The combine is over, free agency has died down a bit and now it’s time for my new mock draft. See the picture above and think of it as the player above making that diving grab is a perfect representation of how he jumped right into my new mock.
2nd Round (37th overall) – Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State (6-foot-1, 209 lbs)
Anyone who knows me, knows I have fallen in love with the idea of drafting Chris Godwin to start across from Robert Woods (that was before Woods was signed by the Rams). Godwin just checks all the boxes for me and I think it’s a real no-brainer. I really like JuJu Smith-Schuster and I definitely could see him being the pick, but Godwin to me has the best natural hands in this entire draft, he runs good routes, he has great size for a starting WR, he’s shown the ability to block and go up and make the big play.
I really like him in McVay’s offense, who needs Pierre Garcon and DeSean Jackson when you can have Robert Woods and Chris Godwin. The speed and quickness on the field for the Rams will make these players interchangeable whether the Rams want Austin or Woods or Cooper or Godwin on the inside or outside. Versatility is just the icing on the cake with this pick of Godwin.
Other options: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, USC, Adoree Jackson, CB, USC, Evan Engram, TE, Ole Miss
3rd Round (69th overall) – Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado (6-foot-0, 205 lbs)
I have had my draft crush the longest on Chidobe Awuzie. It’s literally lasted since October! I think he’s another one of those no-brainer picks if he’s even here in the third round. Awuzie is a defensive back that can do it all but what you love about Awuzie is his ability to close in and have the desire to wrap a ball carrier up and make the tackle in the backfield. Awuzie has great size and speed which allows him to play outside or in and possibly even safety in some packages.
With the Rams likely to sign Kayvon Webster, Awuzie could come in right away and play in the nickel position or compete on the outside. The Rams have a giant question mark with Trumaine Johnson whether they are going to trade him or not. I believe at the time of the draft Johnson is traded and the Rams spend a third round pick (same round he was drafted) to replace him. Wade obviously is ready to give Webster a crack at the starting job if he signs and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Awuzie lining up across from him as one of the most boom or bust CB duos we have ever seen to open the season.
Other options: Taywan Taylor, WR, Western Kentucky, Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama, Raekwon McMillan, ILB, Ohio State
4th round (101st overall) – Sidney Jones, CB, Washington (6-foot-0, 186 lbs)
As I just wrote about earlier. . .the Rams need to take Sidney Jones if he falls to the fourth round. They have two picks in the fourth and you just can’t pass up on the talent Jones has. He has been dubbed as a higher quality character version of Marcus Peters. That is high praise and I think with the Rams not exactly being in the drivers seat to be considered outright contenders. They can afford to spend a draft pick on a future asset.
Jones is very skilled and if you don’t know the reason why I have him going in the fourth round its because of the injury he suffered at his pro day. Jones has been diagnosed with a torn Achilles and that coming this close to the draft could mean no 2017 rookie season for Jones. So basically whoever takes Jones would likely be “redshirting” him. The Rams could redshirt him and play guys like Johnson, Webster, Joyner, Gaines and Jordan, get an idea of who is going to be a future asset or not and then let Jones come back next season to compete for a starting job. Not many of these steals come around often but when they do, you have to take them.
Other options: Robert Davis, WR, Georgia State, Glen Antoine, NT, Idaho, Derek Rivers, EDGE, Youngstown State
4th round (141st overall) – Joe Mathis, EDGE, Washington (6-foot-2, 255 lbs)
As you can see I am sticking by my gut and who I have really been a fan of the majority of the year. Joe Mathis is going to be a stud in the NFL and I have no problem saying that or worrying about saying it. Bottom line is he is going to get overlooked because of his height and his leg injury which he has been cleared by doctors from. This man was a menace at Washington and his teammates desperately missed him after he went down with an injury. According to Pro Football Focus Mathis was averaging a pressure once ever 4.1 pass rushing attempts which is just flat out nuts.
With the uncertainty of depth of the WILL LB position behind Robert Quinn, Mathis would make sense to play in a rotation behind Quinn. Mathis in my honest opinion is a second round talent that will fall just like his teammate Sidney Jones to the fourth round.
Other options: Taylor Moton, OT, Western Michigan, Trey Hendrickson, EDGE, FAU, Duke Riley, LB, LSU
5th round (151st overall) – Jermaine Eluemunor. OT, Texas A&M (6-foot-4, 332 lbs)
The Rams signing of Andrew Whitworth leaves the Rams with the ability to wait on an offensive tackle that truly impresses them later on in the draft. I think Eluemunor fits that bill. He is a guy that is hardly played football since he came over from the U.K. and he was only getting better at Texas A&M. The thing I like about this pick is you are getting what is probably the biggest boom or bust at the tackle position in this entire draft. Eluemunor would be used as a developmental prospect to sit behind Greg Robinson, Rob Havenstein on top of Whitworth kind of like having Isaiah Battle back again but probably better and clearly a better character.
