So here we are, draftniks, headed into the final week. A million rumors have passed, and players have been examined, worked out, timed, and watched on tons of film by NFL coaches, scouts, and GMs, as well as everyone involved in the huge cottage industry that revolves around what Howrd Cosell once called “The biggest non-event in sports.”

It makes an old draftnik like me long for the old days when my obsession with the draft was considered very weird. Back in those days receiving ones Joel Buchsbaum draft guide was like Christmas. My early eighties volumes still get a prime spot in my sports bookshelf, along with the first editions from a high school kid named Mel Kiper.

Nowadays, the Internet has made things a lot easier, as far as getting info on even the most obscure players, but with that comes a veritable overdose of draft strategy coming from ex-head coaches and GMs who clearly didn’t draft all that well themselves, explaining why they are now media types.

All this media overkill makes one even more happy that draft day is near, this year one of the latest dates it’s been held since it was moved to the spring.

Everything one can gather says the Rams, as lucky to finish second worst as they were to be first when Sam Bradford was healthy and available, are in superb shape, and not just now, but for three years. The real bounty from the trade don’t reach the Rams for a year or two.

Everything seems to be breaking the Rams way, other than the Bountygate effect on their coaching staff, and the Rams new brain trust seems to be on top of the whole situation, wisely making the trade early for an all time price when everything was aligned, including a couple suitors for the pick that just happened to be drafting in the top 6, in a supposed six elite player draft.

That situation means that the Rams surely will get one of the top tier players if they stay put, yet could also be in a position to receive even more early picks for another short drop down, if the top six guy that falls isn’t all that much better than the second tier guys, and doesn‘t fit where the Rams want to go at #6.

Not only is the top six pretty much set, even with possible trades, but most of the sure first rounders are pretty well known now. With that, those players who will be going from 30 to 40, where the Rams have two picks, also seem quite clear, making it easier for the Rams to see what value they could add with another high second rounder.

The only question seems to be which players in that third group of late ones and early twos, will get pushed up due to needs late in round one. When teams have two #1 picks, like three teams do this year, if they keep them both rather than packaging them for a move up using on as bait for a move down, they could go for a pure need with one of those two picks, maybe at a position like guard or center that normally may not go so high.

This year the late first round will be formed mostly on how may teams go for wide receivers over pass rushers, as those two offer the biggest questions in that area of the draft.

Here is the breakdown of the first four tiers of available players for this draft.

LEVEL ONE: Surefire top 6

1. Andrew Luck QB

2. Robt. Griffin III QB

3. Morris Claiborne CB

4. Trent Richardson RB

5. Ryan Kalil

6. Justin Blackmon WR

Note: A reach for QB Ryan Tannehill could make this the top 7.

LEVEL TWO: Probable top 15

7. Ryan Tannehill - QB

8. Luke Kuechley -LB

9. Fletcher Cox DT

10. Mark Barron -S

11. Stephon Gilmore -CB

12. Michael Floyd - WR

13. Melvin Ingram - DL

14. David DiCastro -G

15. Michael Brockers - DT

LEVEL THREE: Sure First Rounders

16. Quentin Coples DE/DT

17. Reilly Reiff - OT

18. Courtney Upshaw -DE/LB

19. Donte Hightower - LB

20. Dontario Poe -DT

21. Nick Perry -DE

22. Dre Kirkpatrick - CB

23. Kendall Wright -WR

24. Chandler Jones DE

25. Stephen Hill - WR

26. Whitney Mercilus -DE/LB

27. Jerel Worthy - DT

28 - Jonathan Martin OT

So this leaves us with the following players who could go in round one, but surely will in the top half of round two.

29. Janoris Jenkins - CB

30. Hunter Smith - S

31. Reuben Randle - WR

32. Brandon Weeden -QB

33. Kendall Reyes -DL

34. Kevin Zeitler -G

35. David Wilson - RB

36. Doug Martin -RB

37. Peter Konz -C

38. Shea McClellan - LB/DE

39. Mike Adams - OT

40. Cordy Glenn - OL

41. Coby Fleener -TE

42. Lamar Miller -RB

43. Brandon Thompson -DT

 

So, if you are the Rams, with picks 33 and 39, which of these players would you go after first and second in round two, keeping in mind that round three will have some good RB and WR left in a strong draft at those spots?

Do you think adding THREE of that last list for a short trade down would be worth the move, if it means not getting Blackmon, Claiborne or Kalil?

The Rams will sit and wait, and see who deals up ahead of them, and then will already know who is interested in a deal at the right price for the Rams. They are in great shape, no matter which way they go, great news for Rams draftniks, who will be in hog heaven the next three Aprils.