Over the past few weeks – and certainly in the ones to come – every Tom, Dick and Harry with a laptop and an opinion has been busy drawing up mock drafts in a rarely-successful attempt to guess each team’s picks. Many have come across considerable uncertainty, however, when considering the second pick, owned by the St Louis Rams as a result of the infamous Robert Griffin III trade, the uncertainty has led to a multitude of options being considered, with the general consensus being that “this pick is a difficult one to predict.”
The wide array of possibilities that have been raised so far – which, in itself is dependent on what the Texans do with the first overall pick – has made for some intriguing reading. Those who are concerned with quarterback Sam Bradford’s protection have made convincing cases in favor of offensive tackles Jake Matthews and Greg Robinson. The fears surrounding Jake Long’s return from injury, as well as Joe Barksdale’s inexperience, have further strengthened this argument. This might not be a sexy pick with much short-term dividend, but it could anchor the offensive line for the next decade or so (and how many times have we heard that before?). Other armchair experts, however, have argued that there is little point in protecting a quarterback who has no one to whom to throw the ball. With that logic, some have advocated for wide receivers Mike Evans or Sammy Watkins. This is a more exciting, but perhaps riskier, proposition, but one which could kick-start the offense at a time when the defense seems set. Despite this, though, some commentators have stated that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is simply too talented a player to pass on, should he be available, and have pushed for the Rams front office to make a move for the South Carolina prospect; however overcrowded the defensive end rotation might be. After all, the idiom goes that one can never have too many pass rushers, and the Rams would be presented with a fearsome front four (with suitable backup) should Clowney fall to them. Linebacker Khalil Mack is another name that has been raised in relation to the pick, giving the Rams six options, each backed up with strong reasoning.
All of this assumes, of course, that the Rams will remain at Number Two, and here there have also been a myriad of possibilities described. Some envisage the Rams trading down to four (currently held by Cleveland), five (Oakland) or to six (Atlanta), giving the team additional picks, as well as the guarantee of still drafting any of the above-named. Some see them falling even further, such as nine (Buffalo) or ten (Detroit) and, with the expected demand on quarterbacks in the early picks, still find themselves with a chance of drafting Evans, Matthews or Mack. There is also debate about what the Rams will do with their second pick – 13th overall – with some suggesting the team could trade up to nab a safety such as Ha Ha Clinton-Dix or Calvin Pryor – or move lower down the first round, an attractive move given the apparent depth of this draft class. The feeling is that if the Rams added to their already impressive haul of four picks among the first 75, they could walk away from this draft with the final pieces of their rebuilding plan.
So many potential options can make the process confusing, and does bear evidence of over-thinking from the part of observers who want to be the first to come up with an unlikely scenario. However, it does make for some salivating reading for Rams fans. Either way, the franchise could end up with a bedrock tackle, a dynamic receiving threat, and bestially athletic defensive end, a predatory linebacker, or a bevy of picks in a talented class. Surely, not even the Rams can screw this up.
Seriously, …can they?