A lot of action is expected from the St. Louis Rams at the top end of the 2014 NFL draft. Here is a possible way they could go about their business.
Trade #2 pick to Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Rumors are running hot that the Rams would like to duplicate their actions from 2012, trading out of the #2 overall pick for a bounty of picks in later drafts. While it’s not likely they’ll get quite what they did from Washington for Robert Griffin III, they should be able to entice interest from teams. One they should keep a close eye on is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The team has a new coach in Lovie Smith who takes over a rather solid roster with few holes to fill. One of them, and it is rather glaring is defensive end. Pass rush was a problem all year for the Bucs and Smith will want that problem corrected in order to give his new defense every chance to work. That makes TampaBay favorites to move up in pursuit of South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, arguably the most talented pass rusher to come out of college in a decade. He would fits Smith’s scheme perfectly and since the Bucs don’t have many holes to fill they can afford to be aggressive if they wish. A deal would certainly garner their #7 pick, along with their second rounder and another first in 2015.
Draft Jake Matthews or Greg Robinson with 7th pick
The trick for St. Louis is they don’t want to venture too far down in the top ten. There are a host of quality prospects to be had who can really help their cause. Offensive line is certainly one area they need it. Once on the clock with the 7th pick, the Rams would do well to select either offensive tackle Jake Matthews or tackle Greg Robinson. Matthews is an experienced stalwart out of Texas A&M. His mechanics are polished and he has spent time on the left and right side, showcasing he has the power and the agility to play anywhere. He’s also quite durable, which is a must for a franchise left tackle. Robinson showed his stuff all year for Auburn. Despite being a sophomore he frequently dominated the best competition in college football, including mighty FloridaState in the national title game. He opens wide holes in the run game but really improved in pass protection down the stretch to the point where he was beaten very infrequently. Either would be a genuine help to keeping Sam Bradford upright in the future.
Trade #13 pick to New York Jets
Les Snead is all about wheeling and dealing, so nobody should expect the St. Louis Rams to stay long at the #13 pick either. A good number to keep by the phone is the New York Jets. Most mock selections of the 2014 NFL draft see the strong class of wide receivers beginning to come off the board between the #8 and #15. With the 18th pick it will take some doing for the receiver-needy Jets to get into that mix. They have 12 selections overall including two third rounders. Dealing one of them and another one or two late round choices could get them to switch places with the Rams and take a Sammy Watkins or Marqise Lee. In turn St. Louis can continue to fill out their roster with depth and talent.
Draft Calvin Pryor with 18th pick
The real trick with this move would be it might knock the Rams out of position to take top safety Ha’Sean Clinton-Dix out of Alabama. Safety is an area they could use an upgrade and “Ha Ha” is the obvious choice. However, he’s not the only one. Falling back to #18 may limit the shot at him, but St. Louis could still turn to Louisville standout Calvin Pryor. Rather quiet on the draft front for a time, the 6’2″ kid has caught a lot of attention lately. He has the ideal height for the position and the mentally of a hitter, something Jeff Fisher will like. His range is also good and he’s improved his instincts in coverage. Not a bad consolation prize.