When it comes to mock drafting, the majority of the attention gets put on the first round of the draft. While those might be the “sexy” picks, the “value” picks typically emerge on the second day of the draft (i.e. Janoris Jenkins in the 2012 NFL Draft). The St. Louis Rams do have two 1st rounders this year, which only pushes the focus further away from the later rounds. However, there are more than two “holes” on the roster, meaning the the 2nd and 3rd rounds might be just as important an their over-hyped predecessor.
Yesterday, NFLMocks.com released their first 3-round mock draft, taking the mock all the way to the 98th pick, or the start of the 4th round. Since Ramblin’ Fan has already covered our quota of first round mocks this week, we will jump directly to the 46th pick, where the St. Louis Rams select…
Eddie Lacy, RB, Alabama
Lacy has the build and the talent to be a starting running back in the NFL. He plays with light feet, and great balance, yet he still runs with a lot of power. While he’s not a tremendously fast guy, he has more than enough tools to compensate. One thing that Lacy will have to improve going forward is his blocking. -via NFL.com
Lacy would be a tremendous value at this spot, and while he is rated much higher on the overall board, other “team needs” could have teams passing on him well into the 2nd round of the draft. This mock has the Cardinals taking QB Mike Glennon at the 38th spot, which seems unlikely give the recent acquisition of Carson Palmer. However, if Lacy can squeak by the Indianapolis Colts at 24th and Green Bay at 26th it wouldn’t be unthinkable to see Lacy fall drastically on the second day, and right into the waiting hands of the St. Louis Rams.
With Tavon Austin (picked at 16th in this mock) and Eddie Lacy in hand, the St. Louis Rams will undoubtedly look for help on the defensive side of the football. This particular draft is stuffed full of talent on the defensive line and at safety, but also has tremendous depth at linebacker in the mid- to late-rounds. With the 78th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select…
Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina
Williams quit the game after high school, but missed it enough to try again as a junior college enrollee. He should project as a starting NFL nose tackle, even if he is rotated out regularly against more pass-heavy offenses. Uses his hustle to chase ball carriers (20.5 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks in two years starting) and strong anchor to hold the line. He has good quickness in relation to his size, but is overly reliant on this athleticism at the moment. Plays both three-technique and one-technique for North Carolina, and it’s likely he’s been coached/asked to be more of a penetrator than he will be in the NFL.
For a player with his size and strength, you’d like to see him use it more. When he decides to get his pads low and anchor against base blocks and double teams, he can be impossible to move. Opposing teams made it a concern to try and run him upfield, or use his active motor in backside pursuit against him (running away from him to get him to chase and wear out). -via NFL.com
Williams has been pegged my most as a late-2nd, 3rd-round talent, which is precisely where the value from this pick comes into play. Kendall Langford played admirably in his “rookie” season with the St. Louis Rams, but was not nearly as dominate on the interior of the line as expected, especially when Michael Brockers was injured at the beginning of the season. For a team that lead the league in sacks last season, adding depth to an already-beastly defensive line rotation can do nothing but make the team better. However, unless the coaching staff have faith in either Rodney McLeod or Matt Daniels to fill the starting role(s), this pick would be ignoring the massive hole in the deep secondary left by the release of Quintin Mikell. In this mock, Bacarri Rambo is still on the board, which seems like a much more likely, and much more sensible pick at this spot in the 3rd round. Rambo is a 1st-2nd round talent marred by the ominous “red flag” for the “supposed inadvertent ingestion of marijuana” that led to two suspensions in two years while at Georgia. Coach Fisher has done well with both Chris Givens and Janoris Jenkins at this point, and their appears to be enough veteran leadership on the defensive side of the football to keep Rambo on the straight-and-narrow.