The Rams traded their 2017 fifth overall pick of the first round, and their third round compensatory pick to the Titans. This season the NFL allowed teams to trade their compensatory pick as what was expected by the Rams. They received a third round compensatory pick for the loss of Janoris Jenkins and Titan was awarded the Rams third round #100 overall pick.
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. Here, I will list a mock draft of the Rams selections of the upbecoming 2017 NFL Draft.
In my 1.0 draft I had the had the Rams drafting a wide-receiver expecting that Kenny Britt and Brian Quick, would not be reisigned. This year draft is loaded with talented receivers so I would expect that Rams new head coach Sean McVay will make the first selection with a defensive back. The Rams didn not resign starting safety TJ Macdonald who subsequently was suspended by the league for eights games stemming to from a last season arrest. The rams have added to free agent defensive backs in Kavon Webster and Nickell Robey-Coleman, but needs to hit a homerun selecting a safety.
2nd Round, Pick #37: Obi Melifonwu, S, UConn
After a few surprises with selections in the first round, a gem falls into the lap of the Rams, in the second round. Rams needed to select the best quality player available with the #37 pick, as they did, when selecting Obi Melifonwu, safety from UConn. Obi Melifonwu is a freak of nature defensive back with complete size and speed that coaches looks at for a safety. Putting up tremendous numbers at the NFL Combine, didn’t reflect what was shown on his film playing a bit passive at moments. However, what the Rams gain by drafting Melifonwu, is he is a huge red zone stopper. Has great lateral range to get inside the passsing lanes to intercept passes or deflect. He can play all the defensive positions, even standing at 6’4″ he has the capability to play as a cover corner. Ability to lock down on big receivers or tightends, Wade Phillips can become very creative in using Melifonwu in many different style of schemes.
3rd Round, Pick #69: Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois
Kenny Golladay’s stock risen by his performances at the NFL Combine with his 40 times and individual drills. The Rams needed to draft big play and sized receiver, and has taken the chance with this 6’4″ 220 pound receiver. This receiver has the ability to stretch the field, and with his impeccable size, he has the physical body to become a red zone mismatch. His athletic frame, speed, and great hands will be key, because the Rams has moved on from Kenny Britt and Brian Quick. Golladay can be a huge replacement, for those receivers that moved on to new teams. Taking the risk with Golladay in the third, SHALL pay off significantly early in this marriage.
4th Round, Pick #112: Fabian Moreau, DB, UCLA
Fabian Moreau is a pretty good cornerback that had first round potential written all over him. Unfortunately, at his UCLA pro-day, he tore a pectoral muscle which at first deemed to be a strain. This injury can have a long-term career affect, many teams didn’t wan’t the risk. Moreau a very fast defensive back, converted from a running back position early at ULCA. At 6’1” 210 pounds, he is a physical defensive back who can play the press coverages in cover one and zero defensive sets. He joins a defensive backfield that is already very deep with Trumaine Johnson, LaMarcus Joyner, Kayvon Webster, Nickell Robey-Coleman, Blake Countess, Troy Hill Michael Jordan. No doubt there is a great deal of competition, and will need to find away to get on the field in coverage. But, Moreau gives the Rams some more added depth at the corner position, something they have not had in years. I’ll be very excited to see Moreau challenge Kayvon Webster for that other outside corner position once he returns from injury. Speaking of his injury, trainers has noted that the rehabilitation period from his surgery will be four to six months of a recovery process, allowing to return to the field this season.
