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2013 NFL Draft/Prospect Discussion thread

Discussion in 'RAMS - NFL TALK' started by Memento, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Memento Ser Memento (alias, The Winged Knight).

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    In my opinion, it's never too early to start one of these, especially if you're a draft freak. Basically, this thread is for all 2013 Draft talk, as well as discussing prospects that you think the Rams should target.

    I figure that I should start this off with a mock draft of my own (note, this is a preliminary mock based on the eight weeks I've seen; the rankings are fluid and are subject to change in the coming weeks. Trades are not accounted for at the moment.):

    Rams #12 - Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee. Our wide receivers are currently Danny Amendola, Brian Quick, Chris Givens, Brandon Gibson, Austin Pettis, and Steve Smith. I love Amendola, but if he's your number one, you have issues. Givens could eventually be a Mike Wallace type, and Brian Quick is still maturing physically and mentally. However, Pettis has not stepped up, Gibson is wildly inconsistent, and Smith can't play anymore. There's not a single number one wideout in this group, and Fisher has to know that.

    Enter Justin Hunter. He has size (6'4", 200 lbs.), speed (has been clocked at 4.48), and - yes, Rams fans - he catches the ball extremely well, using his size and hands to present a large target to his quarterback. Some may call him a taller Justin Blackmon; I would compare him to a lesser A.J. Green - a wideout with a similar build and skillset.

    Rams #13 - Taylor Lewan, LT, Michigan. Our offensive line, quite frankly, has been a mess. Barry Richardson? Wayne Hunter? Joe Barksdale? Ty Nsekhe? Chris Williams? Yes, some of these guys may have played fairly well in some games (and some like Barksdale and Nsekhe deserve another chance to show what they can do), but the presence of Rodger Saffold is clearly missed. However, even he has issues of his own; some are concerned about his ability to stay healthy, while others are considering moving him to guard. In my opinion, the latter would be a waste of his abilities; Saffold can certainly play left or right tackle in this league. But Fisher knows that he has to find a bookend or, in the worst case scenario, a replacement. Fisher may have to break his streak of not taking an offensive tackle in the first round after watching this putrid performance.

    Lewan (6'8", 302 lbs.) is a monster in the running game who has a whole lot more potential to be a franchise left tackle than Joeckel or Matthews. As a run-blocker, he has no flaws; he is a mauler with a serious mean streak. However, his athleticism makes him a perfect candidate for the blindside; he has surprisingly quick feet for his size. His intangibles are also key; he is a junior who has started since he was a true freshman, and he has quickly matured into a leader in the locker room. The comparisons to Jake Long and Michael Roos are not that far-fetched; he is rapidly improving, and though it may take him time to get acclimated to the NFL, he will become a dominant force when he truly arrives.

    Rams #42 - Matt Elam, FS, Florida. Mikell will be gone after this year. That much is certain. There's no way that they're going to pay him that much salary to be as ineffective as he is. I expect Dahl to be gone and for Stewart to be a starter (who will be resigned at the end of the year). McLeod and Daniels are interesting prospects, but neither of them should be manning the free safety spot. We need a ball-hawk in the worst sort of way, someone who keep the elite tight ends in check.

    Elam fits this description to the letter. While you won't get a Tony Jefferson or a T.J. McDonald with the forty-second pick, Elam is no slouch himself. At 5'10", 205 lbs., he is a hard hitter in the box with the coverage skills of a cornerback. He causes turnovers and splash plays on a regular basis (three picks, three forced fumbles, two sacks, fourteen tackles for a loss, and ten passes broken up throughout his career), and his instincts are off the charts. There's always a place on our team for a talented safety like Elam.

    Rams #74 - Levine Toilolo, TE, Stanford. While this is not necessarily a "need" position, it's one that can be upgraded. While Kendricks is an outstanding blocker and an underrated receiver, he still drops far too many passes for my liking. Mulligan should be relegated to a blocking role, and Mike McNeill is not the pass-catching tight end you should be looking for.

