The Rams traded their 2017 fifth overall pick of the first round, and their third round compensatory pick to the Tennessee Titans. This season ,the NFL will allow teams to use their compensatory pick as trades, and is what is expected for the Rams to initiate. They received a third round compensatory pick for the loss of Janoris Jenkins, and the Titans was awarded the Rams third round #100 overall pick.
The Rams will be on hold until day two of the draft, unless they able to generate some sort of magic by trading up in the first round. Rams will select at #37 of the second round, and will select wisely. Here, I will list a mock draft of the Rams selections of the upcoming 2017 NFL Draft.
In my 1.0 draft I 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 teams first selection with a receiver or athletic tight-end. So, lets sit back and relax and view the selections made in this 3.0 mock draft.
2nd Round, Pick #37: Zay Jones WR, East Carolina (6-foot-2, 201 lbs.)
The Los Angeles Rams enter the 2017 NFL Draft, in efforts of providing offensive weapons for quarterback Jared Goff. They find that weapon in selecting Zay Jones, the 6’2” 201 pound wide-receiver, from East Carolina. Jones the son of former Dallas Cowboys and St. Louis Rams linebacker, Robert Jones, set the NCAA all-time receptions record of 392 at his father’s Alma Mater. Jones became the 19th player in the NCAA history to eclipse the 4,000-mark in receiving yards.
The influential decision of the #37 pick, was extremely a tough decision for me to accomplish. After viewing numerous game films, I had to finalized it down to the two highest impacted wide-receivers of this draft, Corey Davis of Western Michigan and Zay Jones.
What I was able to identify the utmost of the two receivers, was I couldn’t ignore the fact of Jones’s career receiving stats in which he caught over 392 receptions. Jones lined-up all over the field, catching just about every pass throwned to him, and simply ran better passing routes.
Many NFL Teams were concerned with the medical issues stemming from Davis ankle surgery earlier this year. The Rams needed a big-play wide-receiver immediately, and selected Jones who fell in their lap.
Sean Mcvay adds not only a deep threat for quarterback Jared Goff, but,also a go to receiver who was not a stranger to catching the football. The Rams hits a home-run in the second round of the draft, as Jones has the first round talent, he looks to flourished against teams who seemed to let him slide in the draft.
Alternate pick: Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
3rd Round, Pick #69: Derek Rivers, EDGE, Youngstown State (6-foot-4, 248 lbs.)
Because of the hiring of Wade Phillips and converting from a traditional four-three defense into a three-four scheme, is was apparent to boast the defense with more pass rushers. Surpringly, the Rams begin to clean house of Jeff Fisher’s players, by trading William Hayes to the Miami Dolphins, releasing Eugene Sims, and not resigning Cam Thomas.
The team need was to restore pass rushers from the edge and that they do with selecting Youngstown State edge-rusher, Derek Rivers.
Rivers, the 6-foot-4, 248 pound freak of nature, played linebacker for Youngstown State. He was a three year starter and became the all-time sacks leader in the schools history. He doubled the total sack amount of the closest next player on the school’s list.
He impressed scouts at the NFL Combine by posting a 4.61 in the 40 yard dash, 30 bench press reps, 35″ vertical, and 6.94 seconds in the three cone drill, where he finished in the top five of all these categories.
River has good speed and the strength to bull rush blockers back into the backfield. His rushing tactics is he dips low to push himself around the blockers, or avoid the blocker to pursuit ball carriers and the path to the quarterback.
I’m tremendously impressed with this selection, River’s will become a force to reckon from the edge, whenever he’s playing in the game. Next season, should the Rams neglect to bring back Connor Barwin, Rivers will secure the edge for years to come.
Alternate Pick: Fabian Moreau, DB, UCLA
4th Round, Pick #112: Justin Evans, S, Texas A&M (6-foot-0, 200 lbs.)
I’m excited with this next selection, Justin Evans, the 6’0 200 pound safety from Texas A&M, who seemed to dropped from a second round prediction, to a fourth round draft pick.
Evans, better known as the “Eraser”, is a hard hitting safety, who was a junior college transfer before playing at Texas A&M. In 2015, Evan is mostly remembered by the knock out hit he placed on Alabama’s Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, during a SEC game.
