With the draft quickly approaching on May 8th, the St. Louis Rams are on the clock with the second pick in the first round. They are an improving team who were on the edge of making the playoffs in 2013 in the tough NFC West that has all of a sudden become one of the best conferences in the NFL. This draft will be critical for them if they want to become a playoff contender in 2014.
There has been much debate among experts on who the best prospects in this years draft are. The overall opinion is that Jadeveon Clowney is the most intriguing player. Although he had a sub par year at South Carolina last year, he was sixth in the Heisman race in 2012 and is a physical freak with the size and speed to dominate in the NFL.
Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel is a talented athlete with a huge upside but his size and lack of experience in a pro style offense makes him a risky pick at number 2.
Clemson wideout Sammy Watkins is another guy who could have an instant impact in the NFL. He has great size and has the ability to make big plays downfield and be a valuable possession receiver who can get you that big 1st down when you need it.
Although all of these players are attractive, I believe that the Rams should select Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson with their first round pick. Robinson is an incredible physical specimen, standing 6-foot-5 and weighing 335 pounds. He possesses long arms and an athletic body with the ability to overpower defenders in the run game and control defensive ends in the passing game. Robinson has great balance and is quick enough to reach speed rushers on the edge. He ran a 4.88 40-yard dash at the combine, which is extremely fast for a player of that size.
If the Rams draft Robinson, he could play right tackle with Jake Long manning the blind side. This pick would solidify the offensive line that would have the ability to run the ball with future star Zac Stacy in the backfield. They could implement a potentially prolific play action offense with Sam Bradford and deep threat Tavon Austin. They need to return to a more physical style of play that proved successful in the past when Steven Jackson was running the ball.
This pick will most likely not be popular among St. Louis fans. Drafting a lineman is never a sexy option but I think it is the correct one. In my opinion, the Rams should continue to have faith in the fifth year quarterback Bradford, so drafting a QB to start right away would be foolish. They have used multiple first round picks in recent years on receivers and currently have a plethora of young talent who simply need time to develop, so Watkins, although talented, would be a mistake of a pick. Their defense is good enough to wait until later picks to address a few needs such as a player like Ha Ha Clinton Dix to fill a safety spot. Drafting Greg Robinson would fill a much-needed gap in the Rams offense and will allow them to take the next step in becoming a playoff team in 2014.