Way-Too-Early 2015 St. Louis Rams 3 Round Mock Draft


Nov 29, 2014; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals safety James Sample (2) and Louisville Cardinals safety Gerod Holliman (8) tackle Kentucky Wildcats safety Glenn Faulkner (18) during the second half at Papa John

This weekend, one of the teams in the NFC West was eliminated from the playoffs; the San Francisco 49ers. While the St. Louis didn’t fare much better, being eliminated on Thursday with their loss to the Arizona Cardinals, fans of the Rams are all too familiar with the feeling of coming up short in December. However, with the sadness of missing the playoffs comes the excitement of fantasizing about the upcoming NFL Draft, where the Rams, and every other sub-.500 squad, has the opportunity to find their diamond in the rough that will lead them to future postseason glory.

For once, the St. Louis Rams are headed into the Draft with a relatively short list of “immediate needs.” However, what they lack in quantity on their list, they make up for in urgency, with the most important position on the field (i.e. quarterback) still a massive question mark. Will the Rams be able to check off all of the needs on their roster in one Draft?

To answer that, we turn to our first “way-too-early” mock draft. With some college player’s yet to officially declare for the Draft and the actual selection order still up in the air with games left in the regular season, any mock in December will have to be taken with a grain of salt. With that in mind, here is our first shot:

Round 1: Gerod Holliman, FS, Louisville

Despite adequate play this season, the only glaring hole on the St. Louis Rams Top 10 defensive unit is free safety. This has been particularly visible against top-tier quarterbacks, especially earlier in the season, where one “over the top” play per game was almost a guarantee. Unlike Jeff Fisher, Rams’ defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, prefers having a true centerfielder on the backend of his defense, as opposed to someone who is simply “interchangeable” at both positions. Rodney McLeod is not a true free safety, by any stretch of the imagination, and struggles mightily when forced to play single-high against any signal caller that can push the ball down the field.

Enter Gerod Holliman, unarguably the top ball-hawk in college football this past year. His 14 interceptions tied the NCAA record, leading to Holliman taking home the Jim Thorpe award, given to the top defensive back in the nation. The one knock against the centerfielder is his tackling. However, considering Rodney McLeod is well on his way to finishing Top 15 in missed tackles for the second-consecutive year, that shouldn’t present a “new” problem. However, what Holliman may lack in aggressive tackling, he more than makes up for in instincts and coverage ability. Gregg Williams will be drooling if this defensive back is on the board when the Rams are up to bat…

Round 2: Cameron Erving, OL, Florida State

If Jeff Fisher had a Frankenstein-esque lab to create a perfect NFL lineman for the St. Louis Rams, he would come out with Cameron Erving. The uber-athletic defenseman-turned-offensive lineman has been a game-changer for the Seminoles this season, making the switch from tackle to center, and completely dominating on the interior. Erving has the size, strength, and speed to play any position on the offensive line in the NFL, and is just now scratching the surface of his abilities. With two of the Rams top needs being center, with the assumption that Scott Wells will be gone, and offensive tackle depth, Cameron Erving provides the opportunity to kill “two birds” with one pick. In fact, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Rams move up in the second round to ensure they can make his selection, much like they did for Lamarcus Joyner last year.

Round 3: Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor

If the rumors in any way mirror reality, the St. Louis coaching staff and front office are fully behind bringing back Sam Bradford for “one last shot” at running the Rams offense. Luckily for fans, Jeff Fisher and Co. will undoubtedly look to target a “Plan B” in the early rounds this year. While names like Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota will steal most of the offseason headlines, there are a handful of moldable, high-upside players with should provide solid value towards the end of Day 2. Bryce Petty is one of those guys.

Petty has the prototypical size, maturity, and athleticism to succeed at the next level with some coaching and the right supporting cast. The Baylor legend is as potent as any quarterback in college football when in-rhythm, and, at times, displays unparalleled timing, accuracy, and touch when moving the ball down the field. Petty has the confidence to push the ball deep, something the Rams have sorely lacked, and will certainly give his receivers the opportunity to “make plays” on balls in the air; for better or for worse. The Bears’ senior signal caller would benefit from a year or two of the “Aaron Rodgers treatment” learning, developing, and competing with a veteran. If something were to happen to Bradford, Petty also has the experience and maturity to step into the starting role immediately and have some success.