I know the first thing most of you are going to think when you read that headline is “it’s way too early to talk about the 2013 draft” and “why are you wasting time on this?”, and while I agree with those statements in part, I think it’s worth it to get some names on the radar considering the Rams will have two potentially high first-round picks. Football analyst Tony Softli came out with his Top 50 for 2013 early in the week, and overall I think it’s a pretty nice group. Taking rankings for gospel a year in advance and before a college game has even been played would be foolish, but here are some of the big names to watch this season.
4. Robert Woods WR USC – We will have to see how Brian Quick and Chris Givens play out, but if the Rams are still in the market for a game-changer at WR then Woods is your guy. He is a touchdown machine, and he’s really got it all. This guy will make an instant impact in the NFL.
17. Marcus Lattimore RB South Carolina – I’m surprised Softli has him this low, but he is coming off a serious injury so that probably affected his ranking. Before the injury, Lattimore was the best RB prospect to hit college since Adrian Peterson. I don’t know if Isaiah Pead is the answer as the heir to Steven Jackson, but if Lattimore gets back to 100 percent then he could be a steal in he middle of the first.
18. Barrett Jones OG Alabama – Jones is Softli’s top ranked offensive lineman, which says a lot about the potential crop of tackles but also about how good Jones is. I’m not convinced we have a long-term option at guard on our current roster, so Jones will certainly be on the radar.
29. Xavier Rhodes CB FSU – I know we are pretty deep at CB after free agency and the draft, but Rhodes is an impressive prospect. He’s got great size at 6-1, and he looks to be poised for a big season.
48. Zach Mettenberger QB LSU – The Rams probably won’t be looking at a QB early, but Mettenberger has piqued my interest. He has had a rocky past, but he’s got loads of talent and he’s going to be surrounded by NFL-caliber players this season with the Tigers. If he gets it together, he could have a monster season that could end in a national title.