It’s that time of year again, the time of year where we spend weeks on weeks looking at meaningless mock drafts that might give some idea what direction a team might go come May. The fact of the matter is, that is completely impossible as the NFL draft is unpredictable.
In many mock drafts, a lot of experts have the Rams drafting safety Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix, also known as Ha Ha Clinton Dix, in the first round with their 13th selection. A significant number of fans are on board with this, but the question is, is it the only direction the Rams can go sitting at 13?
There is no question the Rams need some help at safety and need a guy to play next to last year’s rookie T.J. McDonald. Safety was possibly the worst position group on the Rams roster last season.
On Pro Football Focus, the highest rated safety on the Rams was Darian Stewart ranked 41st and then the next highest was Rodney McLeod at 75. In the NFL which has become a predominately a passing league, the need for a safety is huge which is why Clinton-Dix would make sense in the first round, but not 13th overall.
If the Rams can’t trade back from 13, they need to go in a different direction as 13 is too high to take the Alabama safety, plus they can still get a good safety in the second round.
Don’t assume Clinton-Dix of Bama is a lock to be the top safety taken. Calvin Pryor is ahead for some teams. Really close for me.
— Mel Kiper Jr. (@MelKiperESPN) February 4, 2014
In the Rams’ current situation, they have an unlimited number of options, and Clinton-Dix is only one of them. The Rams could also take an offensive tackle, defensive tackle, or even take a wide receiver if they miss out on Sammy Watkins early in the draft.
At offensive tackle the Rams could take Taylor Lewan who isn’t ranked as the highest rated tackle in the draft, but he is up there and would definitely be a solid option for the Rams. At Defensive tackle Louis Nix III would be that big run stopper in the middle that the Rams could use next to Brockers. Finally, at wide receiver Marquis Lee or Mike Evans at wide receiver would be great weapons on the outside for quarterback Sam Bradford.
Clinton-Dix is a great option for the Rams if they can trade back, he is that hybrid safety that thrives in a Gregg Williams defense. However, you can’t draft based solely on need, it takes a mixture of need and player value.
The fact of the matter is that Clinton-Dix isn’t a top 15 player in the draft, to get Dix and still get good value, the Rams will need to trade back.