St. Louis Rams: Monday's Rams News and Notes at Noon

Shane GraySenior Analyst IApril 23, 2012

Fletcher Cox (right)
Fletcher Cox (right)

Welcome to Monday's St. Louis Rams "News and Notes at Noon", the one-stop pit stop for all major Rams headlines, updates and other information of interest to Rams Nation.

New 2012 CBS Sports NFL Mock Drafts

Rob Rang and Dane Brugler, both of, have posted brand new first round mock drafts.

Both, interestingly agree on a somewhat surprising pick for St. Louis at No. 6 after the Rams pass on Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon.  

Rams Reportedly Looking for Defensive Tackle Help in Draft

According to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Rams would likely want to add a defensive tackle in the 2012 NFL Draft.

Thomas analyzes several of the top prospects available in the draft with input added from the likes of Mike Mayock of the NFL Network.

That, of course, is no surprise at all, particularly after the offseason releases of DTs Justin Bannan and Fred Robbins. 

Ryan Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill

NFL Draft Preview: Defensive End and Quarterback

Senior writer Nick Wagoner of takes a terrific look at both the defensive end and quarterback prospects available in this week's NFL draft. 

Wagoner lists his top five DEs and QBs as well as a sleeper for each after looking at the Rams current state at both positions. 

St. Louis is in very good shape at defensive end with Chris Long, Robert Quinn, Eugene Sims and new addition William Hayes, formerly with the Tennessee Titans.

New Walter Football Mock Draft has released a new six round mock draft today.  

Not to spoil the read, but the site has the Rams taking cornerback Janoris Jenkins at No. 33 and defensive tackle Jerel Worthy at No. 39. 

In round three, they have St. Louis grabbing big wide receiver Brian Quick. 

In round four, they have the Rams grabbing outside linebacker Sean Spence before taking running back Ronnie Hillman in round six. 

Of those picks, the Hillman pick stands out.  If the Rams could acquire third or fourth round projection Hillman in round six I would be ecstatic and I think the Rams would to.  

Ronnie Hillman
Ronnie Hillman

St. Louis had Hillman in for a visit earlier this month too, according to Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, so they appear interested in the productive and explosive back.

Of the other selections, I like the Jenkins and Spence picks the best.  Jenkins is an elite CB talent, and Spence is tough and athletic. 

Worthy is a three technique defensive tackle like new Rams DT Kendall Langford, so I would prefer humongous Alameda Ta'amu at No. 39 over Worthy.

Pro Football Weekly Reports St. Louis Likes 8 to 10 Draft Eligible DTs as Potential Starters

According to Pro Football Weekly, the Rams believe that there are 8 to 10 potential starting caliber defensive tackles in the draft.

Of course, as always, take everything with a grain of salt in this season of smokescreens. 

The article also suggests that the Rams view free agent defensive tackle addition Trevor Laws as a great third DT option in the defensive line rotation.

The article also shares Jeff Fisher's feelings on free agent acquisition Jo-Lonn Dunbar, an outside linebacker, and new Rams running backs coach Ben Sirmans. 

Dontari Poe
Dontari Poe

Jason Smith's Pay Cut Not That Bad, According to Mike Sando 

In the opinion of Mike Sando of ESPN, the pay cut that Jason Smith accepted was not that bad in comparison to some others. 

Sando suggest that Smith should have a strong opportunity to start this season based upon his contract.

Rams Evaluating Cornerback Morris Claiborne

According to this article from Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Rams are taking a good look at Claiborne, presumably as an option at No. 6.

Thomas also took a glimpse of some other cornerback prospects.

The Rams already signed Cortland Finnegan in the offseason and will return both Jerome Murphy and Bradley Fletcher to the defensive backfield in 2012, after both missed all of 2011 due to injury.

Fletcher was a starter before going down and Murphy would have likely taken on the nickle back role.

If both are fully healthy, along with Finnegan, the addition of Claiborne could create a rapid rags-to-riches story in St. Louis' secondary.  

Morris Claiborne
Morris Claiborne

Where Would St. Louis Play if Vikings Move to L.A.? 

According to this submission by Mike Sando of ESPN, it would make sense for the Rams to move to the NFC North if the Vikings eventually leave Minnesota for another city, presumably Los Angeles. 

Traditional rivalries notwithstanding, geographically a division switch would make sense. 

A move to the NFC North would also be geographically consistent with the St. Louis Cardinals' central division rivals.  As most of you know, the Chicago Cubs and Chicago Bears play in the Windy City and the Milwaukee Brewers and Green Bay Packers are both based in Wisconsin.

For fans who would able to overlook losing the division rivalries in the NFC West, especially the long standing San Francisco 49ers rivalry, a move would theoretically create some more natural rivalries, if the Vikings were to eventually move, which is certainly far from a given.  

Previewing the May 1 Rams Counteroffer 

The Rams will present their counteroffer to the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission on May 1 after rejecting the CVC's initial proposal as was expected on March 1. 

In this piece posted today, I take a look at plethora of topics, statistics and often misunderstood or unrealized information regarding the Rams lease, Rams owner Stan Kroenke, the city of St. Louis and more.  

It will be very interesting to see the dollar totals and the specifics of the Rams counteroffer, soon to follow this week's draft festivities.

Ron Clements of on STL Rams Central Radio Tonight 

Ron Clements of will join STL Rams Central Radio at 7PM central time, and is available here.

Clements handles the St. Louis Rams Rapid Reports for and will be talking listener calls on such topics as the 2012 NFL Draft, the upcoming 2012 season and other items of interest to Rams Nation.