Beginning February 28, 2017, the NFL will kick off with the leagues annual Scouting Combine in Indianapolis,Indiana. Last season, the Los Angeles Rams traded a multitude of their picks away to the Tennessee Titans to preserve the number one overall pick. With the overall pick, the Rams selected Jared Goff, QB from the University of Cal-Berkeley. Many people has questioned the trade with such a unprecedented play from the young quarterback.
The trade included the Rams sending their 2017 fifth overall pick of the first round, and their third round pick to the Titans. The Rams are expected to trade one of of their three compensatory picks that they are expected to receive from players being signed by other NFL teams last off-season.
The Rams will have to wait until day two of the draft to pick in the first round unless they were to make some sort of noise by trading up. Rams will pick #37 in the second round of the draft and select wisely. I will list a mock draft of the Rams selections of this years draft.
The last time the Rams not having a first round draft pick, they chose a receiver in the second round selecting University of Houston’s Donnie Avery. I would expect that Rams new head coach Sean McVay will make that same choice looking for a home-run reciever. Don’t believe in miracles, Rams may come up with some genuine trade to move up into the first round to grab Clemsons star receiver Mike Williams.
2nd Round, Pick #37: DeDe Westbrook, WR, Oklahoma
This receiver exemplifies tremendous speed, where he doesn’t lose any foot races, has been clocked as low as a 4.34 in the 40 yard dash. Doesn’t drop passes, has great soft hands. Tremendous balance, even after being tripped up or being tackled, fighting for extra yards, and even posses a great stiff arm. Has a great knack at getting to the end zone with 17 touchdown last season. Westbrook had 12 of his 17 touchdowns were for 40 plus yards. He can take the top off the defense very quickly. Probably is rated as one for the top double move receiver in the NCAA last season. Sean McVay looks for his DeSean Jackson in this draft and gets it with this selection. Oh, did fail to mention that Westbrook is an dangerous return specialist too!
3rd Round, Pick #69: Kevin King, DB, Washington
Former safety turned cornerback, can play both slot and outside receivers, and has played all defensive back positions. At 6-foot-2, he has a very long ranging body frame which blankets receivers in pass routes, and the ability to over extend and attack ball at its highest point. The propensity to be able to cover the receiver and turn his around rapidly to locate the quarterback or the ball to intercept or deflect away. Physical tackler, plays big in space, with the ability to come up and stuff run game in the backfield. Can disengage with potential blockers and make tackles. Can be a compliment to the opposite side of Trumaine Johnson if the Rams and Johnson come to terms and agree to an long term deal. With his 4.5 speed, even after getting beat off the line of scrimmage, his length can make up for his recovery to the ball or receiver. Rams can get an immediate upgrade at the corner position, and potentially moving him into a safety.
4th Round, Pick #112: Anthony Walker Jr, ILB, Northwestern
The Big Ten quarterbacks knew him as the “The Terror” because of his frightening style of play on the field as a red-shirt sophomore. His size and play on the field would bring back flashes of Sam Mills or London Fletcher. Fourth ranked linebacker on the board, is clearly the fastest inside backer in the draft. Great knack for the loose ball in turnover situations, and straight line pursuit to the ball. Likes to have a meeting at the line of scrimmage with the ball carriers. Great peripheral vision which gives him great instincts and awareness in pass coverage. Had several interceptions and fumbles returned for touchdowns. Wade Phillips will love the motor and pounding from this kid, and probably can start week one. In the 3-4 scheme as an true inside backer, can compliment Alec Ogletree and become a great run stopper.
