With the NFL Combine quickly rolling up on us, it is clear that football never truly ends in this country. Re-signings, trades, scouting, and mock drafting are more than enough to keep most fan amused through the winter and spring months heading into the April NFL Draft. As we creep closer and closer to the date, gaining inside knowledge from front office personnel and seeing players’ stock skyrocket and sink, mocks will begin to look more and more like “locks” than “predictions.” So, being nearly two weeks into mocking season, how have things changed for the St. Louis Rams?
Fansided.com has been pumping out a weekly mock draft since the Rams were still fighting for the last NFC Wildcard slot. Originally, they had St. Louis taking Chance Warmack (a common choice) and Jake Matthews, an offensive tackle that eventually declared he would be returning for his senior season. Now, with the 16th pick in the 2013 Draft, the St. Louis Rams select…
Cordarrelle Patterson, WR/Tennessee
"A dream scenario for the Rams at 16th overall would be to have both Cordarrelle Patterson and Chance Warmack on the board. Such a situation would lead to a serious conundrum for St. Louis as both players fill immediate needs and are the best available players at their position. But the chance that Warmack lasts until the Rams next pick is a lot higher than the chance Patterson does. Sam Bradford needs a tall deep threat and Patterson is the best wide receiver in the draft."
With the release of Titus Young and no word on the progression of contractual talks with Danny Amendola or Brandon Gibson, many have shifted to the idea that St. Louis will go after the top receiving playmaker in the draft; that would be Cordarrelle Patterson. While some “big boards” have Keenan Allen as the most “NFL ready” receiver, Patterson holds all the tangibles and intangibles you would want in a first round wide receiver. At 6’3 tall, 205 lbs., he surely fits the mold as a true, #1 wide out, but with the skill set to be used as a utility player, both out of the backfield, in motion, and in the slot. His signing would likely mean the end of either Gibson or Amendola, or both, but would make a fresh start for Sam Bradford with a very young, but very talented receiving core, featuring Chris Givens, Lance Kendricks, Austin Pettis, and the wait-and-see talent from the 2012 NFL Draft, Brian Quick.
Taking a wide receiver with the first pick would undoubtedly send waves through the “fundamentalists” that believe in building the team from the inside-out, or, more accurately, from the positions closest to the ball to those farthest away. No fear, with the 22nd pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams select…
Jonathan Cooper, OG/North Carolina
"The Rams would love for Chance Warmack to fall to them here, but as he continues to get (deserving) hype, he’ll probably be gone. That’s where Jonathan Cooper comes in, who should not be mistaken for second best here. Cooper will help eliminate interior lineman and provide much needed protection and security for Sam Bradford. It’s not a flashy pick, but teams that spend serious time building a good offensive line (Like NFC West mates San Francisco) are rewarded in the long run."
Many have Cooper on-par with Chance Warmack, without the hype of playing on a National Championship offensive line. He is definitely not the flashiest selection at this point in the draft, but with few offensive tackle prospects meriting a first rounder in this year’s class, a guard might be the safer way to go. Sadly, this mock has Kenny Vaccaro going early to the Miami Dolphins in the 12th slot. However, it would not be surprising to see St. Louis opt for offense/defense first round, or even double-up on offensive weapons if Jeff Fisher or Les Snead fall in love with Eifert or Ertz after the Combine and their respective Pro Days.
Make sure to check out next week’s Fansided.com Mock Draft, right here at Ramblin’ Fan!