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2019 Rams Mock Draft Roundup: Fourth edition

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  • 2019 Rams Mock Draft Roundup: Fourth edition

    2019 Rams Mock Draft Roundup: Fourth edition
    Monday, Mar 25, 2019 01:05 PM
    Myles Simmons
    RAMS INSIDER

    With the first wave of free agency all clear, analysts have started to key in on a few different positions for the Rams at the 31st overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

    The NFL Draft is just a month away, with Rd. 1 taking place on April 25. Here are the latest predictions from around the web.


    —————

    Let’s start with the most popular pick this week in Clemson defensive lineman Christian Wilkins.

    Three analysts have the Rams taking Wilkins at No. 31 in this edition of the roundup: NFL.com's Lance Zierlein, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller, and USA Today TouchdownWire’s Doug Farrar.

    From Zierlein: “Wilkins is an upfield defensive tackle with the ability to get into gaps and bring the ruckus, just like defensive coordinator Wade Phillips likes.”

    From Miller: “Free agency has left the Rams with more holes, but an aggressive front office will find ways to plug those holes. Like adding Eric Weddle and Clay Matthews on team-friendly, veteran deals to add talent while appealing to players who want a chance at a Super Bowl ring. Barring a return of Ndamukong Suh, the Rams could look to fill his role in the defense by selecting a hard-nosed, high-motor tackle from Clemson at No. 31 overall. Wilkins is a solid athlete who's best trait is his relentless style of play. Coaches rave about his leadership and work ethic, which is contagious. Playing next to Aaron Donald, Wilkins could be a big problem for centers and guards in the NFL.”

    From Farrar: “With Ndamukong Suh out to market … it may be time for the Rams to give Aaron Donald a new buddy. If circumstances allow Wilkins to drop this far on the board, one can imagine general manager Les Snead rushing to the podium to turn in a card with his name on it. He’d be a prefect fit in Wade Phillips’ attack fronts, and Wilkins is as clean off the field as they come.”

    Checking into the Combine at 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds, Wilkins is regarded as one of the top defensive tacks in the draft. Winner of the 2018 William V. Campbell trophy — known as the “Academic Heisman” — Wilkins recorded 40.5 tackles for loss and 16.0 sacks in his career at Clemson. Wilkins was a unanimous All-American in 2018 and is a three-time first-team All-ACC honoree.

    He can also do the splits.

    —————

    Another popular pick this week was center Garrett Bradbury out of North Carolina State, with NFL.com teammates Bucky Brooks and Charles Davis mocking him to the Rams at No. 31.

    From Brooks: “High IQ pivot with outstanding movement skills and technique. Bradbury plays like a 10-year vet at the position and would add more youth and athleticism to the frontline.”

    From Davis: “Impressed at the Senior Bowl and the Combine. The Rams find a Day 1 starter to replace John Sullivan, whose 2019 option was declined by the club.”

    Bradbury was the 2018 Rimington Trophy winner as the best center in college football. He was initially a tight end at NC State before switching to the offensive line in 2015 after a redshirt season in 2014. A three-year starter, Bradbury checked into the Combine at 6-foot-3 and 306 pounds. He put up 34 reps on the bench press.

    —————

    We’ll go back to South Carolina for the next pick, as SB Nation’s Dan Kadar has Los Angeles taking Clemson defensive lineman Dexter Lawrence at No. 31.

    “Although some want the Rams to trade back and accumulate some extra draft capital, there will be some starter-level players available at No. 31. One of them is Lawrence, who could occupy the space Ndamukong Suh is vacating. Lawrence is a massive player at 342 pounds, but in the past he showed some ability as a pass rusher,” Kadar writes.

    Lawrence played alongside Wilkins in the Tigers’ defensive front, making 18.0 tackles for loss and 10.0 sacks in three seasons. A two-time CFP National Champion, Lawrence also had four passes defensed, three fumble recoveries, a forced fumble, and an interception in his collegiate career. He put up 36 bench reps at the Combine, where he checked in at 6-foot-4 and 342 pounds.

    —————

    CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso also sees the Rams addressing their defensive front at No. 31, mocking Mississippi State defensive lineman Jeffrey Simmons to the club.

    “The Rams may have to wait a bit for Simmons, who's coming off a torn knee ligament. When healthy, he's a tremendous defensive tackle prospect who'd be borderline unfair next to Aaron Donald,” Trapasso writes.

    A two-time first-team All-SEC honoree, Simmons tore his ACL while going through drills in preparation for the draft. That will no doubt hurt his draft stock, but Simmons was productive in three years at Mississippi State — recording 33.0 tackles for loss, 7.0 sacks, seven passes defensed, five forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries.


    —————

    Over at Rotoworld, Josh Norris has L.A. selecting offensive lineman Chris Lindstrom out of Boston College.

