With only about a month left before the draft it’s time to release my first mock draft of the year. It’s about time that things start settling down and you get a good idea of where different players might be selected, who might fall, and who could rise. So without further ado, I’ll share with you a possible scenario for the St. Louis Rams in late April.
All my selections are not personally based, obviously the scouting of the players and their fit is solely my judgement, but the selections are based on team needs, best player available, and fitting a Jeff Fisher profile. Also, I will not be doing trades because it is too subjective and hard to predict before the draft.
Round 1 (Pick #6): Justin Blackmon, WR OSU
- This would not be the first WR Jeff Fisher and GM, Les Snead, have selected in the first round. In fact, Snead was part of the Falcons organization last year that moved up and took Julio Jones. Blackmon will immediately the Rams best receiver, and isn’t that what you look for with your first pick- a guy that can immediately plug-in, be a starter, and be your best player at that position?
Round 2 (Pick #33): Brandon Thompson, DT Clemson
– One thing Jeff Fisher loves is drafting talented defensive tackles. Scouts have been chirping lately that Thompson is being grossly under-valued, and if you watch his film you can tell why. He is very dominant. He presses the pocket, overwhelms blockers in the run, and can be a player that anchors a 4-3. He is the exact type of player you can sit next to Kendall Langford to shut down an opponents running game.
Round 2 (Pick #38): Doug Martin, RB Boise State
– Many might criticize the lack of O-line being added so far, but the truth is the Rams, more than anything, must add offensive production. Jeff Fisher can manufacture an offensive line with mid-round talent and solid coaching, he cannot do the same for offensive weapons. Doug Martin will be the Rams feature back one day, he is a talent that should go in the first round, but won’t because of the de-valued state of the running back.
Round 3 (Pick #68): Brandon Brooks, OG Miami (OH)
– Brooks is exactly the type of lineman Fisher likes. A guy with elite talent coming from a less heralded school. Scouts have let this little secret out of the bag though. Brooks has garnered a lot of attention, and we would be lucky to get him at the beg. of the 3rd round.
Round 4 (Pick #91): Casey Hayward, CB Vanderbilt
– If you were to pick a player most likely to be the next Cortland Finnegan in the draft it would be Hayward. He is a feisty, passionate, and talented cornerback. He has the physical tools to play very physical at the CB position, and has shown elite flashes of breaking on the ball. He is a great player to develop behind Finnegan, and could see a lot of playing time as the year presses on.
Round 6 (Pick #155): Akiem Hicks, DT Regina University
– I have mentioned this gentleman once before as someone the Rams will be interested in. He is a massive DT (6’6 350) that was supposed to be the next big thing at LSU, until he talked to scouts to early and was forced to play college ball in Canada. The time up there slowed his development, but he shows flashes of being a great talent. Fisher loves taking guys like this and turning them into powerhouses. Think about this being a flyer on the next Albert Haynesworth.
Round 7 (Pick #201): Bobby Massie, OT Ole Miss
– Bobby is a guy that could possibly go earlier if a team fell in love with his physical tools, unfortunately he has not put them all together consistently yet. This is a guy that has starting caliber talent, but needs a little time. He would be worth a 7th round investment, and Fisher has a lot of success with these types of players.
Round 7 (Pick #254) Compensatory: Dwight Jones, WR North Carolina
– Since this is a free pick it’s almost like a “first dibs” UDFA pick, but Jones is far from a UDFA talent. He probably has second round talent but has had serious question marks about his commitment and work ethic. If anyone can find out if he is serious about playing pro football it’s Fisher. Guys like Jones play for for guys like Jeff Fisher and Brian Schottenhiemer. He would not be hard to cut if it didn’t pan out, and he will almost certainly be here as most teams took him off the board at the combine.
That is all, let us know what you think….