The closer the 2013 NFL Draft gets, the better the picture begins to look for the St. Louis Rams. Loaded with two first round selections for the upcoming extravaganza beginning on April 25th, the Rams will stand a very favorable chance of seeing some players on the board that could really improve their roster in round one. The question of value is what must be considered for the team if there are multiple players at any given position that they covet as they will have picks in later rounds as well. Here are some potential dilemmas at each position of need that could face the Rams in just over two weeks time.
If there is any position that is the most cut and dry for the Rams, this may be the one. There are really only three safeties in this year’s class that anyone considers first round material in Kenny Vaccaro, Jonathan Cyprien, and Matt Elam. With zero starters at either safety spot remaining on the roster from 2012, the Rams desperately need help at the position, and it may come down to a gamble as to whether or not they believe the particular player that they covet most who is available at 16 will still be on the board at 22. Look for one of the two first round picks to be used on one of these three individuals.
Even though the Rams also lost two of their top three receivers in terms of production in free agency, the team added tight end Jared Cook who will play like a wideout quite often. They also have Chris Givens and Brian Quick heading into year two of their respective careers which will hopefully see some significant development. Tavon Austin has been linked to the Rams quite often in mock drafts, but could they go in another direction? The team has had visits with several pass catchers including Quinton Patton just this past week. He is expected to be a second or third rounder which may signal the Rams putting off addressing that position until later in the draft.
This is the position that could throw the wrench into everything. Even though the running back is being phased out by much of the pass-happy NFL of today, the Rams aren’t ready to join that club just yet. Eddie Lacy is considered the top back by everyone in this draft, but taking a back in round one seems like a move for only those teams with luxury picks to burn. While the Rams are in an enviable position selecting before other running back needy teams in this draft, it still may not be wise to spend a first rounder on a back when players like Marcus Lattimore, Le’Veon Bell, and Mike Gillislee will likely be available in rounds two and three.
The Rams hold picks 16 and 22 in round one, 46 in round two, and 78 in round three. The team has to feel like they could add four quality starters in a draft this deep with those four selections in a few weeks. Separating perception from reality as far as the needs of other teams will be critical in determining whether or not a particular player of interest will remain on the board when the Rams want to select him. In the game of trickery that is the NFL Draft, figuring out what is true and what isn’t will be a tall task for the Rams’ brass.