Mel Kiper released his latest mock draft this week, throwing DT Corey Liuget to the Rams at #14. A debatable value pick but definitely fills a need. Begin mild debate over Liuget here over a Stephen Paea or Marvin Austin later in the draft. But the juicy part is what happened next...
In a two hour conference call, Kiper discussed the mock and its potential ramifications in detail. In that discussion were some very interesting insights on the Rams, and a certain wide receiver whose initials are "J.J.". Nick Waggoner at the Rams' official team blog captured some very interesting insights:
Q: [Would it be worthwhile to trade up for someone like Jones?]
A: “Jones would be worth trading up from 14 maybe to 10 or 9. If you are sitting there and Washington doesn’t want to go with a receiver though I think they could. It may be tough. It may be difficult to find somebody and you may have to get ahead of 10 or 11. I could see Washington looking at Jones. I could see Houston looking at Jones before the St. Louis Rams are up.
Now if he falls to St. Louis [at #14], I think you’ve got to take him. I’d like to see him have a little more consistency catching the football, he had some drops, the durability issue is real. He’s had a variety of injuries. Now it’s the foot. So he has to stay healthy over the long haul in the NFL. But hey, they drafted (Sam) Bradford and he didn’t have any injury issues after being hurt at Oklahoma. Maybe Jones had injury issues at Alabama, comes in and goes to the Rams and they have the magic touch and the guys that had troubles in college don’t get hurt in the NFL.
"But is he talented enough? His combine was unbelievable."
He’s a big, physical, hard nosed, great blocker that will help that running game and a guy that I really thought stepped it up this year as a main pass catching option for Alabama. He’s certainly worthy of being 14, he’s worthy of being as high as 8, 9 if you have to go up to get him. Right now he is No. 13 (on my board) so he’s right ahead of where they are picking. He’s worthy of being that guy.
The notion of trading up is even more topical when you look at the Rams' options for their third-round pick -- the draft ammunition that would most likely be spent in the process of moving up.
Are the Rams now at a point in their progress where they can move beyond stockpiling players to fill need, and have the luxury of picking top-tier talent at a skill position? I for one think so.