The Ultimate 8: Top 8 Draft Choices

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2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington)
What do they need?
Reason I’m going to go with another offensive tackle as the Ram’s #2 overall draft choice (they drafted Baylor OT Jason Smith #2 overall in the 2009 draft) is because in reality I don’t see a need for the Rams to draft yet another QB in the first round (drafted QB Sam Bradford #1 overall in the 2010 draft). This season had Zac Stacy burst onto the scene in week one and had starting QB Sam Bradford not torn his ACL in the 7th week against Carolina, then this Rams team would have definitely had a chance to make the playoffs. What this team really needs help in is in its’ passing offense and its’ pass defense. Their pass defense ranked 19th in the NFL allowing 242.1 yards to opposing QBs along with 21 passing touchdowns, including a stretch from week 10 to week 15 where the Rams allowed on average 342 yards per game along with at least one touchdown or more given up in every game. Where they could use some help in this draft could be at the Strong Safety position. This season Rodney McLoed defended 7 passes and only intercepted 2, the Rams could use a safety that can help shut down the often effective passing games of the NFC West.

When looking at the #2 pick, what it is, is not a chance to grab a great pick, but rather a chance to grab a great pick that the first team missed. In reality Johnny Manziel could be selected first overall by the Texans. Would it be a mistake for the Rams to pass up on Manziel or any other QB for that matter? I don’t think so. Don’t get me wrong any offense could use Johnny football and his elusive running abilities, but I think before the Rams start thinking about another first-round QB selection, they should be trying to fix their other problems first and foremost. They will have more picks down the line, that is when they should chose another QB. Sam Bradford (the Rams’ first round and #1 overall draft choice in 2010) hasn’t been spectacular, but he hasn’t been horrible either. I think this season should be an indicator for him and the Rams as to whether keep him or ditch him. Basically what the “indication season” means is this: Bradford has averaged 225.8 yards per game (more yards per game than “elite” Joe Flacco) as well as a touchdown to interception ratio of 1.55:1, better than Eli Manning and Flacco. I think this season you give Bradford one last chance to earn his #1 overall pick status, if he doesn’t perform up to expectations (let’s say 4,000 yards and at least 22 touchdowns), then start preparing to draft another QB in the 2015 draft. For the time being though, surround Bradford with some A-Class talent and give him the best opportunity to succeed in this offense. They’ve got two beast rookie runners in bruiser Zac Stacy who rushed for 973 yards and 7 touchdowns in his rookie season out of Vanderbilt and speedy Benny Cunningham who averaged 5.6 yards per carry on 47 carries in 2013. As well, the Rams have a lot of underrated receiving talent in rookie Tavon Austin (#8 overall pick from 2013), reliable Chris Givens (569 receiving yards) and physical, 6’5″ TE Jared Cook (671 yards and 5 touchdowns). In this draft look for the Rams to concentrate on the defensive passing game in their corners and safeties and their offensive tackles more than anything else.

Dec 31, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Texas A

Jake Mathews
Offensive Tackle, Texas A&M
The Rams have been known for their frequent losing seasons and their frequent high number draft picks. While the offensive line ranked 25th with only 36 sacks allowed, the average age of their offensive line is 27.4 years old. Out of Texas A&M, Mathews has played superlative football protecting Johnny Manziel for both his freshman and sophomore seasons. At 6’5″, 305, Mathews is a big and punishing lineman, many times able to plow through opposing defensive lines with his long arms alone. As a Senior he has protected the best QBs in Dolphin’s QB Ryan Tannehill and Johnny Manziel. I believe he’ll be able to protect Sam Bradford the same way and prevent him from being sacked and tearing his ACL again. Where I think Mathews will be able to help out this team the most is in his ability to run block. With a 5.08 40-yard dash time, he is quick, not as quick as other offensive tackles in the draft, but he makes up for that lack of speed with his brute strength. Look for Mathews (if he earns the starting job) to be a major, key component to the Rams success running the football. They have two of the most underrated runners in football, it’s time to use them to your advantage. I think with Mathews’ unbeatable combination of size and experience with the running game, he cold be the X-factor that propels this offense into the playoffs.

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  • Joe

    This is by far the worst mock draft i have seen. Khalil Mack number 1? Blake Bortles to Tampa even though they need OT help and a DE

  • Terry88

    Whats the method for selecting in this draft? Dart throw or pulling names out of a hat?

  • Rick Talley

    Was this mock suppose to be a joke? If not……quick, we need a straight jacket!

  • gagu

    You have the Vikings passing on both Bridgewater and Manziel. I´m not so sure that could happen. Even if flaws show up at the Combine or work outs, I think the potential will still be too much to sink both. I’d take Barr over Dix at this point. Any, as of today, I don´t expect Bridgewater, Manziel or Barr to get past 7. So Dix is a good pick, in a screwy way. He would be great with Smith. Match one of the top 4 or 5 FA cornerbacks with Rhodes and you have the best Vikings secondary in history in the making.

    • coolhand

      Yeah, this mock is a joke. One QB in the top 8 and the Vikings selecting a safety. The only need they don’t have on defense is a safety. Back to the drawing board for this writer.

    • Don Andrew Halvorson

      The Vikings taking a safety? Harrison Smith was injured, and Sanford and Raymond are solid to not waste a top ten pick with Ahmad Dixon being third round talent. Bridgewater won’t make it passed five. Manziel is the pick with this mock. Barr or Mack if he’s not available. Move along.

    • Mike Bridges

      In History? Paul Krause and his boys would argue about that one! There is no way, if they were available, would the Vikings let Teddy B. or Johnny M. get by them! Not after 2011 when QB’s were let pass and then take Ponder. If they took one of those, they would not be reaching. I don’t understand all the love for these Alabama boys, after OU bitch slapped them in Jan and showed everyone, they couldn’t even keep up with OU’s WR’s! It has been toooo many years since Minnesota had a long term, quality QB. Favre showed us how great things can be with a very good QB. FA has focused on Defense and they have picked up a few Defensive players, on the right side of 30, and now they need to get that ONE player that has held them back in recent years! If one of the Top 3 QB’s happens to drop to 8….grab him with a freaking smile! Now is the time to cease being the “Wicked Bitch of the North!”

  • Jaime Olguin

    Justin Gilbert is an awesome cornerback, and yes I would pick him up but the fact of the matter is that we really
    Need to Draft a passrusher to be able to put pressure on the opposing QB, the qicker we get to the QB the better it
    Gets for or corners Aaron Donlds is one that comes to mine he would be able to come right in and contribute, but
    Anyways the draft is still a couple of months away there is still a lot prospects to evaluate, I got a lot of faith in Reggie and Dennis to get the right personnel this year, GO Raiders!!!!!

  • WayneBo

    This writer doesn’t know what the F he is talking about. Stick to fantasy football leagues bro.

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  • Mike Bridges

    What in the Wide World of Sports, was that Mock about?