    “One major key to the Rams success over the last two years has been offensive line health and continuity. That will be tested this year without John Sullivan and Rodger Saffold,” Norris writes.

    A four-year starter, Lindstrom is from a football family — his father played at Boston College and is in the program’s Hall of Fame. Lindstrom was a first-team All-ACC honoree after his senior season. He played most of his career at right guard at BC, but also played some at right tackle in his junior year.

    —————

    For a little something different, Ryan Wilson of CBS Sports has L.A. addressing its defensive backfield with Michigan State cornerback Justin Layne.

    “A former wide receiver, Layne (6-foot-1, 4.5 40 at the combine) is a physical cornerback with exceptional ball skills who would immediately add depth in L.A.,” Wilson writes.

    Wilson has been consistent in this pick, with A converted wide receiver, Layne started 26 games at cornerback for the Spartans and played in 34 total games — recording 24 career pass breakups and three interceptions. He had 15 of those breakups in the 2018 season, leading him to receive consensus second-team All-Big Ten recognition. The Cleveland, Ohio native ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at the Combine and had recorded a 37.5-inch vertical.

    —————

    And finally, Connor Orr of Sports Illustrated/The MMQB mocked Washington safety Taylor Rapp to L.A. at No. 31.

    “A longer-term solution than Eric Weddle could be in the works,” Orr writes.

    Listed at 6-feet and 208 pounds, Rapp is a two-time first-team All-Pac-12 honoree from the 2017 and 2018 seasons. In three years at Washington, he recorded seven interceptions, six passes defensed, three fumble recoveries, two forced fumbles, 8.5 tackles for loss, and 6.0 sacks.

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  • Nick
    The impact of Clemson's ridiculously talented defensive line on the 2019 NFL Draft
    by Nick
    The impact of Clemson's ridiculously talented defensive line on the 2019 NFL Draft
    As many as four Clemson Tiger defensive front players could go in the first round in 2019
    By Chris Trapasso
    @ChrisTrapasso
    CBSSports.com Jun 7, 2018 • 5 min read

    Clemson enters this college football season boasting three defensive linemen who likely would've been picked in the first or second round of the 2018 draft. [Insert Dabo Swinney locker room dance GIF]

    Many believed -- including myself -- that Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins and Austin Bryant would declare for the draft after stellar 2017 campaigns. Instead, the trio is still intact, as all decided to stay with the Tigers for one more season.

    Add to that triumvirate Dexter Lawrence, the largest and most hyped high school recruit out of the foursome, and you get, on paper, a collegiate defensive line for the ages.

    NC State's group from a season ago had one first-rounder (Bradley Chubb) and two third-rounders (B.J. Hill and Justin Jones). That same program represents the recent gold standard in unfairly loaded defensive fronts that ultimately yielded early NFL Draft picks when the Wolfpack's 2005 contingent featured three Round 1 selections in the '06 NFL Draft (Mario Williams at No. 1, Manny Lawson at No. 22, John McCargo at No. 26).

    This Clemson team could see four defensive linemen go in the first round of the 2019 draft. Seriously. Here's a snapshot of each before they embark on a season of block-destroying in the ACC.

    Clelin Ferrell
    2016: 44 tackles, 12.5 tackles for loss, 6 sacks
    2017: 66 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks

    This young man has the most NFL superstar potential of the group. Listed at 6-feet-5 and 260 pounds with a frame that could reasonably add more weight -- which is frightening for offensive linemen -- Ferrell, who just turned 21, plays with immense juice on the edge.

    He deploys his hands well when turning the corner too, although his repertoire of pass-rushing moves could use more diversity. Right now, he's mainly a speed-to-power player who flashes good bend and has superior athletic gifts. While we won't get official measurements until the combine, Ferrell's arms look like some of the longest in college football for the defensive end position, a major luxury pro teams will love because he has an enormous tackle radius and can get his hands on the football on rushes that don't end in the quarterback's lap.

    Ferrell should build on his two forced fumbles of 2017 and approach or eclipse double-digit tackles for loss and sacks. He should challenge Nick Bosa to be the first pure edge-rusher to be taken in the 2019 draft.

    Early comparison: Robert Quinn


    Christian Wilkins
    2016: 48 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, 9 PBUs
    2017: 60 tackles, 9 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks...
    -06-08-2018, 02:13 PM
  • Nick
    Rams 2019 Mock Draft Roundup: Fifth edition
    by Nick
    Rams 2019 Mock Draft Roundup: Fifth edition
    Monday, Apr 01, 2019 12:10 PM
    Myles Simmons
    RAMS INSIDER

    As the calendar flips to April, we are just 25 days away from the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. And as the date draws closer, analysts are putting in even more mocks.

    In this week’s edition of the roundup, we have a few projections that are similar to what they’ve been in previous weeks, a couple outliers, and also a couple seven-round projections.

