2012 St. Louis Rams Mock Draft: Full Predictions Two Weeks out
- Indianapolis Colts
- Washington Redskins
- Minnesota Vikings
- Cleveland Browns
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- St. Louis Rams
The 2012 NFL Draft is just 13 days away, and the St. Louis Rams are on the clock with the No. 6 overall pick. The Rams also hold two early second-round picks, an early third and fourth-round pick, one pick in the sixth round and two seventh round picks.
The Rams' fifth round was traded to the Denver Broncos in exchange for Brandon Lloyd last season.
It is difficult to predict potential for trade downs for the team, but some could factor in. Here is the current top six picks that will affect who is available for the Rams.
Team Needs: OL WR LB DL CB S
A mock draft was compiled last week, so here is an updated version.
Round 1 (6): Trent Richardson, RB (Alabama)
- Colts - Andrew Luck
- Redskins - Robert Griffin III
- Vikings - Matt Kalil
- Browns - Tannehill
- Bucs - Claiborne
I previously had joined analysts Adam Schefter and Brian Baldinger in picking USC offensive tackle Matt Kalil for the Rams in this spot, after the Minnesota Vikings go against popular opinion and take wide receiver Justin Blackmon.
But there are several developments recently that shift my pick to Alabama running back Trent Richardson.
Yesterday in a St. Louis Post-Dispatch article, reporter Jim Thomas had several quotes from head coach Jeff Fisher, who may have indicated he favored Richardson.
"I haven't devalued the running back position," Fisher said [in regards to Richardson]. "You're talking to the wrong person. I want as many of them on the roster as you can get."
"I think he's a very, very talented player," Fisher said. "He doesn't have a lot of wear-and-tear because it's been a one-year deal for him (as a feature back). But he's got great explosion and quickness in the hole and change of direction with the jump cut, and power, and ball security."
Colt's owner Jim Irsay alluded to Vikings general manager Rick Spielman wanting to trade the No. 3 overall pick, in an article today. And that hasn't been the only speculation that a team would trade up to the Vikings pick to select Texas A&M quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
It could become a very probable situation, shifting picks and sliding Richardson to the Rams.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio mentioned the Browns could trade up one spot with the Vikings to block another team from doing so to take Tannehill.
Even if the Browns stay pat at No. 4 and the Vikings keep their pick, the chances of Richardson falling to the Rams at No. 6 is very possible and the draft could play out like:
If the Browns are high on Tannehill and the Buccaneers take cornerback Morris Claiborne, then Richardson will be there for the Rams taking.
Round 2 (1): Janoris Jenkins, CB (North Alabama)
North Alabama cornerback Janoris Jenkins possesses good speed and is able to change directions on a dime to follow a receiver.
The 5'10", 193 lb corner has good instincts in tracking routes and the ball and plays bigger than his size would let on. He has solid hands to deflect or intercept a pass.
He has also ran into some legal issues as he was arrested in 2009 for fighting and resisting arrest near a bar in Gainesville. After he allegedly punched a man, police tazed Jenkins to control him.
Then, in 2011, Jenkins was cited for marijuana possession twice in January and April. His last arrest resulted in him being released by the Florida Gators.
He would go on to play for North Alabama his senior year.
Jenkins visited with the Rams earlier this week. In a report filed yesterday, it was revealed that Jenkins has informed teams he's visited this week that he did not stop smoking marijuana when he went to North Alabama.
This could be an issue for teams looking to draft the cornerback, and will cause Jenkins to fall out of the first round in my opinion, even though he could be considered a first round talent. However, if he drops to the second round, it may be difficult for the Rams to pass up with the first pick there.
With the Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers, Jeff Fisher's teams have selected three defensive backs in the second round, including Tank Williams, Andre Dyson and Samari Rolle.
Round 2 (7): Mohamed Sanu, WR (Rutgers)
Jeff Fisher does have a history of drafting a wide receiver in the first or second rounds. In four out of 31 early picks, he has gone receiver.
The St. Louis Rams need a wide receiver early in the draft, so if they don't go that direction with their first two picks, expect them to here at the latest.
Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu measures in at 6'2" and 215 lbs, which puts him at the median size for top receivers coming out of this year's draft. Sanu has good hands, but his greatest assets are his yards after catch and his movement downfield.
His speed has been questioned leading up to the draft, however Sanu upgraded his 4.65 combine time in the 40 to 4.41 at his pro day.
As Bleacher Report featured columnist Shane Gray pointed out in his mock draft last week, Sanu played for Rams new quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti at Rutgers when Cignetti was the offensive coordinator there. So there is a history established with the Rams and Sanu.
Wide receivers Fisher has drafted in the second round include Joey Kent and Tyrone Calico.
Round 3 (2): Ronnell Lewis, OLB (Oklahoma State)
Oklahoma's Ronnell Lewis is a standout outside linebacker who also played time at defensive end. Measuring in at 6'2" and 244 lbs, Lewis hits hard, tracks the ball well and has exceptional speed.
NFL Draft Scout has Lewis ranked as the No. 8 OLB out of 181 in this year's draft.
The Rams signed 27-year old Jo-Lonn Dunbar to compete for one of the vacant linebacker spots, and drafting Lewis would set the Rams up for improvement at the position along with James Laurinaitis. Last year's linebackers Chris Chamberlain departed St. Louis for New Orleans and Brady Poppinga is still a free agent.
Linebackers Fisher has drafted in the third round include Rennie Curran, Rocky Calmus and Terry Killens.
Round 4 (1): Zebrie Sanders, OT (Florida State)
The large 6'6", 307 lbs Zebrie Sanders was a four-year starter at Florida State. He started 10 games at left tackle his freshman year, 12 games his sophomore year and 14 games at right tackle his junior and senior years.
Here is what DraftAce.com said about Sanders:
Adequate height and overall size. Impressive athleticism and quickness; easily gets to the second level and can get down the field on screens, draws, etc. Quick feet allows him to stay with more athletic pass rushers. Clearly has the raw skills necessary to play left tackle. Excellent awareness on the field; keeps his head on a swivel and is quick to pick up blitzes. Hard worker off the field and an excellent student; an accomplished violin player. Four-year starter.
With experience at left and right tackle, Sanders could be a formidable addition to the Rams' offensive line as Jason Smith remains a question mark.
Round 6 (1): Tommy Streeter, WR (Miami)
The 6'5" wide receiver Tommy Streeter could be a serious sleeper pick in the sixth round by the Rams. He ran an impressive 4.40 40 for a receiver of his build.
In 2011, Streeter posted his career season at Miami, catching 46 receptions for 811 yards and eight touchdowns. He led the ACC with an average of 17.6 yard per catch.
Streeter has shown impressive route running ability and has above average hands. He could bring the unique combination of large size and great speed.
Round 7 (2): Tavon Wilson, S (Illinois)
The 6'0", 205-lb Tavon Wilson out of Illinois would fill an emerging need within the St. Louis Rams secondary. While the thick safety has shown trouble closing distance at times, his stock is on the rise after good workouts.
Wilson was selected All-Big Ten Honorable Mention for the 2011 college football season. He was third for Illinois with 74 tackles. He also deflected seven passes and had one interception.
Round 7 (Compensatory Pick): Shawn Powell, P (Florida State)
When the St. Louis Rams and punter Donnie Jones parted ways at the start of this offseason, his agent said the team claimed not to want him back because they planned on filling the need through the draft, according to Pro Football Talk.
Punters tend to go in the seventh round, so expect the Rams to use one of their seventh round picks to snag one of the better guys available at the position with Shawn Powell out of Florida State.
Powell was the leading punter (average) in the country last year.