Where will Tyrann Mathieu be selected?
New St. Louis Rams Jared Cook and Jake Long can’t fill every hole on the roster, but the tight end and offensive tackle are a nice start. A lot more work will come in the form of the upcoming 2013 NFL draft, wherein the Rams have two first-round picks and one selection in each subsequent round.
The following selections will be based on team need, player performance and Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller’s latest seven-round mock draft. In this mock, St. Louis has the advantage of “knowing” who will come off the board—and when they’ll do so—but it won’t have every player available to choose.
If a player is available to the Rams at a particular juncture in Miller’s mock, he will be in this space, as well.
The lone exception is West Virginia wideout Tavon Austin, who Miller has the Rams taking at 22—but the multi-dimensional playmaker would have to tumble pretty far for that to happen.
Alabama offensive guard Chance Warmack fills a big need on the interior of the St. Louis Rams offensive line. He’ll be able to step in as a starter from Day 1—as many first-rounders do nowadays—and make a name for himself in the NFL by blowing dudes off the ball.
The addition of one of the draft’s consensus top players would make quarterback Sam Bradford’s life even easier. Getting him in the middle of the first round to open running lanes and protect the franchise’s QB almost seems unfair.
The St. Louis Rams need help on the back end of their defense after releasing Quintin Mikell and allowing Craig Dahl to suit up for their division rival San Francisco 49ers.
Ever-popular Rams mock draft selection Kenny Vaccaro is already off the board, so St. Louis looks to LSU safety Eric Reid to keep things under control and prevent big plays.
A safety will be needed even if Mikell returns to the Rams at a discounted rate.
The underperforming nature of the St. Louis Rams’ offensive line in 2012 and pending potential 2013 cap problems may result in a couple of releases of (or restructures with) last year’s starters.
That’s only possible if they’re able to re-tool it beforehand for leverage, though.
Larry Warford of Kentucky will help give the Rams that leverage by being a third potential new starter as a member of the 2013 draft class.
With his selection, the young Rams are better equipped to deal with an upset Rodger Saffold and their former free-agent pacts with 32-year-old Scott Wells (seven games played in 2012) and 31-year-old Harvey Dahl (14).
Zaviar Gooden would provide the St. Louis Rams with plenty of speed (4.47 40) and athleticism from the linebacker position. That acquisition of yet another potential starter would come at the price of a third-round pick.
A former Missouri player, Gooden also stands a chance to quickly become a fan favorite on the defensive side of the ball.
Tyrann Mathieu would be the second defensive back with LSU ties to go to the St. Louis Rams in the 2013 NFL draft if he follows Eric Reid there in the fourth round.
Another LSU DB, Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson, has already made a name for himself in the NFC West.
A self-professed nickel back, Mathieu wouldn’t have to do his damage on the outside. He would be tasked with covering slot receivers and causing general havoc on defense when opponents go three- or four-wide.
Former Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is already resigned to beginning his NFL career at a different position. He competed at the NFL combine as a wide receiver.
That’s good, because the St. Louis Rams already have their designated pigskin-chucker in Sam Bradford.
For the price of a fifth-round pick, the Rams can find out.
The only thing at which T.J. Moe didn’t excel in terms of NFL combine drills relative to his position was his 4.74-second 40-yard dash.
A guy with short-area quickness who may not have breakaway speed could be an apt description for the Missouri wideout. It would also describe the recently departed Danny Amendola.
When healthy, Amendola excelled in the slot for St. Louis, even as Sam Bradford’s No. 1 target overall. As the rest of the NFL watches to see if he can replace former New England Patriots slot maven Wes Welker, Moe could be given the same opportunity in the Edward Jones Dome.
Those undrafted guys got their money in free agency. A sixth-round pick here, Moe would have a chance to earn his.
Le’Veon Bell is the only player on this list who went undrafted in Matt Miller’s latest mock. He can, therefore, be had here for the modest price of a seventh-round pick—fitting for an offense that doesn’t have to lean on a rookie rusher this season.
The St. Louis Rams could use Bell’s size (6’1”, 230 pounds) and receiving ability (67 catches since 2011) in their backfield, especially when they don’t feel that pounding the rock with one of their sub-200-pound backs is the right thing to do.
They already grabbed 240-pound New York Jets sixth-rounder Terrance Ganaway, who’s got some bulk on his frame. Daryl Richardson already made the Rams brass look good by taking a running back in the seventh with 475 rushing yards on 98 carries as a rookie.
Bell could be next in line.
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