It’s been a crazy fun and grind of a draft season but as the draws near (as in being a day away now…) I’ve finally narrowed it down to the mock draft that makes the most sense for the Rams in my humble opinion. Here is the final Rams mock draft from me of the 2019 draft season. Enjoy.
To start off this mock draft let’s take a look at the trade the LA Rams will make in this scenario. While waiting the Thursday Night of the first round, the Rams decide to pull the plug on their pick due to who is available. A trade ensues, the Colts trade up from 34th overall to 31st overall to jump ahead of some teams to get a guy they love, but furthermore, a guy they will now have a fifth-year option for. In return, the Rams get an additional fourth-round pick and a seventh-round pick to set the table for a very productive Les Snead & Sean McVay led draft.
2nd Round – (34th overall via trade): Blake Cashman, LB, Minnesota
The Rams officially have a need at linebacker. They have a budding star in Cory Littleton that can do a little of everything but as much of an athlete as he is, he’s not the type of athlete that Blake Cashman is. It’s not all about Cashman here, however. The Rams need one of those “new age” ultra-athletic sideline-to-sideline linebackers to compliment the skillset of Cory Littleton.
With Cashman, this is a player that ran in the 4.5’s at the combine, he put on the same of the best film you will see of any prospect this draft class and he of course, met with the Rams in Indianapolis. Has their been a ton of interest with the Rams camp and Blake Cashman? Time will tell. When speaking with Blake on our podcast he made it clear it was a very good meeting that he remembered having with the Rams but not much else went on with the Rams and Cashman after that.
Cashman’s ability to play sideline-to-sideline and drop in coverage so easily is based on his background as a defensive back. You can see the aggression, the motor and the confidence he plays with on the football field. Adding Cashman allows the Rams to add a super sound tackler, cover linebacker, blitzer and leader to their defense.
Micah Kiser, last year’s fifth-round pick is a talented football player in his own right, but the Rams know they need a new age linebacker that will compliment Littleton and Kiser is more of an old school thumper in the middle. In order to unlock the Rams defense’s full potential they will need the legit do-it-all linebacker. Most importantly, the Rams know this, they’ve had over 20 pre-draft interactions with linebackers in this class.
Cashman is my top linebacker and the Rams get a gem and get to trade back and recoup more picks in a home run pick for the Snead & McVay-led war room.
3rd Round – (94th overall): Khalen Saunders, DL, Western Illinois
The Rams are likely out on the idea of bringing back Ndamukong Suh. I’ll be the first one to rant and rave about John Franklin-Myers as a long-term piece on this defensive line but the Rams are interested in defensive lineman on top of JFM, Aaron Donald and Michael Brockers. There’s a really good chance they add one to their talented rotation. Who would that be?
Khalen Saunders. I’ve seen this guy do a backflip in person. He checks all of the boxes that a typical player that the Rams draft would check. He went to Senior Bowl, he dominated at the Senior Bowl, he has internal connections between his coaches in college and the Rams scouts, he’s met with the Rams at every phase of the pre-draft process (Senior Bowl, Combine and Private Visit) and he’s a high-motor player.
Khalen is a former running back that explained to us on the show, he feels that gives him an advantage seeing things from both perspectives. Many are going to want a nose tackle but Saunders adds so much as an interior rusher and a run stopper. He’s put out on tape that he can and will do anything he’s asked to do whether it’s as a standup rusher, a running back or even catching a touchdown pass.
Saunders is capable of becoming a pro bowl player and would provide the Rams a ton of flexibility to potentially move on from Michael Brockers after this season.
3rd Round – (99th overall): Nate Davis, G, Charlotte
So, the Rams to this point have accumulated two talented defensive players and two extra draft picks. Here, the Rams add an interior offensive lineman to the mix in Nate Davis. The move here makes a ton of sense because the Rams can plug Davis in at guard, leave Joe Noteboom at guard and kick Austin Blythe back in at center. Talk about damage control.
Davis is my second ranked guard in this class, he played at the Senior Bowl (which Les Snead loves), he showed out at the Senior Bowl, he has experience playing offensive tackle and on top of that he met with the Rams on a pre-draft private visit.
The Charlotte star offensive lineman has versatility, power and he’s a high IQ football player. If you worry about him going to Charlotte, don’t. The Rams have drafted key players from Eastern Washington, Stephen F. Austin and South Alabama. Besides the fact the Rams have proven in the past they won’t ignore small school players, Davis already proved himself when he held his own and then some against the top competition the Senior Bowl has to offer.
Rams fans may want the big-time interior offensive line prospect but they can grab a talented one in Nate Davis later on. This move allows the Rams to create some depth with Jamil Demby and Brian Allen in the back end.
4th Round (133rd overall): Will Harris, S, Boston College
You want a safety that’s just like John Johnson III with more versatility and an overall better athlete? Will Harris is for you. Harris absolutely blew people away during Senior Bowl week. Harris equipped with size, speed and football IQ makes too much sense in the fourth round. The Rams met with him at the Senior Bowl, I caught up with him at Media Day and he absolutely expressed his desire to play alongside former teammate “John John”.
Besides the fact the Rams already have experience with a Boston College built safety, Harris is a stud and the Rams are interested in adding a safety despite signing Eric Weddle. Harris makes the most sense based on value and the track record of Boston College and their defensive backs. They clearly have a DB factory out there and it shows.