4th Round, Pick #141 (compensatory pick for Rodney McCleod): Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
In my 1.0 mock draft, I had the Rams selecting Mixon at this very same pick of #141. Too good to be true, after he went off the charts at his Oklahoma pro-day, teams still were concerned of Mixon’s one off the field issue. Why not, talent is there, and as a steal the Rams select Mixon, who helps bolster a loaded back field. Benny Cunningham has moved on by signing with the Chicago Bears. During the beginning of free agency signing period, Rams agreed to terms with running back Lance Dunbar, the ex-Dallas Cowboy. Coach McVay is in pursuit for a new running back, that can immediately compliment Todd Gurley and impact the offense. By Mixon slipping in the draft because of teams removing him from their board, Rams takes possession of a gift. Mixon did not get invited to the NFL Combine, but at his pro-day, he sent a very conclusive message to the scouts, and to his critics. Despite the surrounding aftermath of his domestic assault at the age of 17 kid, Rams looked beyond those issues, viewed his talent and gave this kid the opportunity to show up his critics with an angry playing style. Matt LaFleur, the Rams new offensive coordinator, aspirations is to turn the low flying Rams into high-flying Falcons. Two explosive running backs in Gurley and Mixon, Lafluer gets the same savvy two-headed monster as in Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman. Mixon is a every down back because of his versatility, pass catching ability, powerful running and amazing shiftiness, and can return kicks effectively. Good speed from east to west, and get’s north to south quickly, can deliver a punch below pad level, and has a vicious stiff arm. As a receiver, has soft hands, ability to runs routes like an receiver, and create separation from his defender. Mixon’s running style will remind you of LeVeon Bell, as he hesitates at times setting up his blocks exploding through the gaps. Explosive and powerful legs as he will hurdle a defender, or skip out of leg tackles. Arm tackles will not bring him down at 6’1” 226, he 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: Jon Toth, C, Kentucky
The Rams landed the Washington Redskins free agent center John Sulllivan, to resolve the search for one. Signing the veteran center, allowed the Rams not to rush in drafting a center in which John Toth remained available. 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 fluent Spanish. 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 #191: Howard Wilson, Cornerback, Houston
Howard Wilson’s inexperience, just being only one year removed as a starter, from the University of Houston, is why this once projected mid-round defensive back slid in the draft. Wilson has the skill level to play as a press coverage corner with ability to shield bigger receivers in one on one coverage on outside fits well in the 3-4 scheme. His speed and ability to jump routes and shutdown quick passing game strategies especially the bubbles screens. Probably can contribute immediately on special teams but a year in under his belt, can be a great nickel or slot corner.
6th Round, Pick #225: Robert Davis, WR, Georgia State
Robert Davis was a four year starter at Georgia State University, making history as the school’s all-time receptions and yardage leader. Against tougher competition or bigger programs, Davis seemed not be phased by the names of the schools such as Alabama or Oregon. He competed against the nations best, by increasing his level of talent, mostly noted for his eight catches, 93 yards receiving and a touchdown, for his performance against Wisconsin. Rams selects another physical and tough receiver who posted a mid 4.3 seconds in the 40 yard dash at his pro-day. Davis physique is comparable to two former Rams receivers Kenny Britt and Brian Quick. Davis has great leaping ability, and a very physical receiver that Quick never panned out to become. He can be a immediate red zone target and does not shy away from contact. His height and weight is the prototype receiver that will play huge in this Rams offense. He was not on the radar of many teams at the combine, but has became a familiar buzz as of late. With this deep receiving draft, only allowed Davis to go undrafted at this selection.
7th Round, Pick #236 (via Ravens for trade of Chris Givens: Elijah Qualls, NT, Washington
The Rams had their sight on Idaho NT Glen Antoine, but he was selected before they had the opportunity to address the teams need in drafting him. However, they had a contingency plan which was selecting Elijah Qualls DL from Washington. Qualls slipped a bit in the draft, due to the fact that scouts felt he wasn’t going to be a contributor as a pass rusher. Being a solid and polished run stopper would make him a two down tackle. He probably would be a better fit for the three technique because of his speed and range. He has great cat like quickness, compacted agility and balance. He has great field awareness and the ability to drop back into pass coverage. Over 300 pounds, has been seen doing a standing back flip, displaying the strength in his legs and the athleticism and flexibility of his body. Qualls’ size is his best attribute which makes it tough for blockers to move him off the line of scrimmage. He is a physical defender who will fight in the trenches and work to the whistle.