St. Louis Rams – Blog

Mel Kiper Jr. on the Rams and Wide Receivers

Posted by nickwagoner on April 3, 2013 – 8:40 PM

- ESPN NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. held a conference call with NFL reporters all over the country on Wednesday afternoon and graciously answered questions for nearly two hours.

- Kiper currently has the Rams taking West Virginia WR Tavon Austin with the 16th pick in the NFL Draft and S Kenny Vaccaro with the 22nd pick. Kiper spoke in glowing terms about Austin when asked about him and the Rams’ need for help at the position.

“I think Austin would be perfect because he fits that mold of being somebody who can come right in and play,” Kiper said. “This guy has played football forever. I saw him in high school at Dunbar here in Baltimore, he’s been unbelievable. The kid is a touchdown maker. He’s a scoreboard changer in a variety of ways. You can get him the ball in terms of the running game, you can get him the ball on reverses, wide receiver screens, get him in space, the return game. He is dynamic.”

- Indeed, Austin has earned quite a reputation in the buildup to the draft. Clearly, the Rams have interest in adding play makers, something GM Les Snead has made no secret of in recent months. And they clearly have interest in Austin, who is expected to visit next week as one of the Rams’ “Top 30″ pre-draft visitors. Of course, if the Rams see Austin in such a favorable light, it’s likely other teams do as well. Kiper said he believed that the Rams pick at 16 would likely be the furthest he could see Austin falling and noted the strong possibility he could go before that.

- In the event that were to happen, Kiper discussed some of the other Rams’ options at receiver in this draft. While acknowledging that the Rams took a somewhat raw wideout in Brian Quick in last year’s second round, Kiper pointed to the possibility that they might want a more polished player who could help out right away.

“Brian Quick last year when he was selected, I had him on my sleeper list,” Kiper said. “I talked about him a lot. I debated other people about him but I was a little surprised he went as early as he did considering he was a developmental receiver and for a team that needed an immediate guy, I knew it would take him some time to develop.”

- In some ways, Cordarrelle Patterson, another highly touted WR, is similar to Quick, according to Kiper which might not make him the ideal plug and play wideout despite his tremendous upside.

“Patterson is a JUCO kid,” Kiper said. “He didn’t set the world on fire this past year, had his inconsistencies. He has freakish talent but he’s still going to be a guy that’s a work in progress. I don’t think you go back to that route again.”

- Of course, maybe the Rams would go with Patterson if they believe he’s the best player available when they come on the clock and they are comfortable with him as a person as much as they are the player.

- Kiper followed that analysis by breaking down some other options he believes would be able to contribute right away.

“A kid who is interesting is Justin Hunter from Tennessee because he’s not as raw and he’s now going to be two years removed from the knee injury,” Kiper said. “This year he was only a year removed which meant he was going to have some issues and not necessarily play as well as he will this coming season.

“Robert Woods is very polished coming out of USC. Quinton Patton from Louisiana Tech is another kid in the second round area. Markus Wheaton (Oregon State) is an excellent route runner. (Washington CB) Desmond Trufant came on ESPN radio with us last week and I asked him who was the receiver that gave him the most trouble and he said it was Wheaton because he’s so quick out of his break and so impactful in that area which makes it tough for a quarterback…And as a slot guy, you have to believe Ryan Swope comes in from Texas A&M and has an immediate impact with the way he ran in the 4.3s and as many clutch receptions as he made from Johnny Manziel and A&M this past year. He’s going to be a big factor, I think, right away.”

- Of course, that all is just Kiper’s opinion and the Rams will again due their own diligence on the receiver class and break it down how they see fit. Remember, last year the Rams were the team that brought in plenty of wideouts for visits, Quick included, and then went on a whirlwind tour around the country with all of the big decision makers to see Quick, Justin Blackmon, A.J. Jenkins, Michael Floyd and Kendall Wright do private workouts.

- It would not surprise if the Rams again dug into the wideout group in a similar fashion. In fact, they have visits lined up with at least a half dozen wideouts and it’s entirely possible they’ll again go out and do some private workouts. In their on going pursuit to add weapons and play makers to the offense, the Rams will leave no stone unturned.


Posted in From the Sidelines | 19 Comments »


19 Responses to “Mel Kiper Jr. on the Rams and Wide Receivers”

  1. By rich merchant on Apr 3, 2013 | Reply

    would love to get patterson with the 16th pick an vacarro with the 22nd but kenny wont be there passed the cowboys at 18 i would also love to get ogletree would fill that LB spot weve been tryin to fill for a long time now!

