Jan 7, 2013; Miami, FL, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish wide receiver DaVaris Daniels (right) catches a pass over Alabama Crimson Tide defensive back Ha

Is Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix The Only Option For The Rams At 13

Sep 14, 2013; College Station, TX, USA; Texas A&M Aggies receiver Mike Evans (13) runs after a catch against Alabama Crimson Tide cornerback Deion Belue (13) at Kyle Field. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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.

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  • Donald Shaffer

    I disagree on player value. Ha ha may not be a top 15 player but the most recent CBA limited rookie contracts to a point where you can take most first round talent after the top 10. Inside those top 10 picks value is still very important, especially for trades. I think we will see a trend in teams filling needed positions more cunning down the line.

    • Blaine Grisak

      I don’t see why you would draft a guy who is graded as the 23rd best prospect at 13. Thats drafting based solely on need. You need to be able to draft with a mixture of need and value. Let’s just theoretically say Clowney drops to the Rams at 13. Do you take Dix because you need a safety or do you draft Clowney because he was a top 5 prospect. IMO you take Clowney, because one of the best players in the draft just fell right into your lap even though the Rams don’t have a pressing need for a defensive end obviously with Quinn and Long. The Rams need to trade back a few spots to take Dix in my opinion, if not why not take an offensive lineman or defensive tackle. Remember a lot can change between now and May, Ha Ha may become that top 15 prospect giving them no reason to trade back.

      • Gary Stewart

        ok blaine i was gonna let it lie til you brought up the clowney at 13 issue , sure the rams would take clowney at 13 but like the mock that had the rams trading with cleveland and mosely falling to the rams at 26 it just isn’t going to happen nix has had injury issues and lewan or nix aren’t rated significantly higher than dix in most evaluators minds. lewan is maybe a fall back if dix is gone before 13 then its not a bad choice because you couldn’t get a man thats already gone. and to take the 13th best player at 18 if he is not a fit is not any better than taking the 18th best at 13 if he fits a need, this is not like jerry jones drafting 3rd round talent in the late 1st or like the al davis days where he drafted for speed and forgot the players needed to perform not just run fast!! we may agree to disagree blaine but i agree with cesar. btw i absolutely love dix for his make up speed something i love the qb never sees him when he releases the ball and suddenly dix the receiver and the ball all arrive at the spot ill take the ball hawk GO RAMS!!

        • Blaine Grisak

          The Clowney issue was more hypothetical, the point was if a player that is graded high falls to you do you draft him or the guy the you need that isn’t graded as high. I may have gone a big extreme with Clowney. Like I just tole Cesar, It all depends though on where the Rams have him on their big board, if they like him and he is higher on their board, or they believe he is worth reaching up for then they will do it and I would have no problem with it. The Rams need a safety and Dix would be a solid option. We need that Earl Thomas like player in our secondary

          • Gary Stewart

            i guess my point is that teams really have 2 directions one is to draft for need the other is to draft BPA and while its hypothetically possible to go back and forth between the 2 philosophies its not safe the rams need is so severe at safety and with williams coming in a guy who loves press coverage a safety that can make up ground and fly to the ball is important,and even more importantly is to have the play end right there. thats what i love about dix he flies onto the screen and bam play over!!

          • Gary Stewart

            oh and to wait til later and hope to get an upgrade at safety is risky for 2 reasons waiting may see us get beaten to the guy we sorely need and we dont just need a top 75 warm body we need a player thats plug and play

          • Blaine Grisak

            I guess the way I look at it is we got T.J. in the third round and he seems to have quite an upside. I love Dix though and I hope we can get him, if the Rams think he is worth the 13th overall pick I will be on board with that

  • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

    Personally between Clinton-Dix and Pryor, I’d still prefer picking Clinton-Dix aside from Clinton-Dix has played in a much tougher competition in the SEC, Clinton-Dix is also the best Hybrid safety of this class which Gregg Williams AND Jeff Fisher prefer in their defensive system.

    Reading several scouting reports about Pryor, he has not much experience in pass coverage which would not fit the Rams defensive system because of the presence of TJ McDonald.

    • Blaine Grisak

      With Dallas, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, it does make that situation tough, but you have to trust that the Rams will develop their players to be what they need them to be. I don’t think you can draft thinking we have to get this guy and this guy, you have to give yourself options and prepare for every scenario. If the Rams can’t trade back or miss out and need to draft the next best guy that requires a little extra development, then Id rather do that than make a big reach for a guy.

      Don’t get me wrong, I want Ha’Sean in a Rams uniform next season without a doubt, but I’m not a huge fan of the move at 13.

      • http://www.cnsqonline.com cesarnoel

        Well if Tampa Bay drafted Mark Barron #7 why not Ha Ha in #13? Ha Ha is projected around #17 or #18 in most mockdrafts which is not that far of a reach if you consider pick #13 a reach. and besides if Rams do miss out on picking Ha Ha, he next best Hybrid safety available would be in the late 2nd round/early 3rd round in FSU’s Terrence Brooks but I’d rather take that reach if the trade back won’t guarantee still picking Ha Ha at pick #17 or #18 because Clinton-Dix is ranked #1 or #2 best safety in the draft class.

        The Rams needed top safety talent Now because I do believe they missed out on getting that top talented FS last year (Kenny Vaccaro).

        • Blaine Grisak

          Dix is rated in the 20′s on Todd McShay’s big board I believe. Like I said, I like Ha’Sean, and I want him in a Rams uniform, but 13 may be just a little high for him. It all depends though on where the Rams have him on their big board, if they like him and he is higher on their board, or they believe he is worth reaching up for then they will do it and I would have no problem with it