The St. Louis Rams are in prime position this year to pick up a few gems in the NFL draft. They were very quite in the offseason not brining in any big names during free agency so it is assumed they are looking to stay young and build through the draft. With twelve picks in their possession, they will look to package some of those picks and move around on the big board, but for sake of this article lets say they don’t trade up. This is what it you may see come Thursday night.
Round 1 (No. 2): Greg Robinson – OT
Jeff Fisher has not been one to draft an offensive lineman in the first round. I do not believe he will do it this year either. I picture the St. Louis Rams trading this pick away, but if they were to keep the pick I believe they will take Greg Robinson out of Auburn. Playing in the SEC gives Robinson experience playing against NFL ready defensive players. Of course the NFL is much faster and stronger then college football, but Robinson would be a good fit at right tackle for Sam Bradford.
Round 1 (No 13): Justin Gilbert – CB
With the release of Cortland Finnegan, the Rams are in need of a cornerback. Janoris Jenkins and Trumaine Johnson make a formidable cornerback tandem, but Jenkins and Justin Gilbert will make it a threat to the other NFC West opponent’s rich with quarterbacks and receivers. Gilbert is a pure athlete that can close in quickly on his receivers and break up a pass. Although he still has some weakness like being very aggressive with the wide outs down the field, with the right coaching from head coach Jeff Fisher and defensive coordinator Greg Williams, Gilbert can eventually develop into an elite cornerback
Round 2 (No. 44): Lamarcus Joyner – S
Joyner is a versatile player who is listed as a cornerback by some experts and a safety by others. With TJ McDonald coming back as the team’s strong safety, Joyner would make the most sense to fill in as the free safety. He has great timing and an eye for the ball that could translate into interceptions in the NFL. His small frame may be somewhat of a gamble at the free safety position, but he has all the talent to make up for it against his opponents.
Round 3 (No. 75): Ego Ferguson – DT
The Rams struck gold once picking a defensive tackle out of LSU when they took Michael Brockers a few years ago. Plugging Ferguson into the rotation may be what the Rams need to finally crack into the top 10 on defense. Although Ferguson does not always explode off the ball, his big frame can still plug holes in the middle for running backs. He is a perfect fit for any type of defense as he can also his vision and long arms to effect the pass.
Round 4 (No. 110): David Yankey
With AJ McCarron probably still on the board at this time, the Rams could take him with their fourth round pick. It would be wise for St. Louis to avoid drafting a quarterback still this early in the draft if they want to avoid controversy for current QB Bradford. Instead the Rams should focus more on protecting their quarterback and keeping him upright. If David Yankey is still available in the 4th round, he would be a great fit. Scouts have him as a highly intelligent and skilled athlete. Yankey already has the work ethic, with the right coaching; he could have a long successful career.
Round 5 (No. 153): Howard Jones – OLB
It looks as if the Rams have their line-backing core set for this season. At this point in the draft the St. Louis Rams will be looking for players they can develop for the future. Howard Jones comes out of a Division-II school in Sheppard, but has the raw talent that can be coached up with Fisher and Williams as the defensive masterminds that they are.
Round 6 (No. 188): Aaron Lynch – DE
The Rams recently picked up Robert Quinn’s option and were right in doing so. Chris Long is still playing at a high level, but will soon start to decline. Brining in a defensive end like Lynch in the 6th round would pay dividends in the long run. He has the rare combination of size, speed, and length that can learn so much from these two elite defensive ends. Even if Long has a couple of years left in him, a three man rotation never hurt someone, just ask the New York Giants.
Round 6 (No. 214): Rajion Neal – RB
The Rams are hoping Zac Stacy continues his impressive rookie year into his sophomore year and doesn’t have the Dayrl Richardson effect. Rajion Neal out of Tennessee is a running back with clear cutting ability and soft hands, which could be a nice complementary piece to Stacy ground and pound style.
Round 7 (No. 226): Conner Shaw- QB
It’s no secret the Rams are in search of a quarterback, but are willing to give Bradford another year. He was off to a good start and has not really had the real opportunity to succeed. Maybe I am just a Bradford apologist, but drafting Shaw in the 7th round is a safe pick for all parties involved. He was exciting to watch at South Carolina and played with a lot of heart. If Bradford goes down to injury one more time, it is going to be another long year, but Shaw could be something exciting to watch.
Round 7 (No. 241): Kevin Graff – OT
You could never go wrong with depth at the o-line position. Especially with the luck the St. Louis Rams have had, there is a lineman going down every three games. Kevin Graff will be a project just like most late round picks, but he will provide some depth should any of the big hogs go down.
Round 7 (No. 249): Andrew Jackson – ILB
James Laurinaitis is the heart and soul of the defense. Should anything go wrong, the Rams might be ok be he is definitely a difference maker. With a few extra picks, it won’t be such a bad idea to bring in someone to fill in for him should anything catastrophic happen to him.
Round 7 (No. 250): Marcus Lucas –WR
The Rams have picked up some remarkable player at the tail end of the draft. Marcus Lucas is a wide receiver out of Missouri who led the teams in receiving yards in 2012. The Rams have a lot of receivers on the roster so this may just be a courtesy pick for Lucas.