  2. By nich4rams on Apr 4, 2013 | Reply

    Well the news is out. At least finally published by the bleachers report. About Ryan Swope. Not that it has been really news to any GM or NFL Coaches for some time now. He only helped Johnny Manziel become a front page sensation and his chances of becoming the Hiesman Trophy Winner this year.
    He helped beat Alabama and make Tannehil a high draft pick last year. He is the ideal Wide Receiver for Amendola’s replacement since he is gone for good. He isn’t Austin, he is as fast and can be a reliable outlet for Bradford and is a very capable blocker. He can make the rest of the teams receivers more potent because he makes the safeties have to account for him every play he is out there.
    This is another reason, the Rams need to trade their 22nd pick. To get an additional pick in that 2nd Rd. Because, he will be gone before the end of the 2nd Rd or very early 3rd Rd. He is actually on many teams radar. Especially now. He isn’t a surprise anymore. With the additional pick by one of the best draft experts listing him as one of the top polished receivers. He isn’t another project like Quick or Patterson. He also isn’t as slow as Woods or Wheaton. He’s an ex RB that is a better WR. Push comes to shove, have to go with Him and Hopkins or Stills. Period..

  3. By mason on Apr 4, 2013 | Reply

    definitely believe that swope will be the best replacement for amendola. they have the most similarities and i think he would be the far better move than austin. even if patterson was drafted with the 16th and get swope somewhere between 2nd round and 3rd round that would seriously help to open up the pass game. the rams have also addressed the slot receiveir with the signing of jared cook, who is fast off the line and also brings a deep threat to the team, as well as last years draft picks like givens who can burn corners down the field.
    Im most curious about the running back(s) that will look to replace jackson (though very tough shoes to fill). wouldnt be suprised to see lacy being drafted with the 22nd over all but i could see them trading down and looking to pick up a safety and a chance on someone like lattimore. Richardson and pead are still on the roster, and I believe that gannaway is still there as well (who was rg3′s running back at baylor), and fans havent really seen much of pead or ganaway so there may be more there than realized.
    either way the defense has definitely started looking up, since they tied for the most team sacks (with the broncos) as well as the additions through draft and free agency at cornerbacks that greatly helped the pass defense. This is a team that should have a great shot to contend in whats supposed to be the toughest division in the nfl.

  4. By Jeff on Apr 4, 2013 | Reply

    There is nothing slow about Wheaton. He’s a track star. Ran a 4.45 at the combine, but he’s been timed in the 4.3s also. He is a marvelous route runner. Is running full speed on his first step. I’d love to see the Rams get him, but I wouldn’t mind Swope either. Both are better than Quick is right now, although I haven’t given up on B.Q.

  5. By Season Ticket Holder 15 Years Now on Apr 4, 2013 | Reply

    Any linebacker can play outside in the 4-3 it’s not a KEY position the only KEY position in a 4-3 is the MLBer the other two just have to make tackles and fill space that can be anyone the rams have done just fine in those positions getting 100 tackle guys in each of those positions for a number of years despite NEED at the position WR is looking OK and Austin would be great but the bigger need and the better player is Vacarro draft the kid and lock him up then see if we can get a different WR somewhere else. I watched Givens and Quick play and these kids have the potential to be great lets give them a chance to be 1-2 and with kendricks and cook at the TE being our 3-4 wr’s its pretty solid really especially considering (assuming health which I have serious concerns with especially with Long) they locked up the OLine and anyone can fill that other gaurd hole the Rams are looking pretty good fill the Saftey position and lock up the best player available from there and lets go out and put it too the NFC West this upcoming season

  6. By rasool on Apr 4, 2013 | Reply

    what are you serious right now most similaries?? where at other then skin color..austin is the best wr coming out this year with starting ability…..making him the best fit for the rams with better speed quickness and hands and return ability he perfect..were looking for a guy with multiple assets not just straight line speed compare austin numbers to any other wr his numbers distroy them we need austin and possibly eddy lacy in 2nd if he be ther

    i hope we get tavon austin at #16, kenny varraro at #22, and eddy lacy or alec ogletree at #46, austin will put points up but both him and lacy will change the whole offense making them a unstopable force….im hoping this is how it turns out

  7. By ASSANTE on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    it does not matter who the rams pick because he will be gone within a year.just like lyght,kennedy,smith,barron,carriker and so many more.

  8. By Mateo on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    Assante, your comment is foolish all those picks were made by the old regime, we have Fisher and snead now making totally different decisions. last years draft was great getting brockers, janoris, trumaine, and i truly believe pead and quick will come along way in their second year. anyways i hope we get keenan allen at 16 and vaccaro at 22

  9. By Tony Bap on Apr 5, 2013 | Reply

    We need to fill as many holes as possible, as soon as possible. Vacarro will be gone by 16. Minnesota covets Austin, so trade out of 16 to the Vikings for their 23rd pick and 2nd round pick. Take Ogeltree and Elam in the first round. Take Walford and Swope in second. We get a banger at safety, a banger at OLB, a burner in the slot, and a multi-position bulldozer on the offensive line. Four holes filled in just the first two rounds. Rounds three thru seven will be used to stockpile thin areas (DT, safety,
    OL, running back, receiver).

