The St. Louis Rams once again have two picks in the draft due to the RG3 trade, and the Rams have one heckuva pick from the Washington Redskins with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Josh Sanchez over at the FanSided.com main page frequently does mock drafts on the main page, and I like to go over his picks for different teams. Today, we’ll take a look at the two players the Rams took in the first round with the third and 15th overall picks in his most recent mock draft.
If the Rams want to take the best player overall with the third pick, then I am all for drafting Jake Matthews. He’s the best offensive tackle in the draft, and he has the makings of a star player in the NFL. However, the Rams are set at tackle, and it’s not worth bypassing other needs to pull Matthews off of the board. There isn’t an issue playing Matthews at right tackle with star Jake Long obviously locked in as the left tackle after signing a huge contract in the offseason, and having a great bookend of tackles is awesome. Heck, the whole LT vs. RT thing is often overblown.
But at the same time, selecting Matthews there isn’t the wisest thing for this team to do, since I think they need to pick on need. For that reason, drafting Sammy Watkins with the third pick is the best thing for this team to do. Yes, Matthews is the better prospect, but the Rams already have a solid right tackle in Joe Barksdale, who was awesome filling in for Roger Saffold, who is also a solid tackle. Saffold is gone since he wants to play at LT and be paid like one, but Barksdale has played well enough to ensure that he and Long will be the Rams starting bookend in the future.
Meanwhile, the Rams could really use a star receiver, and I think Watkins is good enough to be worth the third pick. Nobody should give up on Tavon Austin- or even Chris Givens yet- but I don’t think selecting Austin with a top-ten pick last year should deter the Rams from taking another receiver high. Watkins is a different animal from Austin, and Watkins is undoubtedly the best wide receiver in the class. He can be a true No. 1, “X” receiver as a rookie, and he could give Sam Bradford a major weapon and legit star to throw it to.
Should the Rams select a quarterback? I don’t think so, because the organization is high on Sam Bradford and he played well enough before the injury to deserve another year. The Rams have stuck with him long enough, so they shouldn’t give up now that he’s actually performed well. Plus, adding Watkins could greatly help out the next quarterback in St. Louis, if the Rams figure out that Bradford isn’t the answer following the 2014 season.
The Rams other first-round pick was Alabama Crimson Tide safety HaHa Clinton-Dix, who is the best safety in this draft class. I don’t think his meniscus surgery is an issue at all, so a mid-first-round pick is definitely good enough value for him. The Rams were projected to draft Kenny Vaccaro last year in many mocks, but they traded away from that slot. They could still use an upgrade at safety, and I think Clinton-Dix is a great pick.