4th Round, Pick #141 (compensatory pick for Rodney McCleod): Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
Benny Cunningham may be looking for more playing time as a starter and leaves for free agency. Coach McVay searches for a new back who can immediately compliment Todd Gurley and impact the offense. With Mixon slipping in the draft because of teams not wanting to take risk, Rams gets a steal. Despite the surrounding aftermath of his domestic assault, Rams looks beyond those issues, viewed his talent that gives this kid the opportunity to prove the naysayers wrong by playing angry. Rams new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur aim is to turn lowly Rams into high-flying Falcons. With two explosive running backs as in Gurley and Mixon, Lafluer gets that same tandem as of Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman the two headed monster. Is an every down back because of his versatile pass catching ability, powerful running and amazing shiftiness, and also can return kicks effectively. Just watch his video below if you have any uncertainty of this kid! Good speed east to west and get north to south quick and delivers a punch below pad level, and a vicious stiff arm. As a receiver, soft hands, runs routes like an receiver creating separation from his defender, and one hand catches is not impossible. Running style will remind you of Laveon Bell, as he hesitates at times setting up his blocks and explodes through the gaps. Explosive and powerful legs as he will hurdle a defender, or skipping out of leg tackles. Arm tackles will not bring him down at 6’1” 226, packs a load, and can be a good pass blocker. Los Angeles should welcome him with open arms, because the kid is nothing but the real deal of excitement on the field.
5th Round, Pick #149: Josh Harvey-Clemons, S, Louisville
Really wanted to use this pick to select Elijah Qualls DL from University of Washington, but wanted to look at his pro-combine and pro-day first. Here is draft selection that I’m still scratching my head with on Wade Phillips requesting for this player. This kid was suspended twice while at the University of Georgia subsequently was dismissed from the program for two failed marijuana test. Transferred to the University of Louisville in 2014, resurrecting his career there with earning him second team All-ACC and Honorable Mention this season. He will reunite with two former collegiate teammates Alec Ogletree, and Todd Gurley. 6’5” 228lbs, Harvey-Clemons was once recruited as a linebacker, but was converted to a Safety. His size and comparison would be of Seattle Seahawk safety Kam Chancellor. He is tall and very rangy, with very long arms to help separate blockers from engaging against his body or making tackles in space. Good tackler, shift his hips well, very athletic, plays fast, identify plays quickly whether run or play action. Can cover a lot of field with his height and range and oppose problems in the deep passing game as a two deep safety. Need to correct his running angles toward runners which cause him to miss tackles. Can be corrected in time under Rams new defensive coordinator Wade Phillips. Will contribute on special teams immediately and play a lot of 3rd down or nickel coverage’s.
6th Round, Pick #191: Jon Toth, C, Kentucky
Toth was a four year starter at the University of Kentucky, and played a lot of games earning him SEC All Freshman and first team All Conference in 2016. Rams gets a very smart player not only was a Mechanical Engineering major, but also speaks Spanish fluently. Good leverage blocker that plays well inside of a phone booth. Uses his hands well, and able to adjust his shoulders for moving defender out the way. As a pass blocker, is stern enough to lockdown and not be beat by a bull rusher. Probably will not see much playing time, because he needs to work on his feet and stance as Coach Kromer will correct soon. But, Rams looks to move on from Tim Barnes and get new center in free agency.
6th Round, Pick #225: Ukeme Eligwe, LB, Georgia Southern
Eligwe received an scholarship to Florida St, before being dismissed for violating team rules. He sat out and then transferred to Georgia Southern where he was a Honorable Mention in 2016. He was granted a sixth season for injuries he sustained but elected not to accept. Plays with a high motor, and bring thunder with his tackles. Good closing speed, and a three down linebacker, with good field awareness. Can play the inside or outside linebackers position creating problems. This past season Eligwe registered over 100 tackles with nine tackles for losses, 2.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles, one resulting in a defensive touchdown. May be used as a special team players early, but may receive some playing time on third down.
7th Round, Pick #236 (via Ravens for trade of Chris Givens: Ricky Seals-Jones, WR, Texas AM
Looking to replace Kenny Britt with an red zone target, Rams find this in Seals-Jones. 6’5” 240 lbs, with deceptive speed, and quite shifty for a player his size. Posses great hands and with his large framed body adjusts well to balls thrown behind him without missing a beat. Red-shirt sophomore foregoing his collegiate career into the draft statistics were limited because of injuries. The cousin of former Rams running back Eric Dickerson, expectations that Dickerson talents rubs off on the receiver. Injured for two season stats weren’t all that great but, had to ability to make some good catches. His size may end up being him converted into a hybrid type tight-end with his 4.6 speed.