In the 2013 NFL Draft, the St. Louis Rams will be the only team entering the selection process as holders of two first round picks. As a result of the pre-draft trade a year ago involving the Washington Redskins and Robert Griffin III, the Rams will have plenty of flexibility in this year’s draft. Now the question is just what type of approach will the franchise take to this draft given their loaded position?
For the Rams two first rounders, their own pick will be the 16th overall selection while their choice from Washington will be no higher than 21st overall depending on where the Redskins ultimately finish in the postseason. These picks will eventually materialize into players in all likelihood, so just what type of guys might the Rams be targeting?
It would be odd to see any team double up on one particular area in the first round of the draft, but for the Rams, that has a very good possibility of happening. The team’s offensive line was a train wreck this year and they desperately need to infuse the unit with some young talent. Two guys that would be nice options are Alabama guard Chance Warmack and Michigan tackle Taylor Lewan.
For Warmack, it isn’t often that a guard is talked about going in the first round, but it isn’t often that a guard like Warmack comes around. His quick feet and ability to drive defenders back off of the line are incredible. This kid has all of the tools to be a Pro Bowler for years to come and his pre-draft workouts should only reaffirm that notion. If Warmack is still available when the Rams pick at number 16 rolls around, he is a no brainer.
As for Lewan, this would be a pick about potential. At 6’8” 310lbs. he could actually come off of the board much higher if teams fall in love with his ceiling and believe that he could be the next big success as a blindside protector in the NFL. Footwork could be an issue for Lewan at the next level however as he has a tendency to overextend himself and stride rather than using quick, choppy steps to mirror defenders. If he can show improvement in this area during the pre-draft sessions, he may be headed for the top 10. If not, he may be limited to playing right tackle and that isn’t really what the Rams are looking for.
This draft will be all about getting quarterback Sam Bradford the necessary protection to allow this club to take the next step in 2013. If the Rams can maximize the stockpile of picks that they have at their disposal, the team is more than capable of becoming a serious contender during the upcoming offseason.
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