St. Louis Rams Mock Draft: Final 7-Round Predictions

Steven Gerwel@Steve_GerContributor IIIMay 6, 2014

St. Louis Rams Mock Draft: Final 7-Round Predictions

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    It's the most wonderful time of the year...the week of the annual NFL draft—a holiday that's slowly but surely dethroning Christmas as the most anticipated and beloved holiday of the year (at least when it comes to the blue-collar fanatics of middle America).

    And while the draft is primarily an excuse to guzzle beer on a weeknight and boo the commish (at least for most of us), it's also an opportunity for teams such as the St. Louis Rams—teams that missed the playoffs last season—to restock on fresh talent and come a step closer to a postseason appearance.

    Armed with two selections in the first round, the Rams have a chance to formulate a playoff-ready roster by next week, as long as the proper decisions are made.

    If the Rams can pull off a draft similar to the one proposed in this article, they just might have a shot at squeaking into the playoffs. So take a look at this final mock draft—the last one of the year (I promise)—and let me know if you agree or disagree.

Round 1 (No. 2): T Greg Robinson, Auburn

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    The Rams will do whatever it takes to trade down and acquire more picks. But if the team is stuck at No. 2, Greg Robinson makes the most sense.

    Following months of draft debates and scenario exploration, I must stick with my initial gut feeling—that Robinson and Jadeveon Clowney are the only two players truly worthy of the No. 2 pick.

    There's a strong possibility Clowney will be the top pick—he could be selected by the Houston Texans, or another team could grab him in a trade up, which leaves Robinson as the next best player available.

    Two of the major goals for the St. Louis offense this season are to protect Sam Bradford and run the football. Robinson helps the Rams tremendously in both departments.

    If the Rams go with Clowney or Sammy Watkins instead, you certainly won't hear any complaints from this writer. But at this time, Robinson makes the most sense.

Round 1 (No. 13): CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

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    The Rams have two young, dependable starters at corner in Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson. But due to a lack of depth, cornerback has to be considered one of the major needs of the offseason.

    Gilbert not only gives the defense a playmaker opposite Jenkins, but also gives the team some breathing room in the event of an injury.

    Gilbert is the top cornerback of the draft and has true Pro Bowl potential, so don't be surprised if he's off the board before the Rams are on the clock at No. 13. Even if he's gone, there are other options at cornerback, such as Michigan State's Darqueze Dennard.

Round 2 (No. 44): DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State

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    The Rams are just a few key pieces away from owning an elite defense, and one of those missing pieces is a top-notch defensive tackle to play alongside Michael Brockers—making Florida State's Timmy Jernigan a sensible option at No. 44 overall. 

    Jernigan will solidify the run defense, and he'll make an already fierce pass rush even more menacing. 

    Jernigan is in danger of slipping into Round 2, but he's a borderline first-round talent. At No. 44 overall, he gives the Rams incredible value for their pick.

Round 3 (No. 75): FS Terrence Brooks, Florida State

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    Safety is a major need, so some feel the Rams will target the position in the first two rounds. But the Rams were in a similar position last year and waited until Round 3 to draft T.J. McDonald. 

    Don't be surprised if the Rams repeat that strategy. This draft has a number of promising second-day safeties capable of solidifying the St. Louis secondary—such as Florida State's Terrence Brooks. 

    Brooks gives the Rams the coverage safety they're needing, and he doesn't cost the team a high draft selection, either.

Round 4 (No. 110): RB Tre Mason, Auburn

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    The Rams made it perfectly clear last season that the run game is an important part of the offensive scheme. 

    Zac Stacy did a tremendous job his rookie year, but the St. Louis coaching staff values the run game too much to put it all on the shoulders of one man. The team needs a viable backup plan, which is why Tre Mason makes sense. 

    Mason rushed for 1,816 yards and 23 touchdowns for Auburn last season. He's a small, powerful runner and has the ability to be the featured back if Stacy goes down with an injury. 

    With Stacy and Mason in the lineup, the Rams will have a devastating two-headed monster in the backfield, resulting in a superb rushing attack.

Round 5 (No. 153): CB E.J. Gaines, Missouri

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    E.J. Gaines was the keystone of the Missouri secondary last season and was one of the most reliable corners in the SEC. 

    Gaines does not have a single remarkable trait, which is why he likely will not be a Day 2 pick, but he does a bit of everything and does it well. He can cover, play zone, play man-to-man, tackle and force the occasional turnover. 

    Gaines is not an immediate starter, but his versatility as a corner makes him an ideal backup. He'll fill in all over the secondary as needed, possibly even up top as a safety.