    Toilolo is an anomaly at tight end; a 6'8", 265 lbs. monster who runs just almost as fast (4.62) as his teammate and fellow tight end, Zach Ertz (6'6", 245, 4.61). This is a true boom-bust prospect; he will either become an elite tight end similar to Jimmy Graham or he'll be a slightly-better Leonard Pope. What helps his cause is that he is a much better receiver than Pope, and although his route-running and blocking need work, those are things that can be improved. But you don't teach size and red-zone ability like Toilolo's.

    Rams #106 - Omoregie Uzzi, LG/C, Georgia Tech. While much ado has been made of the offensive tackles, the inside of the line has not been much better. Rob Turner is not suited to be a starter. While Harvey Dahl has retained some ability in the passing game, he has arguably been our worst starting offensive lineman outside of Ojinnaka. While young players like Rokevious Watkins (who I believe will eventually take Dahl's place), Tim Barnes, and Brandon Washington look impressive - and even though Shelley Smith has done a decent job holding down the fort - there's a real weakness at backup center. We do not have a successor to Scott Wells, much like we don't have a successor to Rodger Saffold. When they went down, we had no chance.

    Uzzi (6'3", 303) is a very athletic, cerebral zone-blocking guard who may be best suited to play center in the NFL. He is an incredibly smart player who is not only a two-time All-ACC selection, but had already gone into the season with a degree in business management (and was planning on pursuing a second degree in public policy). He is a leader in the Georgia Tech locker room, and he is the best player on a line that has consistently ranked amongst the best in the nation in every category. He'll start out at left guard for us, but he's intelligent enough to learn a new position in center, and in the best case scenario, he will be Wells' successor.

    Rams #138 - DeVonte Holloman, OLB, South Carolina. I'll be quite frank: we need serious help at outside linebacker depth. Other than Laurinaitis and Dunbar, there are no linebackers signed beyond this year, and I highly doubt that we resign any of them. The only other linebacker that's in the system, as far as I can tell, is Sammy Brown, and I have no faith in him becoming more than a camp body. Oh, and Dunbar is only signed for two years.

    Holloman is a linebacker/safety hybrid with a lot of athleticism and brute strength. He forced his way into a loaded Gamecocks lineup as a true freshman and has done nothing but make splash plays ever since. He fits more as a linebacker than a safety (he's 6'2", 241 lbs.), and he is a major boom-bust prospect since some scouts don't know what kind of role he'll have in the NFL, but his potential as a pass-rushing linebacker who can drop into coverage should be good enough to make him a fifth round pick.

    Rams #170 - Tom Wort, OLB, Oklahoma. Same concerns as above, except I'll gloss over the starters this time. McIntosh has basically disappeared most games, Haggan has been out with injuries, and Josh Hull is a special teams player at best and not nearly athletic enough to start. And again, Sammy Brown as the only other option for next year scares me.

    Wort has many similarities to Holloman and many differences. Wort has made nothing but splash plays in the running game and in the pass-rush, but he is not as good in coverage as Holloman. That's not to say that he's bad; it's just that he's more-or-less average. Wort is fairly big at 6'0", 238., although his frame is likely maxed out. He is not a sideline-to-sideline linebacker; he is mostly north-south with solid tackling skills and instincts. He has had nagging injuries, which drops him to the sixth round, but his ability to make plays will make him a steal in the sixth round.

    Rams #202 - Nickell Robey, CB, USC. Bradley Fletcher is not coming back after this year. With Trumaine Johnson stepping into Fletcher's spot, and Quinton Pointer taking the fourth cornerback job (as he should), there is an opening for a fifth cornerback...or a dimeback if Pointer falters. You can never have too many corners in today's NFL.

    Robey reminds me of our very own Cortland Finnegan...in miniature, of course. At 5'8", 165 lbs., he'd be smaller than anyone on our current team or practice squad. He's a violent hitter and a feisty competitor who is also fundamentally sound in tackling. He times his hits perfectly so that he hits the receiver exactly when their hands touch the ball. His coverage skills, surprisingly enough, are even better. He is an explosive player who is lethal on punt returns, and he has started every game since he was a true freshman. If not for his size, he would likely be a second or third round pick. As it is, I see him falling past where he should truly be ranked in favor of bigger corners. Oh well. It's a steal for us, I'd say.

    ...

    Any thoughts, comments, and/or discussion would be appreciated.
     
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