St. Louis Rams 2012 NFL Mock Draft | First Round
The St. Louis Rams went from narrowly missing the playoffs in 2010 to being (arguably) the laughing stock in the league. Their franchise quarterback Sam Bradford was not the promising gunslinger we saw in his rookie year, the rising defense lacked consistency, and Steve Spagnuolo eventually lost control of what was thought to be a team ready to contender for the NFC West.
Instead, the Rams are again starting over, bringing in former Titans head coach Jeff Fisher to clean the mess up, and take a stab at landing an impact player with the number two overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.
Here’s a look at the top five options for the Rams heading into the first round:
Option #1: Trade Down
This is the most likely move with this pick, as the Rams don’t need a quarterback, and at least a handful of teams would love to trade up to grab the second-best passer in this draft class – Robert Griffin III. I personally think it’s down to the Browns and Redskins, as St. Louis probably won’t want to trade down much further than Cleveland’s 4th pick or Washington’s 6th pick. The Miami Dolphins have an outside crack at it at the 9th spot, but I doubt it.
St. Louis could get an extra pick or two for Fisher’s first draft, and they could still land a top-six pick and actually get the guy they covet.
Option #2: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State
Obviously we can’t predict if St. Louis will stick at the two spot or trade down, but regardless of their “actual” spot when they select, the guys they target should remain about the same. I think the first guy on their list has to be a big-time play-maker for their franchise quarterback, and Blackmon more than fits the bill. Brandon Lloyd’s future is uncertain, but the simple truth is the Rams just don’t have an elite talent at wide receiver, and they need more explosiveness in their offense. The top-rated receiver in the draft would give them that right away.
Option #3: Matt Kalil, OT, USC
While going after a receiver is easily sexier and a great move for their offense, the Rams could still play it safe and try to shore up their offensive line. Sam Bradford is still getting slapped around too much, and missed time due to an ankle injury in 2011. Landing a stud tackle like Kalil could ease some of those protection concerns.
Option #4: Robert Griffin III, QB, Baylor
While a trade prior to the draft is likely, the Rams could simply do one of two things: draft RG3 and trade him to the highest bidder, or shock the world and keep RG3 for themselves and trade away Sam Bradford. I’m not sure how sold I am on the latter, but with Jeff Fisher coming in, you never know what he’s thinking this early in the game.
Option #5: Trent Richardon, RB, Alabama
I’m almost positive one of the above four happen, but I still can’t rule out the Rams going after another elite running back here, especially if they end up trading down and Blackmon and Kalil are off the board when they pick. Steven Jackson is still a stud running back, but he’s closer to the end of his career than he is the start, and it’s not like he’s been a poster child for health over the course of his career. Richardson would add depth at the very least, while giving the Rams a building block for the future in their offense. Another slight possibility could be LSU corner Morris Claiborne, but I don’t think he offers as much of an impact as the above options.
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