Posted April 10, 2014

St. Louis Rams Mock Draft Tracker

NFL Draft, NFL draft 2014, St. Louis Rams
St. Louis Rams 2014 NFL Mock Draft Tracker: Jake Matthews, Texas A&M

Jake Matthews, Texas A&M (Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

What will the St. Louis Rams do in the 2014 NFL draft? Keep track of all the predictions made in our mock drafts leading up to Round 1 on May 8.

April 10, 2014  2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 2: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

We said: I realize Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson is considered the better, more freakishly athletic tackle prospect, with tons of that “upside” that NFL personnel evaluators crave. But Matthews’ last name and proven bloodlines carry a lot of credibility with Rams head coach Jeff Fisher, who coached Hall of Fame offensive lineman Bruce Matthews in Houston and Tennessee. I’m sure St. Louis would love to deal out of the No. 2 pick for the second time in three years, but if the Rams stick, I think they feel very comfortable betting on Matthews, who allows the newly re-signed Rodger Saffold to shift to guard. Clemson’s can’t-miss receiver Sammy Watkins is the other significant temptation for St. Louis in this scenario, but either way, quarterback Sam Bradford wins.

Round 1, pick 13: Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State

We said: The Rams should have their choice here between the draft’s top-rated cornerback and safety prospects, and plenty of mocks have them going for Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in this slot. Either way, they need another piece in the secondary to help contend with the talented personnel that NFC West rivals Seattle, San Francisco and Arizona all field in that more-important-than-ever last line of defense. Dennard could be that piece.

April 1, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 2: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

We said: Jeff Fisher is all too familiar with the Matthews family — Jake’s father, Bruce, played on the Oilers’ and Titans’ offensive lines for years, and he coached the line for Fisher throughout the latter’s Tennessee tenure. Jake is a different kind of player than his dad — less of an earthdog (see: mauler) and more of a technician — but he has all the fundamentals together, though he may have less pure physical potential than Greg Robinson, the draft’s other top tackle. Taking Matthews would give the Rams the option of putting Rodger Saffold at guard, where he’s a better player, thus better protecting Sam Bradford (or whoever else plays quarterback for the Rams over the next few years). It’s a safe pick at a position of severe need, and it makes the ascending Rams much better in an important way.

Round 1, pick 13: Odell Beckham Jr., LSU

We said: Now that we’ve protected St. Louis’ quarterback with Jake Matthews, let’s give him a special receiver in Beckham, who would go a long way toward correcting the team’s problems at the position. They do have Tavon Austin, and they took a shot on Kenny Britt with a one-year deal, but the latter move does little more than show the franchise’s desperation to get another playmaker on the roster. Beckham is special not only for his speed, but also for his route awareness and toughness. With Beckham and Austin in the same offense, the Rams could test deep coverage in ways they haven’t since the Greatest Show on Turf days.

March 25, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 6.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 2: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

We said: I’ve circled back around to my original opinion here: Clowney is too talented to pass up. Trotting out a deep, dynamic pass rush has been an equalizer for defenses against the league’s offensive explosion. With Clowney, Robert Quinn and Chris Long, the Rams would be borderline unstoppable off the edge.

Round 1, pick 13: Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama

We said: Rams fans may be hoping for a skill-position splash in Round 1. Should the Rams walk out of Radio City Music Hall with Clowney and Clinton-Dix, however, there would be little cause for dissension. The depth at receiver in this draft class has been well-documented. It’s not there at safety, where St. Louis carries an underwhelming group. Clinton-Dix’s rangy game would let the rest of the secondary play aggressive football, and he would benefit from the dangerous front four.

March 18, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 2: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

We said: The Rams have to like their chances to move out of this spot, since they’re either going to have their pick of Jadeveon Clowney’s or Khalil Mack’s rights, or a top-rated quarterback. But we’re not predicting trades with the draft still more than seven weeks away. If St. Louis sticks, it’s likely a choice between Robinson or Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews at offensive tackle, or Clemson’s big-play receiver Sammy Watkins. The Rams did get right tackle Rodger Saffold back in free agency in a bizarre display of classic Raiders dysfunction, but they still see him as better suited to guard, clearing the way for the supremely gifted Robinson, one of the draft’s elite prospects.

