In my capacity as Rams Team Analyst for Drafttek, I have the honor of helping them create their weekly Consensus Mock Drafts. CMD #17 was published Wednesday morning. Here’s the link to this weeks mock draft.
The recently completed NFL Scouting Combine significantly affected most mock drafts and draft boards. Some players (like OT D.J. Humphries from Florida) are rising up draft boards. Others (such as ILB Benardrick McKinney from Mississippi St.) have seen their draft stock fall.
In the first round of this weeks Drafttek Consensus Mock Draft, the Rams select Iowa OT Brandon Scherff. The following are my comments regarding the selection:
The Rams’ front office will have many decisions to make in the next two weeks in regards to the team’s offensive line. Davin Joseph and Joe Barksdale are set to hit Free Agency on March 10. Scott Wells is due a $1M roster bonus on March 12, while $4M of Jake Long’s base salary becomes guaranteed on March 14. The Rams could end up parting ways with all four players.Selecting an offensive lineman early in the 2015 NFL Draft addresses the uncertainty and potential for losses. Brandon Scherff was named the Outland Trophy winner as the nation’s best lineman and is the top-rated offensive lineman on DraftTek’s Big Board. Scherff draws favorable comparisons to Zack Martin, a player the Rams contemplated trading up for in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Rams would likely start Scherff at guard as a rookie, a position he played for one season with Iowa.
In the second round, the Rams select QB Brett Hundley from UCLA:
The Rams are days away from the opening of the new league year (and Free Agency) on March 10, and much uncertainty still surrounds the quarterback position. Sam Bradford is the only QB under contract for 2015, and has missed the last 25 regular season games with a twice-torn ACL The Rams are in talks with Bradford and his agent, in an attempt to renegotiate his $12.985 million base salary for 2015. Rams GM Les Snead refers to Bradford’s ongoing health concerns as a “big red flag”. The Rams must have a solid backup plan in place for the 2015 season as insurance. A veteran Free Agent QB and a quality QB via the draft would provide all the insurance the team needs. The Rams met with Hundley at the NFL Combine and are intrigued by his size, arm strength and dual-threat abilities. Hundley’s a young QB with plenty of upside and potential.
The Rams double-down on the offensive line with the selection of Oregon center Hroniss Grasu in the third round. Scott Wells is a likely salary cap casualty. Tim Barnes becomes a Free Agent on March 10. Barrett Jones and Demetrius Rhaney are unknown quantities. Grasu has the talent to become the Rams’ starting center in September.
The Rams add another offensive lineman in the fifth round with the selection of West Virginia guard Mark Glowinski. Glowinski’s still raw, but is an athletic player with intriguing upside.
The Rams close out the mock draft with RB Terrance McGee in the seventh round. Part of a running back-by-committee approach at LSU, McGee reminds me of current Rams RB Zac Stacy.
In this mock draft, the offensive line is addressed in an in-depth manner. The Rams also add a QB who could surprise at the next level. QB and OL are likely to be the Rams’ biggest areas of need heading into the draft. This mock draft fulfills those needs to a tee.