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Thread: 2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

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    2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

    By Mike Sando | ESPN

    Mel Kiper Jr. has released his initial 2013 NFL mock draft Insider for the first round, a good conversation starter as three-fourths of the division transitions into an offseason mindset.

    I'll run through his early projections for each NFC West team, beginning with the St. Louis Rams, who have been a bit neglected around here while their division rivals have commanded headlines for various reasons.

    Note that Kiper's mocks are available in full to Insider subscribers. I've pulled partial comments from Kiper for each NFC West projection and labeled them as his "give" before offering my "take" (give, take ... get it?).

    16. St. Louis Rams: Kenny Vaccaro, S, Texas

    Kiper's give: "The Rams have used the draft and free agency to strengthen the defense almost everywhere over the past couple of years. ... Getting the best safety in the draft, a player who can both cover and step up against the run, will be one of those finishing touches."

    Sando's take: This is the Rams' own pick in the first round. The team acquired the 22nd choice from Washington in the deal allowing the Redskins to draft Robert Griffin III. Having two picks in the first round gives the Rams great flexibility. It becomes easier for the team to select a player at a non-premium position. Safety is a non-premium position in most cases. Teams will generally value positions such as quarterback, offensive tackle and defensive line higher than safety. But a game-changer at the position carries excellent value. Seattle has no regrets after using the 14th choice of the 2010 draft for another Texas safety, Earl Thomas. The Rams lacked range at this position. They could use someone to pair with box safety Quintin Mikell. Vaccaro would be that player. Mikell and veteran corner Cortland Finnegan give the Rams strong leadership in their DB meeting room. Vaccaro could grow with young corner Janoris Jenkins.

    22. St. Louis Rams: D.J. Fluker, T, Alabama

    Kiper's give: "You can't be below average at tackle in the NFC West, dealing with San Francisco, Arizona and Seattle six times a season, and while the Rams stabilized a little bit in 2012 with Barry Richardson and Rodger Saffold bookending the offensive line, they should use one of their first-round picks to look for an upgrade."

    Sando's take: Skeptics of this projection might note that the Rams showed good ability to coach up their linemen, perhaps diminishing the need to draft one early. They might also note that coach Jeff Fisher's teams haven't used early choices for offensive linemen, and the Rams have already invested immense capital in the position, with disappointing results. I still like Kiper's projection from a positional standpoint. The Rams used nine starters on their offensive line during the 2012 season. That was tied for fourth-most in the NFL. They will get guard Rokevious Watkins back from injury, but he is unproven. Veteran guard Harvey Dahl turns 32 in June and will be coming off biceps surgery. The Rams leaned on journeymen tackles Barry Richardson and Wayne Hunter this season. Neither should be on the roster next season if the Rams succeed in upgrading their line.


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    Re: 2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

    Umm... Bingo and bingo.

    This is basically my preferred first round, regardless of the order or the actual players involved. I'm against drafting another young receiver when we already have a bunch of them who are all needing reps to get used to the NFL. I want to be able to start Quick and Givens, but if we draft a WR high, then there is equal pressure to start him, while we don't benefit elsewhere.

    We have a chronic problem defending the deep ball, which is solved by getting a free sfaety who can dominate center field. The Broncos would be playing this weekend if they had held down the long ball. A great back end player then also opens up the ability to play more cover 1, and allow Stewart and Mikell to stuff the run and slot passing. I don't care who we get, but I like Vaccaro's school pedigree and his athleticism. I'll be interested to see how he goes forward through the process. Ed Reed he isn't, but we just need solid, not HOF.

    And then offensive line, specifcially right tackle... nuff said, I think.
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    Re: 2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

    I can dig it.

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    Re: 2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by TekeRam View Post
    Umm... Bingo and bingo.

    This is basically my preferred first round, regardless of the order or the actual players involved. I'm against drafting another young receiver when we already have a bunch of them who are all needing reps to get used to the NFL. I want to be able to start Quick and Givens, but if we draft a WR high, then there is equal pressure to start him, while we don't benefit elsewhere.

    We have a chronic problem defending the deep ball, which is solved by getting a free sfaety who can dominate center field. The Broncos would be playing this weekend if they had held down the long ball. A great back end player then also opens up the ability to play more cover 1, and allow Stewart and Mikell to stuff the run and slot passing. I don't care who we get, but I like Vaccaro's school pedigree and his athleticism. I'll be interested to see how he goes forward through the process. Ed Reed he isn't, but we just need solid, not HOF.

