Plan of Attack for the 2013 NFL Draft – St. Louis Rams
With Free Agency slowing down and many of they key moves already made, it’s time to take a detailed look at each teams acquisitions and losses and gauge a plan of attack for how they should approach the first three rounds of this year’s draft. We’ll start with the Super Bowl Champion Baltimore Ravens and work our way all the way down to the lowly Kansas City Chiefs and the first overall pick. *Page will be updated as more moves are made.
ST. LOUIS RAMS
Team Needs: S, WR, RB, OLB, G, DT
Free Agent Losses: RB Steven Jackson, WR Danny Amendola, C Robert Turner, S Craig Dahl, CB Bradley Fletcher, WR Brandon Gibson, WR Steve Smith
Free Agent Acquisitions: OT Jake Long, TE Jared Cook, DE William Hayes (resigned), DT Jermelle Cudjo (resigned), OT Chris Williams (resigned), S Darian Stewart (resigned)
Potential Round 1 Targets: S Kenny Vaccaro, RB Eddie Lacy, WR Tavon Austin, WR Cordarrelle Patterson, WR Keenan Allen, WR Justin Hunter, WR DeAndre Hopkins, LB Alec Ogletree, LB Arthur Brown, G Jonathan Cooper, G Chance Warmack
Potential Round 2 Targets: OLB Sio Moore, OLB Khaseem Greene, S John Cyprien, S DJ Swearinger, S Shamarko Thomas, RB Montee Ball, RB Christine Michael, G Larry Warford, G Kyle Long, WR Robert Woods, WR Quinton Patton, WR Aaron Dobson, WR Terrance Williams, DT Johnathan Hankins, DT Kawann Short, DT Brandon Williams, DT John Jenkins
Potential Round 3 Targets: S Baccari Rambo, S Shawn Williams, S Philip Thomas, WR Stedman Bailey, WR Tavarres King, WR Kenny Stills, RB Le’Veon Bell, RB Giovani Bernard, RB Andre Ellington, RB Marcus Lattimore, RB Jonathan Franklin, G Brian Winters, G/T Dallas Thomas, G/T Oday Aboushi, LB Kiko Alonso, OLB Davonte Holloman
Plan of Attack: The Rams addressed a huge need in free agency when they signed Jake Long to be their left tackle for the next handful of years. This frees the team up to look at a safety or wide receiver with the first of their two first round choices. At pick 16 the Rams could have a dilemma on their hands if both Tavon Austin and Kenny Vaccaro are on the board. Austin is a dynamic multi threat receiver much in the mold of Percy Harvin. He would add big play ability to this offense and keep defenses on their toes at all times. Safety is by far the bigger need and the Rams have a great shot at landing the top one in the draft at this point in Texas’ Kenny Vaccaro. Kenny is a big hitter who also has excpetional ball skills, and ultimately is the favorite to be the Rams first choice.
The Rams can then focus in on a receiver with pick 22. There is a decent chance Tennessee’s Cordarrelle Patterson is still on the board. Patterson is raw, with just one year of division one football under his belt, but he has great size and is explosive when the ball is in his hands. If Patterson is gone then the Rams could look at CAL WR Keenan Allen. Allen is nearly 6’3 and has been compared to Anquan Boldin, his health is the only concern. The Rams could also consider Tennessee’s Justin Hunter or Clemson’s DeAndre Hopkins if they fall in love with either. If the Rams think they can get a decent receiver in round two, then they may feel obligated to land the top back in this year’s draft in Eddie Lacy. Steven Jackson left to finish his career in Atlanta, and neither Daryl Richardson or Isaiah Pead appear ready to be the lead back. Lacy is a tough runner who can pick up yards after contact, and is a decent option in the passing game. He’d be the team’s opening day starter if they took him here.
If the Rams go S, and WR, like many expect, then in round 2 they can look for an outside linebacker. They are set in the middle with Laurinaitis, but could use an upgrade over Jo-Lonn Dunbar and Rocky McIntosh. There are two names to keep an eye on here. The first is UCONN’s Sio Moore. Moore has had a great draftseason and caught the eye of many teams through his superb play at both the East West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. He has good quickness and is a sound tackler. The other name the Rams could look at here would be Rutgers’ Khaseem Greene. Greene was very productive at Rutgers and has great range and speed to cover tight ends in the middle. The Rams could also look at a back here if they didn’t go with Lacy in the first round. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball or Texas A&M’s Christine Michael are two players they could consider. The team could even look at a defensive tackle here. They have a solid young defensive line with Quinn, Long, and Brockers but could use another inside guy. They could believe the value of a Johnathan Hankins, or Kawann Short could be too good pass up.
The Rams could very well be looking for a running back in round 3, and there are plenty of guys they could choose between. They could look at Michigan St.’s Le’Veon Bell, Clemson’s Andre Ellington, or UNC’s Giovani Bernard. They may also like UCLA’s Jonathan Franklin or could take a flier on Sout Carolina’s Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore is a round 1 talent who is recovering from a nasty ACL injury. The Rams could roll with Daryl Richardson and Isaiah Pead for half the season before Lattimore is ready to play. The Rams could also be looking for a guard here and may be interested in big Brian Winters from Kent St. or a hybrid type like Dallas Thomas from Tennessee. The Rams could also be looking for a young defensive tackle to pair with Michael Brockers. They could look at Bennie Logan or Akeem Spence at this point if they are so inclined.