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NFL St. Louis Rams

St. Louis Rams Top 5 1st Round Possibilities in 2013 NFL Draft

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St. Louis Rams Top 5 1st Round Possibilities in 2013 NFL Draft

Rams 1st Round Draft Picks
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

In a situation as fluid and unpredictable as the NFL Draft, one can never be truly sure which way any given team of the league’s 32 are leaning. For the St. Louis Rams however, it seems relatively clear cut that that the club will address their abysmal offensive line as well as their somewhat vacant safety spots during the annual selection festivities. Just which players the Rams may target are still somewhat of a mystery, but so are which players will actually be first round material come the final week of April.

The pre-draft process weeds out some of the pretenders from the true contenders for NFL general managers and front offices. Teams utilize all of their resources to ensure that they land players who can immediately help the franchise win more frequently. While this doesn’t always work (i.e. Jamarcus Russell), it has been generally effective over the course of time.

For the Rams, their 2012 draft class was the strength of their organization this past season taking a team that went 2-14 in the previous year and turning it into a 7-8-1 record 12 months later. The team clearly took a step in the right direction, but that step is just the first in a winding path that could lead to the top of the NFC West sooner or later if the club plays its cards right. Adding two first round picks for this year and next definitely makes the task much more feasible.

As for the 2013 draft, well of course General Manager Les Snead and company want to have a repeat performance of 2012. The team needs to find starters at key positions in the upcoming selection and there are plenty of possibilities out there who could provide a long-term solution. Here are the top 5 names to look out for when the Rams use their bounty of first round picks in the draft this April.

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Matt Elam, Safety, Florida

Elam
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

An early entry to the draft, Elam had a fantastic junior year with the Florida Gators. He has the ability to excel in coverage but also creep up into the box and make some key stops in the running game. Adding him would be a huge upgrade of the current personnel on the Rams’ roster.

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Jonathan Cooper, Guard, North Carolina

Cooper
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Quick feet and terrific movement really describe Cooper quite well. During his time at North Carolina he played with tremendous technique and is extremely adept at pulling in the running game to get on his blocks in space. If added to the Rams, the running game would see a significant and immediate upgrade.

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Kenny Vaccaro, Safety, Texas

Vaccaro
Christopher Hanewinckel-US PRESS

In today’s NFL, having a multi-dimensional safety is a must. Former Texas Longhorn Vaccaro fits the bill perfectly as he can do it all. Against quarterbacks who are fleet of foot he can act as a spy while he is just as capable of playing in coverage against the prototypical pocket passers. Taking him might mean using the Rams first pick at 16th overall because plenty of teams will be looking to add a playmaking safety in a relatively weak safety class.

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Lane Johnson, Tackle, Oklahoma

Johnson
Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

A converted tight end, Johnson is the perfect modern day tackle in the league. At 6’6” 302lbs. he is long and lean with the ability to mirror defenders and still have enough power to anchor. He plays with a solid base and proper hand placement. There is an extremely high ceiling with Johnson as he showed at Oklahoma and he could be a stalwart left tackle for a decade at the next level. Adding him would make quarterback Sam Bradford a very happy man.

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Chance Warmack, Guard, Alabama

Warmack
Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Clearly the cream of the crop, the former Alabama Crimson Tide guard Warmack may actually fall to the Rams at 16 overall due to a philosophical shift in the league away from the big, mauling offensive linemen. This would be stealing if the Rams were able to stay put and land Warmack who is an instant starter and could very easily warrant a Pro Bowl selection as a rookie. He has been dubbed the safest pick in the draft and it’s easy to see why. There are plenty of possibilities for the Rams in this draft, but Warmack would clearly be the best possible scenario.