  10. By Derrick on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    I don’t want to draft a slot receiver with a first round pick… We already have an explosive wide out and his name is Chris Givens, the best WR we had last year by far. We have the speedy guy, we need a big target. We need someone who can go up and bring the ball down over the defender in the red zone. I think Quick can emerge to fill this role, he has shown flashes of it. Cook and Kendricks can play a majority of the slot patterns. Fortify the O-line and get a safety, 2 things we have been in dire need of for years.

  11. By G C Smith on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    Good stuff Mel,you really are getting better at this. I have Hunter and Swope as 2 and 3, but I’ll leave it to the experts as to when they go. I find Fuller and Harrison interesting for the later rounds, good size and speed. I’m always big on speed at any position. Knile Davis might be a sleeper at RB. He’s the closest guy in size and speed to Jackson. He’s a bit shorter, like that matters, but takes 230 lbs down the field in 4.35 time. That’s a lot of kinetic energy to stop. At DB, 6-0 and 190 lbs and 4.3 speed is a minimum these days, though Davis at 6-2, 204 with a 4.41 40 at safety might be the real deal. Milliner, Slay, and Hawthorn are guys that the Ram’s could get to easily without overspending. I wouldn’t be disappointed with Ogletree, but Gooden might be a better value overall at LB with his 4.46 speed. Some of these guys are unpolished, but why not let a great coaching staff have a crack at them.

  12. By ricco on Apr 7, 2013 | Reply

    you should get travon austin

  13. By Tommy on Apr 8, 2013 | Reply

    Rams under Fisher have already cut down on Pt. differential just on solid fundamental coaching alone. We need a guy who gets in the end zone. Austin is the guy and if not him im taking Lacy 16 and Kenny Stills at 22. Anyone who reads this will remember because all 3 will be perennial pro bowlers in the years to come. I like the Texas safety but Fisher can coach up less talent at that position.

  14. By Tim on Apr 9, 2013 | Reply

    If possible I’d like to see the Rams trade down this year. I’d rather have 6 picks in round 2/3 than 3 picks in the first 50.

  15. By Ram Island on Apr 10, 2013 | Reply

    We are in “rebuild” mode, and need to fill as many holes as possible, as soon as possible. First of all, Vacarro will be gone by the 16th pick, so we trade down. Minnesota covets Austin, so trade out with them and pick up the Vikings second round pick. Take Elam or Cyprien at 22, and Ogeltree at 23. Second round, take slot receiver Swope and Warford for the OL. By trading down, we pick up a banger at safety, a banger at OLB, a speedster in the slot, and a bulldozer of a lineman. Four big holes filled in just the first two rounds. Get a DT or Bouldin type receiver in the third, and stockpile depth with picks four through seven.

  16. By Paul on Apr 10, 2013 | Reply

    Take it from an OU fan….We dont want Stills! Too many drops!

  17. By nick on Apr 13, 2013 | Reply

    Draft Austin, Don’t pull a billy devanny and draft someone else or a position we don’t need. Austin Is the best WR in this draft by a long shot. Fast, agile, impossible to stop in space. If we don’t draft him at 16 I will just shut the TV off until the 22 pick and pray hes still there. Give the Fans the player we want, Austin would score TD’s and sell tickets. I don’t want any more projects or possession recievers. We need explosive playmakers immediately.

  18. By Ricky on Apr 16, 2013 | Reply

    I’d try to trade up to get Austin if i were Les Snead. Austin is the real deal. Minnesota will try to trade up to get him. They want another Percy Harvin-type guy. After losing him to the ‘hawks, you know they will jump after Austin. Snead and Fisher both know that Austin is a priority if they want to get Sam some weapons to compete in the NFC West, which is the best division in the NFL! Theyknow that the Niners and ‘hawks will dominate them if they can’t put a formidible foe on the football field. Both teams got better through free agency. That is scary! We MUST take drastic measures in getting TOP, CLASS-A picks in this draft. austin, maybe safety Vaccaro, may an edge rusher like Olgretree or Jarvis Jones, whoever! We must increase our talent or the Niners and ‘hawks will be both the talk of the NFC West, and pretty much any other division.

  19. By Swiss Ram on Apr 25, 2013 | Reply

    We need to get a security blanket as a receiver, a guy who can catch a hot potatoe fired out of a howitzer. Maybe a little help on the O-Line too, but I think Fisher is better at taking rare Linemen between the 3-5 round and turn them into reliable starters down the stretch. We can’t afford drafting another Jason Smith. It’s going to be tense and fun tonight. (Watching from europe, 2 am – 5 am ;-) )

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