Round 1, pick 13: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

We said: If the Rams don’t deal and instead wind up exiting the first round with the draft’s top offensive tackle and second-best receiving prospect at Nos. 2 and 13, respectively, quarterback Sam Bradford will have a greatly improved chance to make some noise in Brian Schottenheimer’s offense. Evans may not last this long, and if he doesn’t, a cornerback like Dennard or a safety like Pryor or Clinton-Dix would in the Rams’ wheelhouse.

March 5, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 2: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn

We said: Robinson isn’t quite as developed as Jake Matthews as a pure pass-blocker, but his athleticism and power make him a legitimate second-overall prospect, and the rest will come in time. Jeff Fisher wants a prototypical mauler in his offense to protect the blind side of his quarterback, and Robinson absolutely buries people in the run game. Moreover, as he proved at the scouting combine by running a sub-5.0 40 at 6-foot-5 and 332 pounds, Robinson has the speed and burst to hit the second level with authority. The Rams have had line issues for years based on iffy drafts. Taking Robinson would go a long way to reversing that process.

Round 1, pick 13: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

We said: The Rams started to address their need for targets by taking Tavon Austin in 2013. To compliment Austin’s speed underneath and down the seam, head coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead would be smart to look at Evans, who is an estimable red-zone target and can get open in free spaces downfield. Evans is a very physical receiver when he needs to be, gets up to speed impressively for his size and could have a Demaryius Thomas-like impact with the right team.

Feb. 26, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 5.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 2: Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn.

We said: This is the reverse of the Bridgewater argument. In terms of being better developed for the 2014 season, Jake Matthews has the edge on Robinson. Robinson showed at the combine, though, why scouts are drooling over his upside. His minimal work as a pass-blocker at Auburn remains a concern, but the Rams have the stable of young backs in place to make the run game the focus here.

Round 1, pick 13: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA.

We said: I’ve long believed (and still do) that Clowney should be an option for the Rams at No. 2, with the argument being that his skillset is special enough for the Rams to tweak their defense to accommodate it. Dropping the athletic but raw Barr in as a rush linebacker would offer many of the same benefits of having Clowney, while forcing less readjusting of the scheme.

Round 2, pick 44: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois.

We said: Using a pick like this on Garoppolo makes more sense for the Rams than taking another QB with that No. 2 pick — Garoppolo could push Sam Bradford and then take over for him later.

Feb. 19, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Don Banks)

Round 1, pick 2: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

We said: The Rams obviously will be willing to trade away this slot to a quarterback-needy team, which is fitting since it’s the last bit of draft capital St. Louis wrung out of Washington in the blockbuster Robert Griffin III deal two years ago. But if the Rams stick to this spot, offensive tackle is the obvious need, with Jake Long having suffered a late-season ACL in 2013, and both Rodger Saffold and Chris Williams eligible for free agency. Many mocks have Auburn’s freakishly gifted Greg Robinson in this slot, but Matthews is clearly the most pro-ready tackle in the draft, and Jeff Fisher’s decades-long history with Jake Matthews’ famous father — Hall of Fame Oilers/Titans offensive lineman/assistant coach Bruce Matthews — has to be factored into the equation. But Matthews isn’t just the safest choice, he’s a top-five talent who will give the Rams exactly what they need from Day 1, whether he starts at right or left tackle.

Round 1, pick 13: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

We said: With the quality and aggressiveness of the cornerbacks in the NFC West, the Rams should be in the market for a tall, strong receiver who can fight for the ball and make the catch in traffic. Evans at 6-5, 225 is ideal for the job, and he also has enough ability to separate to be a dangerous deep threat for St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford. With the smallish receivers already on the Rams roster, Evans would be a superb fit as the team’s No. 1 pass-catcher.

Feb. 6, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Doug Farrar)

Round 1, pick 2: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

We said: The Rams may look at a quarterback later in the draft, and it would be very tempting to take a receiver this high, but it’s pretty clear that protection is the primary issue. Sam Bradford may still have a shot at franchise-level production if he can stay upright and healthy. Matthews is the premier outside lineman in this class — the kind of player you can set and forget (in a very good sense) for the next five years.

Round 1, pick 13: Marqise Lee, WR, USC

We said: Whoever the Rams’ quarterback is in 2014 and beyond, the need for targets has been clear for years. And as this team tries to ascend in the brutally tough NFC West, Lee would go a long way toward spicing the offense right up. A star in USC’s pro-style offense, Lee can beat the press coverage that is a divisional staple, understands the advanced routes and cuts that the NFL requires and can simply blast off over the top at times.

