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Kiper/McShay mock drafts offer familiar picks for Rams

Discussion in 'NFL DRAFT / COLLEGE FOOTBALL' started by RamBill, Apr 29, 2014.

  1. RamBill Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2010
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    Mel Kiper, Todd McShay mock drafts offer familiar picks for Rams
    By Ryan Van Bibber


    Mel Kiper and Todd McShay released their final 2014 NFL mock drafts this week. They're included in the latest issue of People, der, ESPN the Magazine. Are you ready for a surprise? Sorry. There are no surprises here, but it's worth a final look, if for no other reason than to cap off an excruciating march to the draft.

    It's worth noting that these mocks do not predict trades, because those are rather unpredictable, more so than draft picks even.

    At No. 2, both of the ESPN draft gurus have the Rams taking ...

    Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

    From Kiper:

    Analysis: This is also a spot at which I've noted before I'd consider going with Sammy Watkins. And the Rams should also keep the phone lines open here. But if they stay, I think Robinson fits a pretty good balance equation of major talent and major need. This is a player with the upside of an All-Pro tackle. There's still some development left here, particularly in the passing game, but Robinson is only a year removed from playing guard. Not only can St. Louis pass on a wide receiver here, it's a loaded draft at that position and they can pass it at No. 13, too, and still be fine.

    From McShay:

    If Clowney goes No. 1, I think this pick will come down to Robinson and Clemson WR Sammy Watkins. The Rams still lack a legitimate No. 1 target, but they also need to better protect QB Sam Bradford, and Robinson is dominant at the point of attack and has very good athleticism for his size. One bit of buzz to throw out there: Don't rule out Johnny Manziel landing in St. Louis. It sounds insane, and I don't think the Rams would take him at No. 2 and he won't likely be there at No. 13, but if they were to move down or back from either spot, it's a possibility. Some people around the league think the Rams are capable of taking him, even if they still believe Bradford can be the guy for them.

    It's important to note that both assume Clowney gets picked first. That's big, because it shapes the Rams draft plans. The South Carolina pass rusher is a very real possibility for the Rams at No. 2, and if he is still on the board at that point, he's Les Snead's best hope for luring another team to trade up.

    What about Sammy Watkins? I tend to agree with Kiper about the receivers, and I also happen to believe that Mike Evans would be a better fit for what the Rams need.

    And what's that, a Manziel mention? Yes, McShay says not to rule out the possibility of Johnny Football in Baseball Heaven.

    At pick No. 13, both have the Rams taking ...

    HaHa Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

    From Kiper:

    If Beckham is off the board here, you could see the attention turn to safety, at which the Rams have a pretty notable void. Clinton-Dix gives them some needed range and instincts in coverage and a possible pairing with T.J. McDonald, who showed flashes as a rookie in 2013 before a season-ending injury. Even with plenty of talent along the defensive line, I also think Donald could go here if available. An offensive tackle is also a possibility. Clinton-Dix isn't a big physical presence, but he's effective coming downhill and making tackles, and he's going to help in coverage.

    From McShay:

    The Rams need a safety to pair with T.J. McDonald, and, more specifically, with all the talented pass-rushers in their defensive front, they need a good centerfielder to track down the fly balls being thrown up by opposing quarterbacks who are under duress. Clinton-Dix has really good range, instincts and ball skills, and he'd be freed up to make plays in Gregg Williams' defense behind all of that talent up front. I think he could wind up as a better pro than he was a college player.

    But wait, you say, the Rams haven't had a private visit with HHCD. Ignore that. The tape's pretty well established, and with only 30 visits to use, teams don't always bring in the players they plan to target in the first round.

    Something else to consider is that HHCD might not even be available here.

    Interesting to note that Pitt defensive tackle Aaron Donald and LSU wide receiver Odell Beckham, Jr. get mentioned as potential picks for the Rams here.
  2. RamBill Well-Known Member

    Jul 31, 2010
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    Kiper, McShay in agreement on Rams
    By Nick Wagoner


    EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The real NFL draft is a little more than a week away, which means we are finally drawing close to the merciful end of the longest silly season of all time.

    It also means we are drawing closer to the end of mock draft season, but before we do there are a couple of final opportunities for our ESPN draft experts Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay to make their projections.

    On Tuesday afternoon, Kiper and McShay released the fifth edition of their mock drafts. For most of this pre-draft process, Kiper and McShay have been in lockstep on the directions the St. Louis Rams will go with the Nos. 2 and 13 picks in the first round.

    So it should come as no surprise to see Kiper again mock Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson and Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to the Rams in his fifth mock draft. And, drumroll please, McShay follow through with the same picks in his version. Be sure to check out the full mock drafts for full explanations from both on their picks.

    As for the fits of Robinson and Clinton-Dix to the Rams, we've discussed those choices time and again and it's hard to argue that they don't make sense. The Rams have needs for another dominant offensive lineman and a rangy free safety type.

    At No. 2 overall, the mock draft momentum for Robinson has been in place nearly from the moment he declared and only picked up steam at the scouting combine. While Robinson comes with questions because he's not a polished pass protector, his punishing run blocking style would be ideal for St. Louis. Beyond that, the Rams have not been afraid to draft the player with upside over the more polished option since general manager Les Snead and coach Jeff Fisher took over.

    Snead and Fisher have played this one extremely close to the vest and it's hard to determine which way the team will go if it can't trade down from No. 2. While Robinson is still in play and the Rams have showed plenty of interest in him, they also have done the same with Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins and Texas A&M offensive tackle Jake Matthews. Assuming Jadeveon Clowney goes No. 1, the debate likely comes down to those three players with Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack the sleeper.

    The No. 13 pick should provide even more intrigue since a dozen players will be off the board. With the requisite trade down possibility again recognized, don't be surprised if the Rams throw more of a curveball there. Clinton-Dix has been mocked to the Rams in this spot all over the place but while the Rams have acknowledged the need for safety help they don't appear desperate to take one in the first round.

    While teams often pay a lot of lip service to drafting the "best player available" they usually mean the best player available at a position of need. However, the Rams could use help at many positions and are in a spot where they could draft just about anything here and it wouldn't be a surprise. So while Clinton-Dix could be in play, it might be worth considering other names that haven't been on the radar as much here such as Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Alabama linebacker C.J. Mosley and Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, to name a few.

    Nobody knows anything for sure at this point but one thing we do know is that soon enough we won't have to wonder anymore.