St. Louis Rams: 2014 Post-Super Bowl Mock Draft
Now we can full focus in on the next big event on the NFL calendar, this May's NFL draft.
The Rams will have plenty of attention in the first round because they hold not only the No. 2 overall pick in the draft, but they also hold an additional first-round pick later in the round.
The Rams have a chance to make a very positive impact on their future with these two picks, and the selections will go a long way in determining how much success the team has in the very tough NFC West next season.
The other big question, though, is what will the Rams do in the rest of the draft? There are so many talented prospects and so many areas of the Rams roster that could use upgrades or depth.
What positions do the Rams feel they need to strengthen?
To find out, here is a complete look at a full seven-round mock draft for the St. Louis Rams.
Round 1 (2): Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
I strongly think the Rams will trade this pick, but I am going to stay away from projecting trades in the draft. Wherever the Rams choose to pick, though—unless they trade too far down—I think they will wind up taking Sammy Watkins from Clemson.
Watkins is a gamebreaker. He has the speed to break big plays on short slants and screens, but he also has the ability to go downfield and play bigger then his 6'1'' frame.
Watkins showed his ability to score long touchdowns on multiple occasions in 2013, and struck pay dirt twice from over 90 yards. In the Orange Bowl, Watkins put on a brilliant display by racking up 227 yards receiving on 16 catches and proved that he can be a go-to guy for any NFL offense.
Watkins ran an unofficial 40 time of 4.27 during the offseason last year which would give the Rams two elite speedsters on offense. Rams rookie wide out Tavon Austin ran a 4.25 at the NFL combine last year, which was .01 seconds off the record set by Chris Johnson.
Watkins will turn the Rams' young and talented wide receiving corps into one that has the potential to be among the NFL's elite.
Round 1 (13): Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
It would be a mistake for the Rams to pick anyone else besides Alabama's Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with this pick if he is still on the board.
The Rams have done a very good job drafting for their secondary over the past two seasons. Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson have both done very well at cornerback, and although T.J. McDonald missed a good portion of playing time this season due to injury, he showed an ability to be a solid NFL starting safety.
There is no doubt the Rams could wait and find a good player to fill their other safety spot later in the draft, but the Rams need that elite guy to lead the secondary. Jenkins, Johnson and McDonald are all very good, but Clinton-Dix is a great player and can be the leader on the back end of the St. Louis defense.
Clinton-Dix has tremendous ball skills and an ability to cover deep like a corner, but he can also come up in the box to support the run or punish receivers on short routes across the middle.
Nick Saban knows how to produce quality NFL-caliber players, and Clinton-Dix will be no different.
If taken, he has a chance to be the leader in the Rams secondary for years to come.
Round 2 (44): Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
It is very unconventional to spend two of your top three draft picks on wide receivers. Then again, aren't we all tired of listening to the same old story with the Rams. You know the line about Bradford "not having enough weapons on offense."
Well if the Rams took Vanderbilt's Jordan Matthews, we would not have to hear that line again for a very long time.
Matthews is a different type of receiver from Sammy Watkins and Tavon Austin. He does not possess elite speed, and he is not a big-play threat every time he touches the football. Matthews has a different skill set entirely. He is a big body at 6'3'', 206 pounds and has an ability to go up in traffic and make plays on the football.
The Vanderbilt wideout hauled in 112 receptions in his collegiate season and is a reliable target for teams to look to when they need that big catch on third down.
Normally I would not want the Rams to take two receivers in the first two rounds of the draft, but scoring problems are the Rams' biggest weakness.
Anybody who watched Vanderbilt this year knows that Jordan Matthews is a special talent. He is a player the Rams need on offense. Since they have an extra pick in the first two rounds and can still address a need on defense, then why shouldn't they fix their biggest problem by drafting Matthews and pair him with Watkins and Austin on offense.
Doing so would help transform that big problem into one of the team's biggest strengths.
