2012 NFL Draft: A Way Too Early Look at 7 Prospective Rams
The 2012 NFL Draft is still more than half a year away, but it is always fun to see which college players your team might draft.
Analysts like ESPN's Todd McShay and Mel Kiper are already looking over film and ranking their top prospects.
While the season has yet to begin, we can already predict where the St. Louis Rams biggest weaknesses may lie. Unless somebody steps up big time, there appears to be holes at wide receiver, outside linebacker, and defensive tackle.
These slides will evaluate players that could potentially fit with St. Louis when round 1 of the 2012 NFL Draft comes around. I am assuming that the Rams will win the NFC West and will be picking somewhere between 21 and 32 overall. Obviously, the position where these players will be drafted can change drastically, but for now here are seven potential first round picks of the St. Louis Rams.
Jeff Fuller, WR Texas A&M
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
The lack of a No. 1 wide receiver is a glaring issue right now for the Rams. Unless Brandon Gibson, Mike Sims-Walker, or Danario Alexander show that they can be the guy, the Rams will have to turn to the draft.
Jeff Fuller is a 6'3", 220 pound, senior wide receiver for Texas A&M. He was unofficially clocked at 4.52 seconds in the 40 yard dash. Fuller had a breakout season a year ago, catching 72 balls for 1,066 yards and 12 TDs. Everything appears to be there for this kid. He has the size and athletic ability of a go-to-receiver in the NFL.
If Fuller has another good season and falls to the Rams this spring they should draft him without hesitation. This team is in need of a big target for Sam Bradford. Adding to what looks to be a promising passing game would be wise. The only certainty is that Justin Blackmon and Alshon Jeffrey will be gone. Where Fuller falls is anybody's guess.
Alameda Ta'amu, DT Washington
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images
Alameda Ta'amu has size. At 6'3", 337 pounds, he definitely looks like someone who can be a run stuffer in the middle of the defensive line.
Where this kid falls depends on how he plays this season. Last year, he finished as an All Pac-10 honorable mention. If he builds on that, he could be gone by the time St. Louis is on the clock. It's hard to get a gauge on him because the rankings of him are so extreme. ESPN.com ranks him as their ninth overall prospect while CBS.com has him at 35th.
There's a lot of time between now and the NFL Draft. This means that Ta'amu could be a top 10 selection or a second round choice. The Rams will have to address defensive tackle at some point in the draft because they haven't gotten any younger this offseason.
Bruce Irvin, OLB West Virginia
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Some experts believe that Bruce Irvin is a better fit at defensive end. Others believe he is an outside linebacker. I believe his transition to the NFL will be at outside linebacker.
There is no doubt about Irvin's potential. He was named honorable mention All-American by SI.com in his first season playing D1 football. Before playing at West Virginia, he played in junior college. Irvin is a freak of nature on the football field. He ran an unofficial 4.54 40, but what's most impressive is his burst off of the ball. He could add a whole other dimension to the St. Louis pass rush.
If the Rams are looking to add more speed to the defense, then Bruce Irvin is the man for them. Unfortunately, if he is the draft choice of the Rams, they don't really have anybody to sit him behind. As a player who is changing positions, it would be beneficial to learn at a slower pace.
Jerel Worthy, DT Michigan State
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
There is a very good chance Jerel Worthy will be off the board by the time St. Louis picks. Since anything can happen, I'm putting him on the list.
For a 300 pound man, Worthy is pretty quick on his feet. So far in his college career, he has shown the ability to both push his man back, or, as you can see in the picture, get around his blocker with a quick move. Worthy is a guy to monitor because now that teams know about his abilities they can better prepare for what he has to offer. Worthy must show that, despite this, he can perform at a high level.
St. Louis could use any defensive tackle in this draft. They have three guys in Fred Robbins, Justin Bannan, and Gary Gibson that aren't getting any younger. This position may not be one that the Rams have to address in the first round.
Ray Ray Armstrong, S Miami
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
The University of Miami has been producing big time safeties for as long as I can remember. Ray Ray Armstrong appears to be the next great one.
Armstrong is 6'4", 215 pounds, but aside from his size he is a very keen player. You could see him develop a season ago when watching Miami, from a true sophomore seeing playing time to a guy who looked like he should be the starter. This is a player who seemed like he was regarded as a top 20 or even top 15 pick before the NCAA investigations.
If anything, the investigations help the Rams. It is unclear exactly what he did to violate the rules, but it doesn't appear to be anything to severe regarding character. Due to the suspension however, he may be a player who could fall to St. Louis.
Trent Richardson, RB Alabama
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Do the Rams need to address the running back position in the first round? It depends on how much longer Steven Jackson can last. Trent Richardson definitely has the look of a potential Steven Jackson replacement.
Trent Richardson could have started for over half of the teams in college football a season ago. He broke big plays when needed, and when they needed a bruiser, boy did he run some people over. At this point, he is the unquestioned top back in the class of 2012. That doesn't necessarily mean he will be drafted high. We saw how former Heisman winner Mark Ingram fell just this past spring.
If Richardson is there for the Rams, he is a very tempting pick. I think that the Rams could wait until later in the draft or maybe even another year. Still, Richardson being drafted by St. Louis wouldn't be a bad pick because of the immense talent he possesses.
Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
I don't believe the Rams will draft Floyd, and I sure hope they don't, but his talent is undeniable.
Forget about his off the field issues for just a moment and Michael Floyd is an outstanding prospect. Not many guys can claim that they've caught 171 passes, 2,539, or 28 touchdowns in their college careers. Floyd did it in his first three seasons. He's off to a great start this year catching 12 balls for 154 yards and two TDs in week one.
Floyd's talent is unreal. His size, 6'3", 225 pounds, is even better. His consistent off the field troubles are just not worth it though. The Rams could use his talents, but after being given opportunity after opportunity and blowing it each time, St. Louis is better off without him.