In my last entry at the start of the NFL Scouting Combine, I estimated which ten players seemed to be the most likely targets for the Rams and their 2 first-round selections. A lot has happened since then; the Rams have no starting safeties, Jake Long and Jared Cook were signed, and both starting WR from last year (Amendola and Gibson) left in free agency. Those changes, as well as some of the players’ Combine and Pro Day performances, have shaken up my rankings.
Dropping off the list: Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia; Tyler Eifert, TE, Notre Dame; Zach Ertz, TE, Stanford; Lane Johnson, OT, Oklahoma
I still believe that Jones will be an impact player in the NFL, but he seems to be a better fit for a 3-4 defense. Also, with the Jared Cook signing, it would seem extremely unlikely that the Rams take a TE in the first round.
With the Jake Long signing, both tackle spots are filled considering that Rodger Saffold has zero leverage on the Rams to force a trade. Plus, it seems increasingly unlikely that Johnson will escape the top 15 picks.
With those players dropping off, here are the ten players most likely to be selected by the Rams in this month’s draft. Those players noted with an asterisk have been to Rams Park for pre-draft visits, which interestingly enough is all of the players who are not guards or safeties; strange considering their need to fill those positions.
#10 – Eddie Lacy*, RB, Alabama
While I would gladly take Lacy if he fell to the Rams in the 2nd round, the needs at safety, wide receiver, outside linebacker, and offensive guard make him a luxury pick in the first round. Even with his so-so workouts, we know that Jeff Fisher likes workhorse running backs so Lacy should merit at least some consideration with the 22nd pick.
#9 - Keenan Allen*, WR, California
Allen drops a few spots but stays on the list because, despite his lingering leg issues and slow Pro Day 40 time, he could still very well be the best WR available in the draft. He also seems increasingly likely to be available when the Rams pick at 22.
#8 – D.J. Fluker*, OT, Alabama
While he would not be a likely candidate if I were calling the shots for the Rams, they could still look his way considering the injury histories of Jake Long and Rodger Saffold. While Fluker does not have the feet to play left tackle, Saffold could move there if Long were to get hurt, and Fluker would be an upgrade as a run-blocker should Saffold miss time.