If it’s one person that you wait anxiously for their mock draft to come out, it’s Mel Kiper Jr’s. The ESPN draft analyst has gained much credibility over the years and he released his first 2014 mock draft on Wednesday.
With The 2nd Pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select….
Jake Mattews, OT, Texas A&M
Rams general manager Les Snead has already said that he’ll take calls on this draft slot, which makes plenty of sense given the fact that the three teams drafting directly after St. Louis need a quarterback. So if you want a certain QB, you might be trying to work out a deal with the Rams to assure you get him. That said, I can’t project a trade, and Matthews would be a tremendous fit for the Rams, who need to bring in an upgrade at left tackle this offseason given the uncertainty regarding Jake Long‘s health. Matthews has proved capable of dominating on both the left and right side, in fact, and comes with more assurances in that regard than the tackles drafted at the top of the board last season. At tackle, I also think Greg Robinson could compete with Matthews to be the first one taken, and I don’t think it’s out of the question that St. Louis takes a QB or top defensive lineman.
A lot of people have Matthews going to the Rams at number two, but history says it won’t happen. General manager Les Snead and head coach Jeff Fisher have NEVER taken an offensive lineman in the first round.
If the Rams are stuck at number two however, which is where the Rams are at in mock drafts, Matthews does make the most sense. Watkins would also make sense, but at number two that may be a reach.
With The 13th Pick of the 2014 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select….
Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Last year the Rams added Tavon Austin, a player who is explosive in space and hard to cover due to his quickness and straight-line speed. In Evans, they get a mammoth wide receiver who can’t be covered capably because he can simply box out defenders for passes and get to the ball at a point higher than anybody around him. Johnny Manzielbenefited greatly from his presence; so can Sam Bradford. We’ve seen basketball players like Julius Thomas, Antonio Gates and Jimmy Graham transition well to the NFL after doing very little in college football. Well, Evans was a basketball player and was dominant in college football. Speed is a concern, but it can’t ruin the value of his size advantage.
The Rams haven’t had a big wide receiver on the outside in what seems like forever. Mike Evans stands at 6’5 and would finally give the Rams that big force on the outside. Bradford would be able to just put the ball in Evans’ general area and let him go get it.
Brian Quick hasn’t panned out for the Rams up to this point, and it may just be time for the Rams to go in a different direction.
A lot is going to happen between now and the draft therefore changing Kiper’s mock, but for now this is who he has, and for the Rams this wouldn’t be too shabby of a first round.