Steve Spagnuolo led one of the most improved teams in the NFL to the brink of the playoffs last year; what will it take for the Rams in the draft to help them take the next step in 2011?
Another mock day, another mock pick is in. Let's listen to mock Roger Goodell take a break from mock wondering how he's going to mock punish Aqib Talib as soon as he can to announce the pick for the Detroit Lions:
"With the thirteenth pick in the 2011 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Detroit Lions select..."
"...Robert Quinn, defensive end, North Carolina."
This voting on this one was ridiculously close. Quinn was able to grab 24% of the votes, about 1% more of the vote than Nate Solder. Quinn was helped by the split voting on tackles between Solder and Anthony Castonzo.
With this pick, it's pretty obvious that the Lions would be picking the best player available, since Quinn is a Top-10 talent on lots of draft boards. I still think that offensive line is a bigger need, but going against Quinn and Ndamukong Suh would be a nightmare for any team. It will be interesting to see what our NFC North rival does when the real thing happens in 29 (excruciatingly long) days.
Up next on our mock clock is another team we really didn't expect to be picking after the Vikings--the St. Louis Rams. Rookie quarterback Sam Bradford lived up to the hype in 2010, nearly leading the perennial doormat Rams to the playoffs. (Of course, almost making the playoffs in the NFC West is sort of like almost hooking up with an ugly girl at the bar. Even if it would have happened, you wouldn't be that proud of it.)
So where should St. Louis look in the draft to keep heading in the right direction next year? Let's investigate.
Wide receiver is the most glaring need position for the Rams. Their receiving corps was mediocre heading into last season and the multitude of injuries to the guys they did have only made things worse. Unfortunately for the Rams, the clear-cut top receivers (A.J. Green and Julio Jones) have already been taken in this mock draft. Unless Green or Jones falls to St. Louis or they trade up to get one of those two, it would probably be a stretch to pick from the next tier of receivers at 14.
If WR isn't a feasible option for the Rams, look for them to try and bolster their front seven. They could use some depth in their defensive line to compliment Chris Long. Veterans like James Hall and Fred Robbins aren't getting any younger. Another place St. Louis might look would be outside linebacker. James Laurinaitis was an Animal in the middle (get it?), but they were pretty weak at OLB. While the Rams won't have a shot a Von Miller, there is still some first-round talent at that position.
The final place St. Louis might look for their first pick is the offensive line. Bradford, who was injury prone in college, was hit way too often in his rookie campaign. The O-line is still young and should improve, but there are some highly touted tackles still available on our mock board.
So what do you think? Vote in the poll to help us decide who the Rams should pick.
Picks Thus Far
- - , quarterback, Auburn
- - , cornerback, LSU
- - , defensive tackle, Alabama
- - , quarterback, Missouri
- - , linebacker, Texas A&M
- - , wide receiver, Georgia
- - , cornerback, Nebraska
- - , defensive tackle, Auburn
- - , offensive tackle, USC
- - , wide receiver, Alabama
- - , defensive end, Clemson
- Minnesota Vikings - Jake Locker, quarterback, Washington
- Detroit Lions - Robert Quinn, defensive end, North Carolina
With the fourteenth pick in the 2011 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the St. Louis Rams select...
J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin (48 votes)
Cameron Jordan, DE, California (53 votes)
Anthony Castonzo, OT, Boston College (43 votes)
Nate Solder, OT, Colorado (48 votes)
Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana (12 votes)
Randall Cobb, WR, Kentucky (13 votes)
Akeem Ayers, OLB, UCLA (28 votes)
Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia (2 votes)
Other (specify in comments) (16 votes)
263 total votes