UCLA Bruins linebacker Anthony Barr (11) during the game against the Virginia Tech Hokies in the 2013 Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. UCLA defeated Virginia Tech 42-12. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Anthony Barr, Cyrus Kouandjio to the St. Louis Rams

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The St. Louis Rams have two more first-round picks in this year’s draft, and I’m willing to bet that they’ll have more by the time the 2014 NFL Draft rolls around. Rams GM Les Snead loves to stockpile extra picks and trade down, and the Rams are in a perfect position to trade down from the No. 2 pick. They have a deep roster and are going to stick with Sam Bradford as their franchise quarterback, so there’s no point in reaching for a guy like Sammy Watkins with the No. 2 pick just to get a guy at a position they actually have a need at. The Rams need to trade down and take advantage of a team that wants a franchise QB like Blake Bortles.

2014 NFL Mock Drafts done by most writers don’t take into account trades, so it’s extremely difficult to actually do those mocks for the Rams. In his latest mock draft on NFL Mocks.com (you can read the full article by following this link), Sayre Bedinger has the St. Louis Rams taking UCLA Bruins star pass rusher Anthony Barr with the second pick in the draft and Alabama Crimson Tide offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio with the 13th pick in the draft.

In all honesty, I would have went in a different direction with both selections. Barr is more of a 3-4 OLB than a 4-3 DE, and the last thing the Rams need to do is draft a DE when they are already stacked on the defensive line. But if they do want to really hoard things up at the position, then why not go for Jadeveon Clowney? Not only is he the better player, but he’s also a much better fit in the Rams scheme; it doesn’t make much sense for the Rams to reach for Barr, when reaching for Clowney is a better “reach”.

If the Rams were to go best available at No. 2, then picking Clowney or offensive tackle Jake Matthews makes the most sense, because they are both elite prospects at extremely valuable positions. Most people have the Rams taking Matthews, but the Rams have a very good starting tackle duo in star Jake Long and the underrated Joe Barksdale, who should be entrenched on the right side. Rodger Saffold is probably going to be gone, and that’s because of Barksdale’s rise.

The Rams really need to trade down from the No. 2 spot, but maybe the guy who makes the most sense there is Clemson Tigers wide receiver Sammy Watkins. I know the Rams already reached for a WR in the top ten last year in Tavon Austin, and Watkins would definitely be a reach on paper at No. 2. But if the Rams really want to fill out a need and help out Bradford (and absolutely have no way of trading down), then adding a big-talent wide receiver like Watkins is justifiable.

Selecting Alabama’s Cyrus Kouandjio with the 13th pick is justifiable as well, but I would rather see the Rams select Ha Ha Clinton-Dix with their second first-round pick. He’s definitely the best safety in the class, and he has had an incredible college career for the Crimson Tide. The Rams need upgrades in the secondary big-time, and Clinton-Dix would undoubtedly be a big-time upgrade and a great value with the 13th pick. If he’s still on the board, like he is in this mock draft, then the Rams need to take him.

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Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Anthony Barr Cyrus Kouandjio Football Ha Ha Clinton-Dix Jadeveon Clowney Jake Matthews NFL Draft Sammy Watkins St. Louis Rams Ucla Bruins

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