Before we start I just would like everyone to know my drafting style and what I used to compose this draft. I’m not big on drafting for need as you tend to screw yourself if you draft for need, but sometimes if two prospects are close I will factor in need. Also, I used a drafting software to do this draft so some player might have fallen that you or I wouldn’t anticipate would. Now, lets gets started
Round 1 Pick 2 – Jadeveon Clowney (Defensive End – South Carolina)
This pick simply comes down to the fact that you cannot deny Clowney’s talent. This is absolutely a luxury pick, one that the Rams may not be able to afford, but when the best prospect in the past ten years falls to you, you take him. Robert Quinn, Chris Long, Michael Brockers, and now Jadeveon Clowney; Colin Kapernick, Russell Wilson, and Carson Palmer just lost a lot of sleep over this pick.
Round 1 Pick 13 – HaHa Clinton-Dix (Free Safety – Alabama)
This pick is the best of both worlds scenario for the Rams, which will help make up for the luxury pick they got in Clowney. Not only is Clinton-Dix the best player on the board, but he also fits a huge area of need for the Rams. As a rangy free safety, Clinton-Dix will complement TJ McDonald’s run stopping and heavy hitting game perfectly. Win-win situation for the Rams.
Round 2 Pick 12 – Antonio Richardson (Offensive Tackle – Tennessee)
Richardson carries a lot of potential in the second round. Physically, he’s a beast and he has the aggressive attitude you want to see in an offensive linemen. All though, he has to refine his skills before being a starting left tackle, he is definitely a player that can start from day 1. This gives St. Louis a future back up for Jake Long and flexibility on the offensive line for the up coming season.
Round 3 Pick 11 – Jordan Matthews (Wide Receiver – Vanderbilt)
Matthews is seen as a potential second round pick but could certainly slip to the third round due to his lack of speed and a deep wide receiver draft class. Matthews is exactly the receiver St. Louis needs. He runs crisp routes, has solid hands, and is very big body. He could also be installed from day 1 and make a huge impact.
Round 4 Pick 10 – EJ Gaines (Cornerback – Missouri)
Starting to notice a trend here? Yep, another SEC pick. EJ Gaines is a battle tested SEC corner who’s excelled at defending the best talent in college football. Gaines would not have to come in and immediately start. He could be used as a CB3 and cover slot receives and tight ends. This is a big need considering how disappointing Brandon McGee was in this role last year.
Round 5 Pick 13 – John Urschel (Offensive Guard – Penn State)
A lot of people may not like this pick but the bottom line is Urschel is the kind of guy you want in your organization. He’s extremely smart and a very hard worker. He may lack talent but makes up for it in grit and grind. Urschel would be a pure depth piece that could develop into a starting talent one day.
Round 6 Pick 12 – Bruce Gaston (Defensive Tackle – Purdue)
Every draft you should devote at least one low round pick to a project player to work on for a few years that could have big pay off; Bruce Gaston is that pick. His stats were down this past year but at 6’2” and 305 pounds the size is there. He’s extremely raw and would take some time to develop. If Clowney is picked at number 2 and opens up a lot of options on the defensive line, this could be an awesome pick for the future.
Round 7 Pick 11 – Connor Shaw (Quarterback – South Carolina)
A lot of Rams fans really want this team to spend a 3rd or 4th round pick on a quarterback, but why? When St. Louis could pick up Jordan Matthews and EJ Gaines, who would both make immediate impacts in the 3rd and 4th round, why would you take a quarterback? Instead, wait until the low end of the draft and pick up a guy that is suffering from an extremely deep Quarterback class. Connor Shaw may be looked at as a product of system, but the talent is there. His deep ball isn’t the strongest but its accurate, he was extremely efficient this past year (only threw one pick), and the kid is a winner having never lost a home game as a starter. Not to mention, he’s a head and shoulders better athlete then any other quarterback in this class, including Mr. Johnny Football himself. Shaw has been classified as a gym rat by his team mates and scouts, this guy has heart and is ready to put in the hard work it would take to be developed into an NFL quarterback.
Round 7 Pick 26 – De’Anthony Thomas (Running Back – Oregon)
This could be THE pick of the draft. Zac Stacy did an awesome job last year and rushed for almost 1,000 yards on a short season. Even though Stacy had a great year, his best attributes are his hard running, his ability to run people over, and his blocking ability. If Zac Stacy is thunder then De’Anthony Thomas is lightning. Thomas is one of the fastest players in the draft and is a home run threat every time he touches the ball. Thomas also has great hands out of the backfield as well. In a league where plug-n-play players are so valuable, Thomas could be the perfect complement to Stacy’s game. Not to mention Thomas has value as a returner and that would get Tavon Austin out of a returner role as he comes back from injury. A lot of people see him as a product of a system out of Oregon but the sky’s the limit for this kid’s potential.