    With that, here’s the fifth edition of this year’s mock draft roundup.

    —————

    Let’s start with one of the outliers, because it is a pretty big one: NFL.com's Peter Schrager has the Rams selecting Penn State running back Miles Sanders with their first-round pick.

    “Sanders isn't getting the same pre-draft buzz as other running backs in this class, but his combine performance turned heads around the league. His pass-catching ability -- SEE: the Indiana game, when he hauled in six catches for 54 yards -- helps him. Los Angeles will look to add a complement (with the ability to catch passes out of the backfield) for Todd Gurley at some point in this draft,” Schrager writes.

    With running back Todd Gurley already under contract through the 2023 season, this would be a pretty radical move for the first round — even if the Rams would like to better monitor Gurley’s snaps to keep him fresh.

    A second-team All-Big Ten honoree in 2018, Sanders rushed for 1,274 yards with nine touchdowns and caught 24 passes for 139 yards in his first year as a starter at Penn State following the departure of now-Giants running back Saquon Barkley. Overall, Sanders recorded 308 touches for 1,842 yards with 13 touchdowns in his three collegiate seasons.

    —————

    Two analysts have Los Angeles selecting North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury this week: ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and USA Today Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar.

    From Kiper ($$): Bradbury had a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl in January, and he followed it up with a strong combine workout, which has him on the fringes of Round 1. With the Rams moving on from John Sullivan this offseason, this is a straight like-for-like replacement, as Bradbury (6-foot-3, 306 pounds) could step in and start on Day 1. Cornerback is another position to watch for L.A., with the futures of Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib uncertain.”

    From Farrar: “The Rams moved on from center John Sullivan and left guard Rodger Saffold after their Super Bowl defeat, and if they want to get back to that big game, interior protection for Jared Goff is a must. Bradbury isn’t an old-school power center, but his near-flawless fundamentals, second-level speed and understanding of schematic concepts would allow Sean McVay to not only unleash his passing concepts, but also to extract the most out of his run game.”

    Bradbury was the 2018 Rimington...
    -04-01-2019, 02:46 PM
  • Nick
    Mel Kiper's way-too-early Big Board: Top 25 2018 prospects
    by Nick
    Mel Kiper's way-too-early Big Board: Top 25 2018 prospects
    May 11, 2017
    Mel Kiper Jr.
    Football analyst

    Say so long to the Class of 2017. It's time for my annual way-too-early look at next year's (potential) NFL draft class.

    So how'd I do last year? Well, three from my top five went in the top six in the 2017 draft -- Myles Garrett (1), Leonard Fournette (4) and Jamal Adams (6) -- and another went 12th (Deshaun Watson). Tim Williams, on the other hand, dropped all the way to No. 78 after an inconsistent season. A few others dropped big time or returned to school for another season, but overall it was pretty solid.

    A few notes on my first 2018 Big Board:

    I'm not going to be too scouting-heavy here. My own reports on these guys are still half-formed, and so much will change between now and the 2018 draft.

    Keep in mind that several prospects here have only started one season, and so I'm projecting based on size, athletic ability, statistics and what I hear from people around the league.

    Speaking of sizes, what's listed here is what schools give out. These could vary greatly when players show up for the 2018 combine. True height and weight really matters for almost every position.

    Check out Todd McShay's first 2018 mock draft, and come back next week for my way-too-early rankings across every position group.

    Note: One asterisk denotes a junior, and two asterisks denote a redshirt sophomore for the 2017 season.


    1. **Sam Darnold, QB, Southern California

    Darnold has everything NFL teams want in a starter. He has a big frame (6-foot-4, 225 pounds), makes quick decisions and is an accurate and natural passer. He completed 67.2 percent of his passes last season and ranked second in the nation in Total QBR (86.8). He does have an unorthodox, long delivery, however, that will have to be retooled. And the third-year sophomore has only started 10 games.



    2. *Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

    There is some projection here because Fitzpatrick (6-1, 195) has played both corner and safety and appears likely to stick at safety in 2017. But the versatility is a plus, and he could be really good at either spot. He has eight interceptions in two seasons, and four of those were returned for touchdowns. I also like that Fitzpatrick will get after it on special teams. He had 11 special-teams tackles in 2016.


    3. *Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

    The buzz has been growing around the 6-5, 216-pound Allen, who can really throw. His numbers weren't great last season -- 28 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions while completing 56 percent of his passes -- but NFL teams will take into account the talent around him. And Wyoming is losing a few offensive players to the NFL, including center Chase Roullier, running back Brian Hill, wide receiver Tanner Gentry and tight end...
    -05-12-2017, 05:42 AM
  • Nick
    Mel Kiper's way-too-early Big Board: Top 25 2018 prospects
    by Nick
    Mel Kiper's way-too-early Big Board: Top 25 2018 prospects
    May 11, 2017
    Mel Kiper Jr.
    Football analyst

    Say so long to the Class of 2017. It's time for my annual way-too-early look at next year's (potential) NFL draft class.

