in the top three. 

Brandon Lloyd may still have one or two No. 1 receiver years in him, and players like Danario Alexander and Danny Amendola will only keep maturing and getting better. The Rams receiving corps can at least hold it together when fully healthy. 

When you consider this, as well as the fact that there will still be great receivers like Michael Floyd of Notre Dame and Kendall Wright from Baylor later in the round, it is obvious that Blackmon does not warrant being taken with the No. 2 pick. 

I really hope that the Rams trade down and get more picks to accelerate the rebuilding process. It would be the best thing that new GM Les Snead could do to get this new era started off right. 

But in the case that the team does hold steady and stay with the No. 2 pick, there is really no other way to go than drafting Matt Kalil.