From here on out, every week here on Ramblin’ Fan, we will take a look around at each NFL Mock Draft around the web to see who experts have the Rams taking in the first round of the draft. This week isn’t as conclusive as last.
15. Los Angeles Rams – Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State: Yes, the Rams desperately need a solution at quarterback, and maybe they’ll figure something out in free agency. Do they take Michigan State’s Connor Cook here? Possibly. But don’t forget, both of their starting corners, Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson, are unsigned. Apple is the kind of physical player, coach Jeff Fisher tends to love.
The Pick: Wide Receiver Michael Thomas, Ohio State
Ohio State’s Michael Thomas is the big-bodied star receiver no one is talking about enough in this year’s class. Let’s change that.
Thomas has the size (6’3”, 215 lbs) and speed to take the top off of defenses. And as seen against Virginia Tech and Notre Dame this season, he’s a nifty route-runner with great change-of-direction skills. Sure, his numbers weren’t great, but tape study will show that’s more on the lack of quarterback talent and scheme diversity than any shortage of talent on Thomas’ behalf.
Plug Thomas in with the Rams, and you have another young, explosive offensive building block to team up with Todd Gurley for the next five seasons.
15. Los Angeles Rams : Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Rams haven’t had much luck drafting the wide receiver position in the early rounds over the last 15 years, but Treadwell could change that trend.
It would be pretty surprising if only one quarterback was off the board when the 15th overall pick arrived in the 2016 NFL Draft. Without the benefit of trade projections in this scenario, though, the Rams are the first team since Cleveland at number two that is in desperate need of a quarterback for the future, and the now Los Angeles franchise will be ready to pounce on a signal-caller.
In the end, this comes down to a choice between Carson Wentz and Paxton Lynch, and given the rave reviews garnered by Wentz at the Senior Bowl, he has moved ahead in that race. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound quarterback brings athleticism and arm talent to the table in a big way, and while there will always be concerns about the level of competition, Wentz appears more seasoned than Lynch is at this stage.
It should be noted that playing Wentz right away might not be the best plan of action, but the Rams likely have something of a grace period in their new market and if they stay in the middle of the first round, the pressure will lessen a bit. Some scouts are very sold on Wentz, even to the point where he is now projected to go ahead of Jared Goff on a lot of boards, and if you can see past the worries about his FCS background, the tools are certainly present for a future NFL starter that can sustain success.
15. Los Angeles Rams: Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State
It’s getting harder to see Wentz falling this far in the first round. But since this mock draft doesn’t have trades, he’s available. Regarding a trade, it’s worth reminding that the Rams have two second-round picks if they want to move up on a quarterback.
While last week the majority of the picks were the Rams taking quarterbackPaxton Lynch out of Memphis, this week the picks are all over the place. Quarterback is still an issue with the Rams taking Wentz and then wide receiver is also a popular option. With two months until the draft, anything is possible.