    And then offensive line, specifcially right tackle... nuff said, I think.
    Very much agree with you TekeRam. I also though about how Rahim Moore blew the coverage in the Denver/Baltimore game and how the outcome may have been very different.

    Here is my take on Vacccaro, I like that he played in the Big 12 where there are a lot of good receivers to be covered. I think that helps his transition to the NFL. I'm still interested in knowing why Kiper selected Vaccaro over Eric Reid, is it the pass coverage stuff? Anyway, it is sound move for us to upgrade the safety position. As for the D J Fluker pick, while I really like upgrading the o-line, my concern is passing on a play maker who can help put points on the board for us. Teke, you are right about the WR spot and not drafting one, but I keep thinking Tyler Eifert may do for us what Jimmy Graham does for NO, what Gronk & Hernandez do for NE, what Tony Gonzalez does for Atl. Pairing Eifert with an ever improving Lance Kendricks may kick start our offense, particularly in the Red Zone. I know Fluker won't be there for us round 2, but maybe we take him at 16 and find a solid pass coverage safety in round 2 or even get one in FA. I think William Moore of Atlanta is an unrestricted FA. He is still young enough to grow with Jenkins. Lots to consider. Bottom line I agree with the need to upgrade the o-line, big time.

    Go Rams!

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    Re: 2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

    I really hope he's wrong on this one. Don't like Vaccaro as much as Elam but not neither one of them at 16. D.J. Fluker looks to me like a good pick but not until round two...
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    Re: 2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

    There's a lot of time before the draft, and free agency will throw everything into disarray.

    I haven' done a lot of searching on the safeties, bt it's my strong opinion that we need a coverage safety, not a box one. Vaccaro has some predecessors who have done well in the league, like Campbell. I'll know more as I do mor research.

    I'm not opposed to grabbing one of the two 1st round TE's, as I think that doing so can do two things from one pick. They can help the line with protection and give Sam another target. If the value is there, I'm good taking one,but I also really like the one from UCLA, Fauria, who showed that he can be a primary receiver and can block for a strong run game. Plus, he has a 3rd round grade, at the moment, so we can wait on him.
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    Re: 2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

    I wouldn't mind the Rams trading down in the 1st round for an extra 2nd round pick. Maybe shop the 16th for a mid 20's pick, or even the 22nd pick for a late 20's pick. We can grab BPA with our first two picks (players like Elam, Fluker, Ertz, Johnathan Cooper, Dion Jordan, Eddie Lacy, and DeAndre Hopkins might be available) and then target one of the OL/WR/TE/S/OLB/RB positions with our two 2nd rounders (Robert Woods, Giovani Bernard, Joseph Fauria, Kyle Long, Baccari Rambo are all options). I personally think theirs not too much of a talent gap separating players picked at the end of the 1st round and those picked in the 2nd round.

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    Re: 2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

    This is a bad mock draft. Not because either of the players are necessarily bad, but because the Rams acquire no offensive playmakers. Fluker is underrated and will likely go in the 1st round. Grabbing him with the 16th pick in the 2nd round is unrealistic. If the Rams want him, they will have to pull the trigger early, possibly with even the 16th pick.


    Safety isn't a 1st round need. It should be addressed in round 2 at the earliest in my opinion. The Rams need to spend both 1st round picks on offense. Most likely a WR like DeAndre Hopkins and an offensive lineman such as Warmack if he's there.


    The Rams offense is what is holding them back.
    Last edited by Beastified; -01-20-2013 at 12:57 AM.

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    Re: 2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

    I think OL needs to be the priority. Just look at the final 4 teams. Would they be in their respective positions without those strong OL's. I don't think so, but what the heck do I know.

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    Re: 2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyramsfan View Post
    I really hope he's wrong on this one. Don't like Vaccaro as much as Elam but not neither one of them at 16. D.J. Fluker looks to me like a good pick but not until round two...
    I agree Elam or Rambo or well suited to cover, tackle, hit,and crete turnovers more than Vaccaro. check this out.

    He is not very physical and not great in coverage IMO.

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    Re: 2013 Kiper mock 1.0: Rams thoughts

    This is the depressing time of the year for me when I come to the realization that the Rams most likely won't get Warmack and the offseason I've been planning in my head won't come to fruition. At least I get to realize this in January this year rather than get hit hard with disappointment minutes before the Rams' pick like last year with Blackmon.
    THOLTFAN81 and ManofGod like this.

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