The NFL Draft is less than two hours away and the St. Louis Rams hold two of the first 32 selections. St. Louis is one of three teams with multiple first round selections and they have a few key needs they must address. The two biggest: safety and wide receiver, not necessarily in that order. Overall the Rams have eight picks to address those two areas and the other needs the roster has. In addition to wide out and safety, St. Louis could use added depth at running back and linebacker. With eight picks, I think the Rams have the selections to address most of those in a big way.
A lot of rumors have been flying around this afternoon regarding the Rams and Tavon Austin. Many writers and reporters believe they would have to move ahead of the New York Jets 9th overall selection to get him. As much as I would like to see Austin don the Rams’ blue and gold, I don’t think the Rams should trade away picks to move up. Wide receiver is a position of some depth this year. In addition to Austin there are other prospects like Tennessee’s Justin Hunter, his teammate Cordarrelle Patterson, Cal’s Keenan Allen, and Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins to name a few. While there are some differences between Austin and the other prospects, I don’t think the Rams should put all of their apples in one basket here and go all-in for Austin. Sorry to say, I don’t think that one wide out makes this team a favorite in the NFC West or a Superbowl contender.
St. Louis is also in desperate need of a safety. With only two on the roster the Rams need someone they can play right away. Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro fits this bill pretty nicely but wouldn’t be an option for the Rams if they would trade away one of the two first rounders to move up. If the Rams hold on to the 16th pick and Vaccaro is there, I have no issues with him being taken by St. Louis. They could then follow up with a wide out like Hopkins, Hunter or Patterson at 22.
Some have also suggested the Rams keep the 22nd pick and package the 16th and 46th selections to move up. That would still give the Rams the chance at picking up a top safety like LSU’s Eric Reid or FIU’s Jonathan Cyprien. However, I don’t like the idea of giving up your only 2nd round pick. Linebacker and running back are two other areas I would like to see the Rams address tonight. If Alabama running back Eddie Lacy is available at 46, snatch him up. He’d be a great addition to the St. Louis backfield. If not, maybe grab a linebacker like K-State’s Arthur Brown, LSU’s Kevin Minter or Florida’s Jonathan Bostic.
Depending on what happens with the first three picks the Rams could address other needs with picks in rounds 3-7 by picking up players like Missouri outside linebacker Xavier Gooden, Syracuse safety Shamarko Thomas, LSU’s Chris Faulk and maybe take a chance on South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, just to make a few suggestions.
There is plenty of talent in this draft that can help the Rams take the next step. I’d hate to see the front office waste the opportunity to get as much talent as possible by trading picks to move up.