The St. Louis Rams have done a masterful job so far with their maneuvering in the 2012 NFL draft. First, they traded the No. 2 overall pick to the Redskins for the No. 6 overall pick and three extra picks (second-rounder this year, 2013 first-rounder, 2014 first-rounder).
The Rams finally stopped wheeling and dealing long enough to select Michael Brockers (DT, LSU) with the No. 14 pick.
So if you are scoring at home, the Rams have turned their original No. 2 overall pick into Brockers, two extra first-round picks and two extra second-round picks. That's how you turn a terrible franchise around.
Now, the Rams just need to make these picks count.
With the first pick in the second round (33rd pick), the Rams need to target Colby Fleener (TE, Stanford). I know, the Rams need to find a wide receiver for Bradford, but there are three, maybe four good receivers that the Rams can get with their two other second-round picks. Fleener will not get past the Colts, who hold No. 34 overall pick.
I know the Rams spent a second-round pick on TE Lance Kendricks last year. I don't care! Fleener is going to be an All-Pro tight end in the NFL. The Rams can't let him get away.
Kendricks is a devastating run blocker, so you could actually pair him up with Fleener in a lot of two tight end sets. That seems to work out for New England, right?
Also, can you imagine Jackson running behind a two tight end line? Can you imagine Bradford working that short to intermediate passing game? Can't you just see Bradford working that play-action pass, with Jackson pounding away at the defensive line, keeping the pass rush honest, keeping Bradford's jersey clean?
Somewhere, Jeff Fisher is smiling. This couldn't have worked out better for the Rams.
If the Rams take Fleener, they can use the No. 39 overall pick on a wide receiver. There is a chance that Stephen Hill (WR, Georgia Tech) will still be on the board. Hill is a burner, and he is huge. He would be a major coup for the Rams with that pick.
If Hill is off the board, Rueben Randle (WR, LSU) might also be available. Randle is a similar prospect to Hill, and is maybe the safer pick, as he is seen as more "NFL ready." If Randle isn't available, Alshon Jeffrey (WR, South Carolina) might still be on the board. Jeffrey was once considered the second best receiver in the draft, and I might rate him higher than both Randle and Hill anyway.
My point is, the Rams are going to get a talented receiver with that No. 39 pick. They will not get a chance to take a player of Fleener's caliber with that No. 39 pick. So take Fleener with the No. 33 pick, and then take a receiver with the No. 39 pick.
Under this scenario, the Rams could give Sam Bradford two young weapons to grow old with.
With the No. 45 pick (acquired in the trade with the Cowboys), the Rams could draft a defensive player. There are a couple of good linebackers that might be on the board there, like Zach Brown (OLB, North Carolina), Bobby Wagner (OLB, Utah State) and Lavonte David (OLB, Nebraska).
Brown could be a star, especially playing beside Laurinaitis, and behind that suddenly dominant defensive line of Chris Long, Kendal Langford, Michael Brockers and Robert Quinn. Wow!
However, I'm going to pass on taking Brown. I think the Rams might get a good linebacker in the third or fourth round. There will be an elite player left on the board at No. 45, and the Rams need to roll the dice. They need to take a chance.
I'm talking about Janoris Jenkins (CB, North Alabama). Jenkins has a ton of baggage, but he is an elite talent. With all these extra picks, the Rams can afford to swing for the fences on this one.
Go for it Rams. Brockers, Fleener, Jeffrey and Jenkins. That is an impressive start for Jeff Fisher and company. Things are certainly looking very promising at Rams Park.