Round 3 (75): Cyril Richardson, G, Baylor
The Rams cannot go through the first three rounds without addressing their offensive line.
Baylor guard Cyril Richardson would be a perfect fit in St. Louis.
Richardson is an absolute beast, who features more power and strength than any lineman in this draft class. He is a guy whom the Rams can throw into the lineup and have success running the ball behind against those other tough defensive front sevens of the NFC West.
Questions have come up of late about Richardson's footwork and that is why his stock is falling, but the problems with Richardson are not that big of a concern. Footwork and technique are learned skills, and while he may not be coached into the best offensive lineman in the world, Richardson can learn how to be better in these areas.
You can't teach the size and strength that Richardson possesses, though, and that is why the Rams need him on their offensive line.
Round 4 (106): Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
There has been some drafts that have the Rams taking Mizzou cornerback E.J. Gaines in the middle rounds of the draft, but why not even go more local then that?
Pierre Desir is a player not many people have heard of until just recently when he made a lot of noise at the Senior Bowl. Desir would not be the biggest corner on the Rams, but he has long arms and likes to play physical at the line of scrimmage.
Since Desir had flown under the radar until just recently, teams will be unlikely to spend one of their top two or three draft picks on him, so it is not unreasonable that he will be available when the Rams select in the fourth round.
Desir would add more youth and depth to a secondary that was very thin at times last season.
Round 5 (137): A.J. McCarron, QB, Alabama
Most years, quarterback is the most discussed position heading into the NFL draft, but with guys like Blake Bortles, Johnny Manziel, and A.J. McCarron, this 2014 class of QBs is certainly among the most controversial in recent memory.
McCarron is a game manager people say. But even though the Crimson Tide did not come home with a national championship this past season, McCarron showed us he is much more than just a caretaker, displaying both leadership and an ability to make accurate throws downfield.
McCarron could go in the second round, or he could fall to St. Louis in the fifth—nobody knows how NFL teams will view him once he starts working out for them. The fact is McCarron knows how to win, and he would bring that winning mentality to the Rams.
The other thing that helps McCarron's chances with the Rams is center Barrett Jones. Jones and McCarron were together for two national championships at Alabama, and if the Rams are going to draft someone in the late rounds, they might as well take someone with whom their future center has already established a chemistry.
Round 6 (168): Deandre Coleman, DT, California
The Rams had a dominant front four last year, especially at the end of the season. While St. Louis has the opportunity to go after some big names early in the draft who could turn a top-five defensive line into the best in football, there are too many other positions the Rams need to look at with those picks.
That being said, the Rams do need to add depth at the defensive tackle spot behind Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers. The perfect fit for that role is Deandre Coleman.
At 6'5'' and 315 pounds, Coleman is almost as big as Michael Brockers. Coleman's impressive interior presence could help the Rams improve against the inside running game. His big body would help clog lanes in the middle and force running backs into the arms of Robert Quinn, Chris Long and Alec Ogletree lurking on the edge.
Round 7 (199): Adam Muema, RB, San Diego State
Adam Muema is not high on draft boards, nor is he regarded by experts as one of the top 200 players in this year's draft.
Well, Zac Stacy wasn't that highly touted either, so who really cares where Muema's projected to go.
Muema is a talented back and a proven workhorse much like Stacy was in his collegiate career. As a starter in his sophomore and junior seasons, Muema carried the ball 493 times for the San Diego State Aztecs and racked 2,702 yards and 31 touchdowns.
I had never actually watched Muema play until this year's Famous Idaho Potato Bowl against the University of Buffalo. In his final game, Muema put on a show, rushing for 229 yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries.
He is one of those punishing backs who grinds and pounds to get as many yards as possible. That relentless running style is what drew me to him when I watched him live; when I watched more of Muema on film, that ferocity made me love him even more.
The Rams need a back who can complement Stacy and Adam Muema is the perfect fit.