Eluemunor looked good at the combine he showed he wasn’t stiff like most inexperience tackles are, he has some serious power and fluid movement. He could be forced to kick in at guard but he’s the draft developmental guy that the Rams should be looking at. I think Julie’n Davenport was viewed as the draft developmental guy but the fact of the matter is, I think he moves way too slow and he lacks the athleticism that a guy like Eluemunor has. Just think about players like Ezekiel Ansah of the Detroit Lions who had a late start to the sport or in basketball with Joel Embiid of the Philadelphia 76ers…Late starts don’t mean your doomed and Eluemunor would be a great pick in the fifth round with a great teacher to guide him in Aaron Kromer.
Other options: Julie’n Davenport, OT, Bucknell, Connor Harris, ILB, Lindenwood, Brian Allen, CB, Utah
6th round (190th overall) – Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois (6-foot-4, 218 lbs)
The Rams have a bunch of smaller wide receivers on the roster now and even with the addition of Chris Godwin in this mock, they are still missing a big and tall WR. Insert Kenny Golladay, a WR who actually looked great at the combine but like Godwin and others they have been overshadowed by John Ross’ forty yard dash time. Golladay would easily be the tallest wide receiver on the roster and while he might be a little raw the Rams have plenty of players that can play if need be. I think Golladay could be a great addition but even if he had a hard time I would see him as a red zone threat in his first year.
Golladay has the intriguing speed and size combination that teams just love so he may not be here but there are some seven round mocks I have seen where Golladay isn’t mentioned. I expect Golladay to fall like Mike Thomas did last year and if that’s the case it’s a no-brainer.
Other options: Jalen Robinette, WR, Air Force, Nico Siragusa, G, San Diego State, William Likely, CB, Maryland
6th round (206th overall) – Fish Smithson, FS, Kansas (5-foot-11, 201 lbs)
Another player I have been huge on is Fish Smithson. Smithson doesn’t have the crazy athleticism that of a safety like Obi Melifonwu or Malik Hooker but he has stellar instincts, ball skills and knowledge of the game. He stepped in at Kansas as a leader for that defense and he is going to get drafted. He’s fallen a little bit down my mock draft because he wasn’t invited to the combine and now some believe he won’t be a mid round pick anymore. Smithson is a guy that is going to be able to come into camp and compete with Brian Randolph and Cody Davis for playing time.
Smithson, even if he can’t start at free safety can instantly be a special teams ace. He is the type of football player you want on your team. If you are interested in Smithson, be sure to check out his pro day results as Kansas’ pro day is tomorrow. Regardless of pro day I think the Rams should go with Smithson later on and look to draft receivers, cornerbacks, offensive linemen and linebackers first. Safety is not a huge need because they still have some talent leftover in Brian Randolph, Isaiah Johnson, Cody Davis and Marqui Christian with the possibility of Blake Coutness or LaMarcus Joyner kicked out to free safety.
Other options: Joshua Dobbs, QB, Tennessee, Tarik Cohen, RB, NC A&T, Josh Harvey-Clemons, LB/S, Louisville
7th round (234th overall) – Cameron Tom, C, Southern Mississippi (6-foot-4, 291 lbs)
I love this center in the draft he has a chance to be real good if properly developed. Tom has athleticism and agility you normally don’t see in a center and of course that is due to his weight. Tom weighs less than 300 pounds so he will have to add weight and that’s his biggest knock but this guy came to Southern Miss. his freshman year and was named the conference freshman of the year. On top of that, Tom has been dominant for Southern Miss. He is by far the most likely from the school to be drafted and could be a steal later in the draft.
I know you don’t draft starting centers in the seventh round or starters in general but this is my idea of grabbing a developmental guy again for Aaron Kromer to sit and learn behind center. I believe the Rams are going to land a center in free agency, whether it’s restricted free agent Ryan Groy from Buffalo or a veteran once elite center in the form of Nick Mangold. Even if the Rams don’t ink either to a contract I would be okay drafting Tom and having him compete with Rhaney and the guards on the team. Sean McVay in his latest press conference said he will be cross-training their guards to play center which leads me to believe that center isn’t as big of a need as many are saying.
Other options: ArDarius Stewart, WR, Alabama, Phazahn Odom, TE, Fordham, Daquan Holmes, CB, Amaerican International College
What are your thoughts Rams fans? Sound off below! Be sure to follow us @Downtown Rams on Twitter and on Facebook here.