The Los Angeles Rams have a lot of needs to fill and have a limited number of draft picks to do it with. This is a year that Les Snead needs to nail his draft picks and select guys that can contribute to the team immediately. We’ll take a look at who may be worth consideration with the official RamsTalk Mock Draft 1.0.
Note: Please keep in mind that this is a very early mock draft and a lot of dominoes need to fall before we can have a more clear picture of what the Rams need. This mock draft will examine the team’s current needs as they stand prior to free agency.
Round 2, 37 Overall – Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State – I’ve written previously that the Rams need to move on from Greg Robinson at tackle. With that in mind, the Rams need to select a replacement with serious college experience rather than a total project or high risk guy, and Roderick Johnson seems to fit the bill. Johnson took over the starting tackle role as a true freshmen in 2014, and held onto the position for the rest of his three-year career with the Seminoles. Johnson won back-to-back Jacobs Blocking Trophies, awarded to the best lineman in the ACC and was selected to numerous All-American teams in 2016. He’s proven he can hold his own against real competition and seems to be an ideal fit to join the Rams offensive line in 2017.
Round 3, Late Compensatory Selection – Kyle Fuller, C, Baylor – Tim Barnes has been serviceable at center, but the Rams really should be looking for a replacement, and Kyle Fuller may be a guy that could step into the role immediately. Fuller was a three-year starter at Baylor and one of the more talented centers in the draft this year. Fuller saw time in every single game over his four-year career with the Bears and durability should not be an issue. If the Rams are looking to bring in another center, Fuller may be that guy.
*Though not announced yet, the Rams are likely to receive a compensatory selection for Janoris Jenkins.
Round 4, Early Pick – Howard Wilson, CB, Houston – The Rams are desperate for cornerback depth and Howard Wilson has plenty of promise. Wilson only has two full seasons of college football under his belt, but he played well for two solid Houston teams during these years. He’s got good size for a defensive back and has experience in a 3-4, something that will be very valuable for the Rams moving forward. Wilson is good value at the position this late in the draft.
Round 4, Late Compensatory Selection – Carroll Phillips, DE/OLB, Illinois – Carroll Phillips would make sense if the Rams are looking to add some more pass rushers for their 3-4 scheme in 2017. Phillips was great for Illinois in 2016, although it was his only year as a starter during college. This shouldn’t matter much for the Rams as they have a good amount of talent at his position for the time being. He could be a great situational lineman that may develop into a starting caliber player.
*Though not announced yet, the Rams are likely to receive a compensatory selection for Rodney McLeod.
Round 5, Early Pick – Kenny Golladay, WR, Northern Illinois – The need to add talent at receiver this offseason, and if they fail in free agency, Kenny Golladay would make for a great late round flier. At 6’4, he’s the perfect prototype to put next to Tavon Austin on the outside. The Rams have been desperate for a big bodied receiver that would be a red zone threat for years. Golladay has some flaws as a prospect but could make for an interesting selection late in the draft.
Round 6, Early Pick – Chad Kelly, QB, Ole Miss – It seems unlikely that both Case Keenum and Sean Mannion will return to the Rams in 2017, and the Rams may be looking to add another quarterback. Whichever one of the pair that remains with the team will make a fine backup. The Rams should look for a quarterback with the potential to be a playmaker in this league and Chad Kelly fits that bill. Kelly will fall in the draft because of some troubling decisions in college both on and off the field. But in the sixth round, shouldn’t you look for the guys that could have potentially been first rounders? Kelly has the talent to be a starting quarterback in this league and in a situation with an unproven quarterback in Los Angeles, Kelly may finally begin to put everything together. This would make a low-risk, high-reward pick for the Rams.
Round 7, Early Pick – Dante Barnett, S, Kansas State – A three-year starter at Kansas State, Dante Barnett is projected to be a late pick or even undrafted on early big boards thanks to a subpar senior season coming back from a season-ending shoulder injury in 2015. But Barnett has experience, leadership, and drive – three valuable intangibles when it comes to a player that has to prove himself to make a team. Barnett played a pivotal role with the Wildcats, and if he can continue to return to his pre-injury form, he may be able to provide some depth for the Rams in the secondary in 2017.
Steve Rebeiro is a staff writer and podcast host for Rams Talk. He graduated from Marquette University in 2016. For more of his opinions, follow him on Twitter here or check out his podcast Tejas and Lil Stevie.