Jan. 9, 2014 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 4.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 2: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina

We said: It is a very rare occurrence that a pretty good team — the Rams were 7-9 this season — gets a chance to draft up here. And in my view, there are three ways to take advantage: 1. Take a quarterback, signaling a virtual end to Sam Bradford’s days as the No. 1 guy; 2. Trade down again, a scenario that may be likely should another team fall in love with a player; or 3. Draft Clowney.

All season long, skeptics have looked at Clowney’s stats and his occasional choice to sit out a play or game and tabbed him a future bust. Look deeper, at his impact on how the opposition schemed. He’s special … and only going to get better. St. Louis will find a way to use him, even with Robert Quinn and Chris Long on the field. Oh, and Jeff Fisher loves having a stockpile of pass-rushers.

Round 1, pick 13: Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

We said: As mentioned during the Rams’ first pick, we’re working off the assumption here that Sam Bradford will get at least one more season at the helm. Under that scenario, the Rams could nab a QB on Day 2 or 3 to develop … while looking for another weapon early.

St. Louis finally figured out how to use Tavon Austin in its offense during the second half, but he is not a true No. 1-type. Evans could be, and at the very least would bulk up the Rams’ red-zone offense.

Dec. 5, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 3.1 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 3: Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA

We said: Clowney to Jacksonville would make St. Louis’ decision a little easier here. If St. Louis lands around this spot with Washington’s pick, another RGIII-like move down the board would make sense. Working off the assumption they stay put, though, I’m dropping Barr in on that defense.

Round 1, pick 15: Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama

We said: Thanks to Joe Barksdale’s surprisingly competent play at right tackle this season, the Rams do not appear nearly as desperate for help there as they did a couple months ago. Kouandjio here, though, might be too juicy to pass up, especially with Rodger Saffold on the verge of free agency.

Sept. 24, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 2.0 (Chris Burke) 

Round 1, pick 6: Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

We said: Rodger Saffold is a pending free agent and, more to the point, he has been unable to stay healthy over the past three seasons. Matthews could drop right in at right tackle for a couple years, then slide over to left tackle when Jake Long’s St. Louis days are up.

Round 1, pick 15: Dominique Easley, DT, Florida

We said: Truth be told, I had Clemson QB Tajh Boyd penciled in here initially. It’s still hard to justify the Rams simply throwing in the towel on Sam Bradford, though. The D-line, meanwhile, could use another body to rotate with Kendall Langford and Michael Brockers. Easley can be a dominant force.

April 30, 2013 — 2014 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 (Chris Burke)

Round 1, pick 12: Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

We said: Lewan might have leapfrogged Eric Fisher and Luke Joeckel to be the No. 1 pick in 2013, if he had entered his name in the draft rather than returned to Michigan. He’s a clear high first-round prospect and, with Devin Gardner under center rather than Denard Robinson, will get a full year in a pro-style system.

Round 1, pick 19: Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, CB, Oregon

We said: The Oregon defense is easy to overlook because of the dominance of its offense. Should you do so, however, you risk missing Ekpre-Olomu, who picked off four passes and batted down 20 more last season. Even at 5-10, he has lock-down corner potential.

2 comments
MikeSchultz
MikeSchultz

I'm a Nor Cal Guy who's a Huge EAGLES Fan but I also have a Dad from L.A. that LOVES the Ram's plus I like Teams that Have Great Players/Talent & St. Louis is just a Couple guy's away from being a P.O. Team even though they play in the NFC WEST.

But if they don't come out of the 1st Round with a BIG Solid OT for the next Few Year's to help ZAC STACY plus a WR to go with TAVON AUSTIN and GIVENS then they've lost.

But Passing on Clowny would be REAL HARD and if they Plan on taking a WR in the early #2 or a OT that'll Slip, CLOWNEY/QUINN is almost as Scary as WATT/CLOWNEY since he won't be getting Double Teamed a lot. TOUGH CHOICES

J Diddy
J Diddy

@MikeSchultz  Trust your gut on this one. They need a WR and OL in the first round. Too many good ones in this draft to let that opportunity slip by. My ideal Rams 1st rd would be Watkins at #2 and one of the stud tackles with the second pick. Then go hard after defense the rest of the draft. (Maybe throw in a young backup QB.) 


I'd stay away from Clowney. Even he's really good, like Mario Williams was a few years ago with the Texans, he'll never be as valuable as a great WR or 10 year OL. Teams let elite pass rushers go via FA all the time, but the top WRs and o-lineman don't switch teams very often.