    So how'd I do last year? Well, three from my top five went in the top six in the 2017 draft -- Myles Garrett (1), Leonard Fournette (4) and Jamal Adams (6) -- and another went 12th (Deshaun Watson). Tim Williams, on the other hand, dropped all the way to No. 78 after an inconsistent season. A few others dropped big time or returned to school for another season, but overall it was pretty solid.

    A few notes on my first 2018 Big Board:

    I'm not going to be too scouting-heavy here. My own reports on these guys are still half-formed, and so much will change between now and the 2018 draft.

    Keep in mind that several prospects here have only started one season, and so I'm projecting based on size, athletic ability, statistics and what I hear from people around the league.

    Speaking of sizes, what's listed here is what schools give out. These could vary greatly when players show up for the 2018 combine. True height and weight really matters for almost every position.

    Check out Todd McShay's first 2018 mock draft, and come back next week for my way-too-early rankings across every position group.

    Note: One asterisk denotes a junior, and two asterisks denote a redshirt sophomore for the 2017 season.


    1. **Sam Darnold, QB, Southern California

    Darnold has everything NFL teams want in a starter. He has a big frame (6-foot-4, 225 pounds), makes quick decisions and is an accurate and natural passer. He completed 67.2 percent of his passes last season and ranked second in the nation in Total QBR (86.8). He does have an unorthodox, long delivery, however, that will have to be retooled. And the third-year sophomore has only started 10 games.


    2. *Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

    There is some projection here because Fitzpatrick (6-1, 195) has played both corner and safety and appears likely to stick at safety in 2017. But the versatility is a plus, and he could be really good at either spot. He has eight interceptions in two seasons, and four of those were returned for touchdowns. I also like that Fitzpatrick will get after it on special teams. He had 11 special-teams tackles in 2016.


    3. *Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

    The buzz has been growing around the 6-5, 216-pound Allen, who can really throw. His numbers weren't great last season -- 28 touchdown passes, 15 interceptions while completing 56 percent of his passes -- but NFL teams will take into account the talent around him. And Wyoming is losing a few offensive players to the NFL, including center Chase Roullier, running back Brian Hill, wide receiver Tanner Gentry and tight end Jacob Hollister....
    -07-15-2017, 07:11 AM
  • Nick
    Rams Mock Draft: There’s so much work ahead, but it is never too early to project
    by Nick
    Rams Mock Draft: There’s so much work ahead, but it is never too early to project
    By Vincent Bonsignore Dec 26, 2018

    The​ Rams still aren’t sure​ who​ they’ll​ play in the​ first round of​ the playoffs,​ let alone​ whether they’ll skip​ the Wild​​ Card round by earning a free pass through the first week, so you can probably imagine where they are in the process of finalizing their 2019 draft plans.

    Put it this way, we haven’t even gotten to the main course of the college football bowl season, so there is still an incredible amount of scouting, background checking, analyzing and assessing to do before anyone can truly say they’ve got a handle on next April’s draft.

    And that doesn’t even account for the self-scouting they’ll do of their current roster to decide what their most pressing needs might be.

    (Hint: The Rams will be looking for defensive help, specifically on the defensive line, edge pass rusher, linebacker and safety and there is always room for young cornerbacks and offensive linemen to groom. Granted, some of those areas will be filled through free agency, which precedes the draft by a month, but for every hole that gets filled another is liable to be created.)

    Keep in mind, safety Lamarcus Joyner, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and outside linebacker Dante Fowler Jr. are all unrestricted free agents at the end of the season, and how their situations unfold will go a long way in determining where the Rams zero in come April.

    That said, while most hands are on deck as the Rams prepare to mount a postseason march they hope reaches Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta, an incredible amount of resources and staff hours are being devoted to a future that extends well beyond this season.

    Specifically, maximizing the seven picks they expect to have when the draft unfolds in Nashville in four months.

    As we sit today, general manager Les Snead and his scouting staff continue to chip away at their draft board. They’ll typically assemble a 150-player big board and, considering the pace of these things, are likely nearing the halfway point of that process.

    But there are still a ton of data banks left to tap into as they tweak and tinker and adjust that board over the next few months, including the Jan. 15 deadline for college juniors to decide whether they are declaring for the draft or returning for their senior years. The official infusion of those juniors to the current crop of prospects will certainly change draft boards across the NFL.

    Beyond that are big-time scouting events at the East-West Shrine game on Jan. 19 in St. Petersberg, Fla., which features more than 100 FBS Division I players, and the Senior Bowl a week later in Mobile Alabama.

    The NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis takes place in late February, at which more than 300 prospects...
    -12-27-2018, 06:01 AM
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