2011 NFL Mock Draft: Will the St. Louis Rams Take Julio Jones at No. 14?
2011 NFL Mock Draft Has Three of Five Experts Saying Rams Will Select Alabama's Julio Jones
Alabama wideout Julio Jones had a marvelous junior campaign in 2010, racking up over 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns for the Crimson Tide. His athleticism and explosiveness is off the charts, evidenced by rushing eight times for 135 yards and two TDs in 2010 and further exemplified by pre-draft workouts that drew rave reviews from NFL scouts and experts.
Kiper: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
A relentless player who displays leverage, power and the ability to locate the ball well against both the rush and the pass, Liuget fills a need spot for the Rams and is a player I'm sticking with here from the last mock. If a receiver were to fall to this position, I think St. Louis would jump.
McShay: Corey Liuget, DT, Illinois
Jones is the Rams' dream pick here, but Liuget is the most underrated defensive tackle in this class and he makes the most sense as the next option. Liuget is quick, strong and has a relentless motor, and now is the time for the Rams to bring in a good young tackle with Fred Robbins on the back end of his career and Gary Gibson and Clifton Ryan both being free agents.
Rang: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
The Rams have their young franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford and a workhorse runner in All-Pro Steven Jackson, but desperately need help outside. Jones isn't as fast on the field as he was at the Combine, but his size, strength and three years of consistent standout play in the ultra-competitive SEC make him an ideal candidate to make an immediate impact.
Banks: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
I'm tempted to put St. Louis down for either fast-rising Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget or Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith, because Reid always believes in building a team from the lines out. But an exception to the rule can be made when you have a young franchise quarterback and need to get him some play-making weapons. If Jones falls this far, the Rams have to pounce.
Kirwan: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
There's a school of thought that Jones will be gone by this spot, and that may very well be true. For now he's a perfect fit in St. Louis. It will be interesting to see just how high he can go in the draft coming off foot surgery.
My take: Julio Jones, WR, Alabama
Whether the Rams select Jones at No. 14 may come down to if Jones simply lands to them after an impressive 2010 campaign and an eye-opening combine.
McShay seems to be for Liuget regardless, who is certainly a promising prospect.
But I don't see how the Rams pass up on Jones here if he's available. As Banks points out, QB Sam Bradford needs options to throw to, and Jones stands to be a star right out of the gate in the NFL. When you have a rising quarterback like Bradford, you give him the weapons he needs to succeed. The last thing you want to do is stunt his growth after coming off a 2010 season that proved he could be their leader for years to come.
For more on the 2011 NFL Draft, check out Bleacher Report's Draft Hub.
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