Harris can be the third safety used by Wade in his defense and eventually end up grooming into Eric Weddle’s replacement. The Rams would be knocking it out of the park if they teamed up Johnson and Harris moving forward.
4th Round (135th overall via trade): Mark Fields II, CB, Clemson
What if I told you that Mark Fields, not Trayvon Mullen is the best cornerback that came from Clemson. The Rams have Marcus Peters, Aqib Talib and Nickell Robey-Coleman but Talib is on his last year of his contract, Peters still needs to be signed long-term and Nickell is locked in but just for the nickel spot. So, insert Mark Fields. A guy that didn’t play a ton at Clemson but when he did he was as sharp as a knife.
Fields is a top ten cornerback in this class and you can make the argument he can play right away. Many at the Senior Bowl believe he was the best man to man corner in Mobile. I can attest to that statement and would even make the argument he was not only the best corner in Mobile but one of the best performers regardless of position.
He’s met with the Rams multiple times per my discussions with him and as they’ve shown a lot of interest, they also love Senior Bowl guys which fits the bill for a Rams draft pick and his father also played for the Rams and started for them in the Super Bowl versus the Patriots. That doesn’t mean he will for sure be an LA Ram but when you look at the skillset he brings to the table, he’s a great value pick at this point in the draft and could replace Talib next season as the Rams use him as the fourth corner and develop him this season.
5th Round (169th overall): James Williams, RB, Washington State
I have a running back going to the Rams, it has nothing to do with Todd Gurley’s reported arthritis, it has everything to do with Malcolm Brown coming off injury, the two backs behind them John Kelly and Justin Davis proving nothing last year and the fact that, James Williams is a top five running back and he’s being severely slept on in this draft.
Williams is not only represented by his agent and Rams Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson but he’s met with the Rams at the NFL Scouting Combine. Dickerson’s connections could work in favor of the Rams drafting James Williams but regardless, his play speaks for itself. Just because he didn’t play at a big SEC school, does not mean that Williams should be overlooked. He will be however, and in this spot in the fifth round, he’s a perfect fit for the Los Angeles Rams.
His ability as an all-around back that can catch out of the backfield, has balance as a runner, elusiveness, pass protection strength and of course has the vision to find the crease in the defense leaves him as one of the best bang for your buck backs. Is he a little shorter than say Todd Gurley? Yes, but Tarik Cohen is plenty fine at 5-foot-5, size is not a skill and Williams is very skilled.
6th Round (203rd overall): Trevon Wesco, TE, West Virginia
Trevon Wesco is the best bargain in the entire draft if you want a tight end that can block at will and has sneaky receiving upside, look no further than Wesco. Wesco was underutilized in college as a receiver, but he displayed sneaky receiving ability and run-after-the-catch ability in the limited times he was called upon.
The Rams met with Wesco at the Senior Bowl, so there is some interest there. The Rams really haven’t met with any tight end besides day two and day three candidates to our knowledge. Wesco is someone that could be drafted earlier than mock drafts say but as of right now I think he’s flying under the radar enough to be the perfect selection for the Rams tight end room. Could be the second tight end behind Gerald Everett as early as next year. He’s a lot like Heath Miller a retired security blanket from the Pittsburgh Steelers.
7th Round (240th overall via trade): Quinton Bell, LB, Prairie View A&M
Sleeper alert. Quinton Bell is a former receiver converted to linebacker. He stands at 6-foot-4 and 238 pounds but what is impressive the most about Bell is elite athleticism at that size. He ran a 4.38 forty-yard dash, jumped a 41.5 inch vertical, jumped a 11’4″ broad jump and benched 23 reps on the bench press. He’s a physical specimen but he’s not a nobody to the Rams either. He formerly roomed with Rams WR Khadarel Hodge while at Prairie View. What gets better is that when we spoke with Bell on the podcast, Bell confirmed the Rams were not only at his Pro Day, but had visited with him multiple teams on campus. There’s some interest there and that’s what the seventh round is for, taking guys that project insanely well. Bell is worth the minimal, if any…risk.
7th Round (251st overall): Trey Pipkins, OT, Sioux Falls
Trey Pipkins makes a lot of sense in the seventh round for the simple fact the Rams had a private visit with him, he’s a raw but athletic tackle that Rams offensive line coach Aaron Kromer can mold however he likes and this is a player that can develop under the tutelage of Andrew Whitworth. Is he replacing Joe Noteboom? Probably not, but Pipkins will most certainly be cross-trained to play inside at guard and will give the Rams options to not only groom another young offensive lineman but also add a fun and exciting backup this season and potentially a future starter down the line.
The level of competition is concerning to a degree but the Rams clearly like the kid from Sioux Falls because they brought him in town on an exclusive private visit.
2nd: Minnesota LB Blake Cashman
3rd: Western Illinois DL Khalen Saunders
3rd: Charlotte G Nate Davis
4th: Boston College S Will Harris
4th: Clemson CB Mark Fields II
5th: Washington State RB James Williams
6th: West Virginia TE Trevon Wesco
7th: Prairie View A&M LB Quinton Bell
7th: Sioux Falls OT Trey Pipkins