We are less than 1 month away from the 2017 NFL draft and it is hard to remember a year where Rams fans were more excited. A very solid run in free agency has left only a couple of glaring holes to fill and it sounds like Coach McVay and crew are ready to fill them in the draft. Since Jake started the trend of adding in a trade, I will do the same. I have the Rams trading with the Ravens. My mock trade is sending our #37 overall AND Sean Mannion to the Ravens for #47 overall and #78 overall. That gives us two 3rd round picks and 2 4th round picks. With the news yesterday that McVay and Phillips intend on using LaMarcus Joyner as the starting FS, that has me thinking they will go in a very offensive minded direction in the draft.
2nd Round (#47) -Evan Engram WR/TE Ole Miss
A guy like Evan Engram can fill one of 2 needs the Rams have, or both. At 6’3″ and almost 230 pounds, he can play on the line or be split out wide and give Jared Goff a big target on the outside. Deceptive speed, great hands and solid route running are Engram’s big strengths. Paring him with Tyler Higbee will certainly make our franchise QB smile thinking of his options.
3rd Round (#69) – JuJu Smith-Schuster WR USC
JuJu has made it clear he would love to continue playing in the Coliseum as a member of the Rams. With the trade I project they make, the Rams make it happen.
3rd Round (#78) – Pat Elflein C/OG Ohio St
Coach McVay has made no secret that he wants “cross train” his interior lineman. So why not grab a guy who was an All American Center AND an All American OG during his time at OSU? He can step right in and start at C and can easily move to OG if the need arises.
4th Round (#112) – Sidney Jones CB Washington
This is a perfect spot to grab someone who certainly would have been a top 20 overall pick prior to his Achilles injury. It looks as if Trumaine Johnson will be here at least for 2017 but after that nobody knows. Why not grab a top 20 talent, let him rehab and be ready for 2018 whatever happens?
4th Round (#141) – Connor Harris , LB Lindenwood
This guy has been flying up draft boards since his performance at the combine and at pro day. At 6’0″ and 240 lbs, he is a prototypical 3-4 ILB. He ends his career at Lindenwood as Div II all time leading tackler with 633. Also had 8.5 sacks and 6 interceptions. As much as I like the idea of Mark Barron on the inside of a 3-4 set, I think he would be even better as the outside guy with his cover skills and ability to get to the QB. Harris would be perfect next to Tree inside.
5th round (#149) – Lorenzo Jerome S St Francis (PA)
Just like Jake and Edward have their favorites, so do I. I want this guy on the Rams so badly and I think his versatility is what makes him a success early and often. Can play either safety spot and can return kicks and punts.
6th Round (#189) – Zach Banner OT/OG USC
Banner is a mountain of a man, at 6’9″ and 350 lbs. He can play either inside or outside but with his size he seems destined to play OG in the NFL. He still has issues with his footwork which is why he is in the bottom 3rd of the draft instead of the middle but more bodies on the offensive line is always a good thing.
6th round (#206) – Chad Kelly QB Ole Miss
With Mannion heading to Baltimore, we will need a 3rd QB on the roster. Kelly is still recovering from an injury but was cleared to do some work at his pro day only months after the injury and prior to that he was having a solid season and had a great career at Ole Miss. at 6’2′ and 220 lbs, he could very easily be a solid backup in the NFL.
7th round (#234) Ricky Seals-Jones WR Texas A&M
The one thing the Rams need on offense is as many big bodied WR and TE as they can find. RSJ is still fairly raw but at 6’5″ and 230 pounds, he can be an immediate red zone threat. Averaged over 13 yards per reception in his time at TAMU.