A tremendous athlete that played not only safety, but, also played wide-receiver in addition to defense while in high school. The talent didn’t stop just there, as he pitched on his high school baseball team too.
Rams decision to convert Maurice Alexander, back to his natural strong safety position, and not resigning TJ Macdonald, Evans has the talent to become a day one starter.
Evan posses great speed and power, and he can play both the strong and free safetypositions. A big hitter, and will gain respect not only from the team, but, from the receivers in the league. Wade Phillips enjoys having the hard hitting safeties that can also cover one-on-one, with allowing him to create sophisticated blitz packages. Evan provides the hard hits such as the departed TJ Macdonald, and he possed the coverage skills such as Lamarcus Joyner.
The impressiveness of Evans, is when he tackles, he runs through the ball carrier, rarely makes arm-tackles. Great selection for the Rams, speed, coverage skills, and a huge hitter, will help solidify a great defense.
Alternate Pick: Antonio Garcia, OT, Troy
4th Round, Pick #141 (compensatory pick for Rodney McCleod): Bucky Hodges, FLEX, Virginia Tech (6-foot-7, 257 lbs.)
McVay strikes again with another offensive weapon in selecting Bucky Hodges. I really like this selection because Hodges, a former 6’7″ 248 pound quarterback, converted to become a wide-receiver. Last season, he was primarily used as a hybrid tight-end, where he intends to be drafted in this April draft.
Hodges produced impressive numbers at the 2017 NFL Combine, running 4.57 in the 40, he broad jumped 11’2″, and leaped a 39″ vertical.
Hodges experience as a former quarterback, can easily help him identify coverage’s before starting his routes. He also posses the ability and strength to out muscle defensive backs when he is needed for run blocking.
The Rams has truly been without a true red-zone receiving threat, in a very long time. Hodges height, frame, body, length, and football intelligence, gives quarterback Jared Goff, a huge target to throw. His flexibility as an tight end, allows him to be able to lineup outside as a receiver, and become a great mismatch all over the field.
Hodges has great speed, and will help to stretch the field vertically by out running majority of the linebackers and safeties trying to cover him down the field.
Alternate Pick: Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois
5th Round, Pick #149: Anthony Walker Jr., LB, Northwestern (6-foot-1, 238 lbs.)
I’m really amazed that this kid remained undrafted up to this point! Big Ten quarterbacks knew him as the “The Terror,” because of his frightening style of play on the field, as a red-shirt sophomore. However, we know him as Anthony Walker jr., the terrorizing linebacker from Northwestern University.
His size and play, on the field, emulates the shades of former HOF Linebacker Sam Mills and/or future to be HOF, London Fletcher. In my opinion, had he returned for one additional collegiate season, he clearly would have been a top ten pick.
Wade Phillips will love the motor skills and thump that this kid can provide, and probably can be a week one starter. In the 3-4 scheme as an as a true inside backer, he can compliment Alec Ogletree, right away as great run stoppers. Rarely was used as a blitzer, but, he has the skill set of gettting to the quarterback, at the next level. He has familiarity with 3-4 scheme, playing at Northwestern, and will provide depth to the line backing core.
Alternate Pick: John Toth, C, Kentucky
6th Round, Pick #191: George Kittle, TE, Iowa (6-foot-4, 247 lbs.)
The further I reviewed film on this kid, the further I fell in love with his playing ability. No doubt, Kittle is the brand of a tight-end that fits perfectly into Sean McVay’s offensive system. His 6’4″ 247 pound frame, is definitely a combined fit to the tight-ends on the teams roster. In my opinion, drafting Kittle, will serve as a upgrade over Cory Harkey, and can expect the Rams to make a trade of Harkey, or releasing him outright.
Here is a tight-end that posses the full package of combined skills, deceptive speed, a powerful blocker, and a sure handed receiver.
As a receiving tight-end, he is very sneaky in running his routes, he tends to find the way to get open on the field. Demonstrates the ability to put the defenderss to sleep, and magically appears wide open down the field. He puts me in the state of mind of former Indianapolis Colt Dallas Clark, as receiver.
As a blocker, he pulverizes ANY defender that lines up in his path. Viewing his game film, you will find he demonstrates tremendous power and strength when blocking the defenders down the field, seal blocking inside or out, or just barreling the defender into the ground.