Round 6 (No. 188): LB Max Bullough, Michigan State

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    The Rams need a backup for James Laurinaitis, and Michigan State's Max Bullough fits the bill. 

    Bullough will not only be a valuable backup for the Rams, but he's talented enough to eventually develop into a starter. The linebacker position has been undervalued in recent drafts, so talented linebackers such as Bullough can be had in the later rounds. 

    Bullough is great value for a Day 3 selection. He'll contribute immediately on special teams, and he'll give the Rams security at linebacker.

Round 6 (No. 214): OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Canada

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    In the late rounds of the draft, teams usually target special teams contributors as well as overlooked players with monster potential. 

    Laurent Duvernay-Tardif is not a special teams asset, but he has the talent to develop into a high-end starter, making him a great option in the sixth round. 

    Duvernay-Tardif is a rare Canadian prospect, but that's no reason to overlook him. Canadian football players, such as Brandon Browner and Cameron Wake, have had NFL success in recent years, so Canadian prospects can clearly pay big dividends. 

    With Robinson being selected in Round 1, combined with this pickup, the St. Louis offensive line will be in great shape for 2014.

Round 7 (No. 226): QB Connor Shaw, South Carolina

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    The Rams lost backup quarterback Kellen Clemens this offseason, so a long-term replacement is needed. In the back end of the draft, it'll be difficult to locate a quarterback more promising than Connor Shaw. 

    Shaw possesses many of the abilities that made Clemens an excellent backup for the Rams—such as undeniable leadership skills, the heart of a warrior and mobility to keep defenses honest. 

    Not everyone is satisfied with the play of Sam Bradford, so not every fan will be content with selecting a mere backup in the sixth round. But with no top-tier quarterback prospects in this class, it's simply not a good year for finding a franchise passer. 

    What the Rams can find, on the other hand, is a possible long-term No. 2 in Shaw. If Bradford struggles in 2014, the team can focus on finding a starting quarterback in next year's draft.

Round 7 (No. 241): RB Henry Josey, Missouri

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    This mock draft has the Rams basically cleaning house at the running back position, excluding Stacy (obviously) and possibly Benny Cunningham.

    In this scenario, the Rams grabbed Auburn's Mason in Round 4, but the team still needs a reliable change-of-pace back in the lineup. Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead have been underwhelming, so the Rams must find some competition for that third running back spot. 

    Henry Josey was the heart of the Missouri offense last season and was one of the more explosive players on the team. If the Rams can grab the hometown favorite, he'll be a welcomed addition.

Round 7 (No. 249): TE A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State

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    The Rams have no problem taking a gamble on a player with character issues as long as the upside is there, so A.C. Leonard is a player who should be on the team's radar. 

    Leonard was dismissed from the University of Florida in 2012 following a misdemeanor battery charge due to an altercation with his girlfriend, according to GatorNation's Michael DiRocco. He has clear character concerns, but he's worth a late-round pick due to his undeniable talent. 

    Leonard needs work as a blocker, but he's an excellent receiver and will push Jared Cook and Lance Kendricks for playing time. 

    Leonard comes with baggage, but the Rams will not find a player with more natural talent in the seventh round.

Round 7 (No. 250): LB Devon Kennard, USC

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    Devon Kennard was a highly sought-after recruit coming out of high school and has the physical tools of an elite NFL prospect, but an underwhelming college career killed his draft stock. 

    Even so, Kennard was a leader at USC and has outstanding intangibles that could benefit the Rams' locker room. 

    Kennard will immediately contribute on special teams, but he has the potential to do far more with his career.


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    Round 1 (No. 2): T Greg Robinson, Auburn

    Round 1 (No. 13): CB Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State

    Round 2 (No. 44): DT Timmy Jernigan, Florida State

    Round 3 (No. 75): FS Terrence Brooks, Florida State

    Round 4 (No. 110): RB Tre Mason, Auburn

    Round 5 (No. 153): CB E.J. Gaines, Missouri

    Round 6 (No. 188): LB Max Bullough, Michigan State

    Round 6 (No. 214): OL Laurent Duvernay-Tardif, Canada

    Round 7 (No. 226): QB Connor Shaw, South Carolina

    Round 7 (No. 241): RB Henry Josey, Missouri

    Round 7 (No. 249): TE A.C. Leonard, Tennessee State

    Round 7 (No. 250): LB Devon Kennard, USC


    Steven Gerwel is the longest-tenured Rams Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report and serves as the Rams' game-day correspondent. You can find more of Gerwel's work by visiting his writer profile or by following him on Twitter.