– Well, it’s pretty safe to say that was an eventful first day for the Rams. For the second year in a row, the Rams made two first-round trades and made no picks at their original drafting spot.
– Last year, those moves yielded something big in the form of DT Michael Brockers. This year, it meant something fast in the form of WR Tavon Austin and LB Alec Ogletree.
– Austin fills a void of play makers with his speed and ability to change the game from so many different spots on the field. He’s a slot receiver first but by no means foremost. He’ll be used in many ways and OC Brian Schottenheimer is fired up about the possibilities.
– Ogletree brings an influx of speed and athleticism to the linebacker crew that continues to make an already talented Rams defense even better. He’ll be the WIL ‘backer from day one with Jo-Lonn Dunbar sliding over. Want an idea of how the Rams view him? Coach Jeff Fisher spent the 30th pick on an outside linebacker with similar traits in 2000 while at Tennessee. That LB was Keith Bulluck, who went on to become one of the best OLBs in the league and one of Fisher’s favorites. Ogletree will be an immediate nuisance to teams looking to run the read option, upgrade the Rams in coverage (he was once a safety) and provide even more punch to the pass rush when asked to blitz.
– Austin and Ogletree will be introduced to the St. Louis media today at 3:30 p.m.
– With those needs checked off and players in the shopping cart, the Rams enter day two with a much different look than this time a year ago. Last year, they had four second-day picks, including three in the second round. Now, after the trades of last night, they don’t hold a second round pick but do have an improved spot in the third round and an additional pick later in said round. The Rams have pick No. 71 and pick No. 92 tonight.
– Now, there will be a lot of talk about whether the Rams will move back into the second round to go get someone. It seems somewhat unlikely that it happens but let’s face it, with GM Les Snead and Fisher pulling the trigger, there’s no doubt that anything is possible.
– It was hard enough to try to project how the first round would play out with the Rams in the middle of the round, well, it’s downright impossible since there’s a whole round plus before the Rams are scheduled to make a selection tonight.
– With that in mind, here’s a general list of players that are available that will likely go in the second round tonight. This is in no order but just a guess at guys we can likely count on being gone before the Rams draft again. Look for a run on quarterbacks and, especially, cornerbacks this evening. Could be a good night for linebackers as well.
QB: Geno Smith, Matt Barkley, Ryan Nassib
RB: Eddie Lacy
WR: Keenan Allen, Justin Hunter, Robert Woods
TE: Zach Ertz
OL: Larry Warford, Menelik Watson, Terron Armstead
DL: Margus Hunt, Tank Carradine, Johnathan Hankins, Kawann Short
LB: Manti Te’o, Khaseem Greene, Arthur Brown, Kevin Minter
CB: Robert Alford, Johnthan Banks, Jamar Taylor, Darius Slay
S: Jonathan Cyprien
That’s 24 players. Of course, that’s by no means a definitive list. There are plenty of others that could go and some of those mentioned will almost certainly slip. But that’s a rough estimate of some guys that likely will go in round 2 or at least before the Rams are scheduled to pick again.
– Turning to the Rams, they still have some needs at safety and for a bigger running back. They also could very well be in the market to add another offensive lineman (specifically someone who could be a guard/center) or even a cornerback (they only have four on the roster right now). And Snead has not been shy about doubling down on positions in the past so it’s never out of the question they could add more at receiver or even linebacker at some point, though that seems more likely tomorrow.
Here’s a list of some of the names that are still available for those positions of need heading into tonight:
Safeties: Cyprien, D.J. Swearinger, Shamarko Thomas, J.J. Wilcox, Baccari Rambo, Shawn Williams, T.J. McDonald, Phillip Thomas, Duke Williams
Running Backs: Lacy, Montee Ball, Le’veon Bell, Giovani Bernard, Johnathan Franklin, Mike Gillislee, Christine Michael, Andre Ellington, Marcus Lattimore
Interior OL: Warford, Dallas Thomas, Brian Winters, Barrett Jones, Brian Schwenke, Hugh Thornton
Cornerback: Alford, Banks, Slay, Taylor, B.W. Webb, Sanders Commings, David Amerson, Logan Ryan, Dwayne Gratz, Tyrann Mathieu
And that’s just a small sample of a handful of spots the Rams could look to address. They’re going to stick to finding the best players they can so it’d be silly to rule them out from taking any position save for DE, QB, K, P and 3-4 OLBs as we head into day two.
– We’ll be back with snippets from the Austin and Ogletree press conference as well as the running blog tonight to keep you updated throughout. If we know nothing else, it’s worth noting that you should probably not leave the couch much because you just never know what Snead and Fisher have up their sleeve. Thanks for reading.
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