Alternate Pick: Eddie Jackson, S, Alabama
6th Round, Pick #225: Brian Allen, DB, Utah (6-foot-3, 215 lbs.)
In what already appears to be a crowded defensive backfield, I like the Rams on making the choice of drafting Brian Allen. Allen, can be a player that they probably can try to tuck away on the practice squad, as he will be a project to finer tune his skills. A married prospect, and father, already displays that he has the family oriented mind, and the team won’t have to worry about him getting mixed up in late night activities.
Despite having stiff hips, averaged in sensing routes, below average playing the deep ball, and issues tackling, he could become a good defensive back playing outside as a corner or deep safety. Allen, was a wide-receiver that Utah converted to a defensive back, is the norm the coaches does with their long lengthy recievers. This is one of the reason why Allen is still a bit raw at the position by not ever playing defense, not even in high school.
Allen, at 6’3″ 215 pounds, ran a 4.48 seconds in the 40-yard dash, the 20th fastest time out of the defensive backs at the NFL Combine. He showed off his impressive long speed at the combine. He finished with 15 reps on the bench press, a 34.5 inch vertical and a 117″ with the broad jump. He also was the second fastest in the three cone drill, to include with his skills.
What I do see in this kid, is the simple fact that he is tremendously long. He has the ability to jab receiver’s in the chest with press coverage and disrupt their releases from the line of scrimmage. A great fit for bump-and-run coverage and plays it comfortably. When he gets beat of the line scrimmage, he has the ability to use his length to recover.
Because of his size, Allen was only targeted 42.5 percent of the time for completions, over his last two seasons at Utah. His height, is great for trail coverage, in which it imposes a problem for quarterbacks to complete the deep touch passes over him.
With about a season or two under his belt, I believe that Allen can turn out to become shades of Aqib Talib of the Denver Broncos, in this league by continuing to work on his craft with the position.
Alternate Pick: Jessamen Dunker, OG, Tennessee State
7th Round, Pick #236 (via Ravens for trade of Chris Givens): Darreus Rogers, WR, USC. (6-foot-1, 216 lbs.)
Many of you Los Angeles fans, have been head over hills on the Rams drafting USC wide-receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. In many player polls, the fans have unanimously voted for the Rams to select Smith-Schusters with the #37 pick.
I’m pleased to inform you all that the better of the USC wide-receivers in my opinion, is Darreus Rogers, from Compton,CA. His senior season, his stats were the best as he played number two on the other side from Smith-Schusters.
Rogers has the better pair hands out all total receivers in the NCAA, during his playing career. He is well-built for the position with the my-ball mentality and ball-skills that translate well to the NFL game, using his aggressiveness, natural plucking skills to be a solid possession target.
I enjoyed watching Rogers highlight film because of craftiness or route running. He sets the defenders up well, from the slant route to doubled move routes. He has a great knack at being aggressive pulling in passes. He has a strong mental game, not to be affected by defenders playing him tight off the line of scrimmage. He’s very affective as a run blocker as well.
Despite running very disappointing 40 times at USC pro-day, if ther Ram are looking for that possession receiver, Rogers is the man for the job. Rams does well in selecting Rogers, but to break into the ranks, he has a tough job ahead. Will have to make this squad by contributing to special teams.
Alternate Pick: Howard Wilson, DB, Houston
Potential UDFA Signing
Austin Apodoca QB, 6’2″ 214lbs. New Mexico
Francis Owuso, WR, 6’3″ 225lbs. Stanford
Ishmael Zamora WR, 6’4″ 215lbs. Baylor
Michael Coe, C, 6’2″ 313lbs. University of North Dakota
Jerry Ugokwe OT, 6’7″ 321lbs. William & Mary
Andreas Knappe OT, 6,8″ 325lbs. UCONN
Matt Milano LB, 6’0″ 223lbs. Boston College
Pita Taumoepenu LB, 6,1″ 243lbs. Utah
Brad Watson DB, 6,0″ 200lbs. Wake Forest
Ezra Robinson CB, 5’11” 189lbs. Tennessee St.
Nate Gerry S, 6’2″ 218lbs. Nebraska
Dymonte Thomas S, 6’2″ 199lbs. Michigan