The 2019 NFL Combine is just two weeks away, and draft nerds like myself continue to anxiously wait until combine weekend, as we have been since…well, the end of the last combine. In anticipation of the combine, I have composed a list of the Top 10 prospects that I would like the Rams to draft. If you listened to the first DTR Live Roundtable Draft Show (Episode 155), this is the same list that I talked about there.
1. Mack Wilson, LB, Alabama
Mack most likely fits best into the middle linebacker position but has the potential to play outside. One of the Rams biggest weaknesses this season, until we obtained Dante Fowler, was the Edge attack. I also believe that our middle linebacking presence was thin. Mack can contribute in either position, which is extremely beneficial since we have uncertainty in our linebacking core going into free agency. He was considered one of the fastest linebackers in college football last season and has incredibly quick hands. Not the largest linebacker, but he makes up for it with speed. I would love to see him take over the ILB position for the Rams. The only red flag for me is sometimes he plays out of position, but that can be fixed.
2. Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
First off, his size is insane. Montez is 6 6’ and 245 pounds of absolutely lean muscle, and has long arms which gives him an advantage off the bat against opposing tackles. If you watch him, he’s absolutely scary coming out of that EDGE position. Considering his size, he’s incredibly quick but wouldn’t fit anywhere except the EDGE because he doesn’t do well in the open field. However, I think he’s a high reward, low risk player. I think the Rams should absolutely pick him if he’s available at #31.
3. Rashan Gary, EDGE, Michigan
The Rams would have to trade up for Gary and most likely give up 2020’s first round pick, but Gary’s potential is worth it. He mostly plays defensive line but I believe he has the ability to also play the EDGE. He’s 6 4’, around 280 pounds and has insane athleticism. He’s a huge hitter and can get to the quarterback quickly. He plays violent and has an impressive burst. My only concern would be that he needs to be more consistent and polished, but I think Wade Phillips can bring out his potential and we could use him in both the defensive line position and EDGE rush, depending on if we keep Suh or Fowler.
4. Julian Love, CB, Notre Dame
I have Julian graded higher than most people. I have him graded as a low first round pick, or early second round pick. What stands out most about Love is his intelligence when it comes to reading routes. He makes it difficult for receivers to break away from him. Add that with great ball skills and strong hands, he’s a threat to any opposing quarterback looking to throw his way. Obviously the Rams have two starting corner’s for 2019 in Peters and Talib, but Love can sit behind them for a year and then step in if one of them leaves in 2020 which I expect.
5. Cody Ford, OT, Oklahoma
This dude is an absolute beast. He’s 6-foot-4, 340 pounds and moves like he’s 50 pounds lighter. Not only does he move fast, but he’s quick and agile. His hands are quicker than most defensive ends he faces. From what I can tell, he likes to hit and be very physical as well. The only concern I have about Ford is that he’s not as tall as most tackles which can affect one on one match up’s with taller defensive ends. However, I don’t think its a big enough risk for him to fall out of the first round. I’d love for the Rams to take him at 31 if he’s available and if Whitworth retires. He’s an instant starter.
6. Max Scharping, OT, Northern Illinois
Max is someone who I would like the Rams to target in the fourth if they do not go offensive line in the first. He is an extremely versatile player, being able to play left or right tackle, and even inside at the guard position. He started all 48 games of his college career and he allowed no sacks and a mere 5 QB pressures in 425 snaps, which was one of the best rates of protection in the country. The only reason he has a 3-4th round grade is because he needs to work on the quickness of his feet and get his hands up quicker. He has the potential to be a starter in the NFL if he can work on those issues.
7. Te’von Coney, LB, Notre Dame
Coney is perhaps the most underrated linebacker in this coming draft. He’s a strong hitter and his athleticism allows him to play either inside or outside. He is very patient and seems to know where to position himself each and every play. The only concerns about him are hip stiffness and mobility, which is why he has dropped from a potential second round pick to a third or fourth round pick. However, I think he has enormous potential and would be a steal for the Rams in the fourth round.
8. Clayton Thorson, QB, Northwestern
Clayton is someone who I see having enormous potential. Most people have concerns about inconsistency with him, but I think that can be coached. The thing that stands out most about him is his athleticism and ability to be mobile. He has the experience to know when to throw the ball and when not to, but struggles with accuracy. I grade him as a 5th or 6th round pick and think he’s perfect to back up Goff.
9. Jon Baker, C, Boston College
Baker can play either guard or center, and while I prefer him at center, I think the Rams could use him at guard as well. Boston College had one of the most effective offensive lines this past season thanks to Baker, who’s an aggressive run blocker who has no issue going head to head with the toughest of defensive lineman. I think the Rams should go after Baker in the fourth/fifth and use his versatilely at both center and guard depending on what needs they have most.
10. Chuma Edoga, OT, USC
Chuma has great length and arm extension, which is extremely effective in blocking someone coming off the edge. He also seems to have great balance and doesn’t get knocked over easily. He also has fairly decent hand technique although it can be polished. His biggest advantage is his athleticism. He should be a late third or early fourth round pick and I hope the Rams could draft him as a backup tackle with the potential to be a starter after more development.