2012 Draft Blog - The Final Week 2
The real key to drafting is knowing what order to fill needs, when deciding between two or three equally ranked players. With so many holes to fill, the Rams have to get it right the next three years. By now, they should know not only how this yearís draft stacks up in positions they need, but also what next yearís first round might feature.
This yearís draft is paper thin at some positions, and you will see the one or two top prospects come off the board earlier than one might expect. Itís very deep, but without a true #1 consensus at other positions, and at others , itís deep, but with one or two clearcut top talents.
Draft always start with the quarterback position, because that positionís strength or weakness really defines many drafts. This year the top two, and top two picks, are locked in granite, as the Colts and Redskins will welcome the new faces of their storied franchises, Andrew Luck, and Robert Griffin III to their teams.
Everyone has Ryan Tannehill ranked third behind those two, and he is clearly WAY behind them. In fact, he probably isnít a far better prospect from the next three passers available. Brandon Weeden, Kirk Cousins, and Brock Osweiler, who could all go in round two.
I think Tannehill goes to Miami, because his former coach is their offensive coordinator. Nobody sells tickets better than a new passer, and Miami needs a PR boost, but not so much that they make the mistake of dealing up to make sure they get Tannehill. I think heíll go to the Dolphins, and Weeden to Cleveland in round two, Osweiler to Denver later that round, and Cousins to any of the other teams looking for passers, such as Arizona, San Francisco, Kansas City, Philadelphia, or Oakland.
I think itís a slam dunk that Trent Richardson goes to the Browns at #4, as he is by far the best player available. Unless Minnesota deals out of #3, the Browns have their star RB in a division where that is a must.
The rest of the running back is quite good, but itís likely that Richardson will be the only first rounder. That will leave the Rams, with two early second rounders, with a tough choice as to take one or wait till round three, where there should still be a couple good options available. Even round four could offer help at running back this year.
Naturally, the focus for Rams fans is on the wide receiver position, and it is a solid year for them, both early and later. Without question, the top two, both solid top ten talents, are Justin Blackmon and Michael Floyd.
For the Rams, the questions are; How much better, if at all, is Blackmon that Floyd, and what is the dropoff from the four or five who go in round one and the next group the Rams could get in round two, if they pass on one of those first two in round one?
If the Rams knew for sure that Stephen Hill, Kendall Wright, or Reuben Randle would fall to #33, it really could effect how they go with their first pick, and even if they deal down there. In the end, I think they will see a large difference after those first five receivers, with a lot of good ones that go all the ay to round four at least. They could end up taking a receiver first and then another in round three or four, because of the real value at the position.
I think they will take Blackmon if he is there, but if he isnít and itís between Floyd , DT Fletcher Cox, and OT Matt Kalil, and no one offers a solid deal to move down a bit, Iíd go for Floyd, because the difference between him and the 6th best receiver, that would be there in round two, is too great . And if one of those top five falls to #33, you can probably deal down a short bit and add an additional #3, OR you can just take a second stud wide out.
Iím not all that worried about Floydís college issues, all involving getting drunk. He was at Notre Dame, and they donít keep really bad apples around long there. As a receiving prospect, I like him more in some ways than Blackmon.
I donít see the Rams taking any tight ends this year, at least I hope they donít. Thatís something they can get in 2013 if the young guys they have donít pan out. There could be one tight end, Coby Fleener, who eeks into round one, and there are some other pretty good second and third down guys too.
Lotís of folks want the Rams to take Matt Kalil instead of a receiver, but I would not, for several reasons, the main one being they have two young tackles who still have a year to prove themselves. Also, there are round two tackles worthy of that draft position, especially right tackles, and really, Harvey Dahl could start at right tackle if need be, and would over any rookie.
After round two, the stock of tackles is very weak, however. Thatís why I could see the Rams going for a guard with a round two pick. There are two, Kevin Zeitler and Aminiasi Silatolu, who will go early in round two, if they last through round one, where David Dicastro will surely be picked as the first guard.
After those two possible Rams picks, the pickings are very slim. Which is why this might be here the Rams go for a guard, or at least should.
The Rams look solid at center for awhile with Wells, so I doubt they go for Peter Konz, the top center, who could be there at # 33 0r even #39. After Konz and a couple others, itís again a thin crop.
On defense, the Rams would look hard at a defensive tackle first, but none seem worthy of the 6th pick, so barring a trade down, look for them to take a tackle Friday, in round two or three. Itís a very solid year at the position, with as many as five or six going in round one. If one of those with first round grades falls to #33, it would be hard to pass up.
The Rams arenít really looking for defensive ends, and itís not a particularly great year for them anyway, but itís unlikely that a top tier talent there will be available after round one because of the demand at the position.
The inside linebacker crop is way better than outside types, with two, Luke Kuechley and Dontía Hightower sure first rounders. There will be good inside backers available in round three, but the Rams wonít be taking any.
On the outside, the Rams have a big need, but itís doubtful a really good one will be there in round two. Rounds three and four could offer more help there at a better value. Zach Brown may be the one OLB who could be of interest at #39.
The Rams would look hard at taking CB Morris Claiborne over a wide receiver if he is available, but I donít think he will get by Minnesota or Tanpa Bay, and the next best option Stephon Gilmore is not graded high enough for a top 10 selection. After him, Janoris Jenkins and Dre Kirkpatrick are the next best, but Jenkins has some issues I would avoid in round two. There will be decent corners available in round three and four as well, and even later.
One of the key players in this draft is safety Harrison Smith. He is the last of two safeties expected to be chosen in the early rounds. He may never get out of round one, but if he does, the Rams would have to look hard at taking him, as they have need there, and they wonít get it anywhere else in this draft, or likely in free agency.
Itís a solid year for punters, and you can look for the Rams to get one in round six, unless they can make a deal that adds a fifth rounder to be used for that need.